Top 10 Least Reliable Automakers: Consumer Reports 2018

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu
top 10 least reliable automakers consumer reports 2018

If you’re shopping for a new car, you may want to avoid some of these automakers.

Consumer Reports has released its annual Car Reliability Study, based on responses from over 500,000 members. The data collected from the survey helps let shoppers know which vehicles are likely to have issues with reliability, ranging from powertrain and drivetrain problems to pesky infotainment and climate control systems.

Each automaker is ranked based on its average reliability score, which is calculated based on the models in its lineup that received enough data from survey respondents.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Most Reliable Automakers: Consumer Reports 2018

10. Lincoln

top 10 least reliable automakers consumer reports 2018

Although Lincoln did move up two spots in this year’s survey, the brand continues to struggle and lands in the bottom 10 with four models taken into consideration. Its least reliable model is the MKZ, while the Continental is the automaker’s most reliable model. Lincoln received an average reliability score of 43, attributed to the Continental’s much better than average reliability. Both the MKC and MKX remain below average, while the MKZ sedan dropped to below average in this year’s study.


8. Dodge

top 10 least reliable automakers consumer reports 2018

Dodge may have been one of the best brands from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), but it’s still one of the least reliable automakers overall. It scored an average reliability of 40, with five models as part of the survey this year. It did, however, move up three spots compared to last year. Dodge’s least reliable model in this year’s study is the Journey, while its most reliable is the Charger. Reliability of the Charger improved to better than average, while the Grand Caravan was average. Challenger owners reported issues with their transmission, and both the Durango and Journey models had multiple problem areas. As a result, the Challenger, Durango, and Journey all have below average reliability.


8. Jeep

top 10 least reliable automakers consumer reports 2018

Jeep ties Dodge with the same average reliability score of 40, but only had four models that had enough reliability data. The American automaker drops two spots compared to last year’s ranking, with the Compass being its least reliable model. If you’re shopping for a Jeep and want something reliable, take a closer look at the compact Renegade. Overall, Jeep had mixed results in this year’s survey, with both the Grand Cherokee and Renegade models improving to average. The Cherokee and Compass, meanwhile, both had below average reliability.


7. Chevrolet

top 10 least reliable automakers consumer reports 2018

With 16 models supplying enough reliability data, Chevrolet owners had a lot to say about their vehicles. The American automaker finished with an average reliability score of 39, dropping five spots compared to last year. The brand’s most reliable model is the Impala, while the least reliable is the Traverse. According to Consumer Reports, the redesigned Traverse had much worse than average reliability, with the same transmission problems as the Enclave being a major issue. Owners also complained about the infotainment display freezing or staying blank. The redesigned 2018 Equinox did receive an average reliability rating, while the Suburban and Tahoe models improved to average or better. The Chevrolet Bolt remained average.


6. Chrysler

top 10 least reliable automakers consumer reports 2018

Putting the “C” in “FCA” is the Chrysler brand, dropping seven spots this year with just two models rated. The Chrysler Pacifica’s reliability fell to below average, making it the least reliable model of the two. Meanwhile, the 300’s reliability improved to average, contributing to Chrysler’s average reliability score of 38. Major issues reported by Chrysler owners included a frozen or blank display screen, navigation, and radio problems. Transmission problems included the transmission’s computer.


5. GMC

top 10 least reliable automakers consumer reports 2018

Although GMC went up one spot compared to last year, the brand continues to struggle compared to other automakers. With an average reliability score of 37, GMC had eight models contributing to its ranking in this year’s study. The Sierra 2500 HD is the brand’s least reliable model, while the Yukon is its most reliable model. Three models in total had average or better reliability: the Terrain, Yukon, and Yukon XL. The GMC Acadia however, was worse than average plagued by infotainment and power equipment issues.

ALSO SEE: Top 10 Least Reliable Cars: 2018 Consumer Reports


4. Ram

top 10 least reliable automakers consumer reports 2018

With three models supplying enough reliability data, the Ram 3500 struggled and is the least reliable model from the American automaker. The 2500 was its most reliable, but with an average reliability score of 34, it may not mean much. Ram dropped one spot in this year’s survey, with both the previous-generation 1500 and 2500 having average reliability, while the 3500 was below average.


2. Tesla

top 10 least reliable automakers consumer reports 2018

Tesla struggled a bit in this year’s survey, dropping six spots and tying with an average reliability score of 32. The Model S dropped to a below average rating, caused by suspension problems and other issues, including the extending door handle. The new Model 3 received an average reliability rating, while the Model X stayed much worse than average. Model X owners are having issues with the Falcon doors and center display screen.


2. Cadillac

top 10 least reliable automakers consumer reports 2018

Also earning an average reliability score of 32 is Cadillac, with the ATS being its least reliable model and the XTS being the brand’s most reliable. The American automaker drops one spot this year, with six models being accounted for in the study. Only the XTS sedan received a better than average reliability rating, with the rest of the models staying below average. Issues reported by CT6 and Escalade owners include rough shifting, while other models had issues with their in-car electronics.


1. Volvo

top 10 least reliable automakers consumer reports 2018

It may come as a surprise to some, but the least reliable automaker in this year’s study is Volvo. Dropping six spots compared to last year, three models contributed to an average reliability score of 22. The least reliable model from the Swedish-Chinese automaker was the S90, while the XC60 XC60 is the most reliable. Owners complained about the XC60 suffering from display screen freezes, issues with the climate system, and interior cabin rattles. The XC90 also received complaints about its infotainment system, mainly screen freezes and a blank display. Along with those problems, the S90 also received complaints about engine knocking or pinging.

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 3 comments
  • Davin Peterson Davin Peterson on Oct 26, 2018

    No surprise the Chrysler, Dodge,Jeep & Ram made the list. Fiat-Chrysler is the least reliable American automaker

    • See 1 previous
    • Vinni Vinni on Oct 27, 2018

      Never had a single problem with the 8 or 9 speed automatic. Put 95k on a 2014 300S in 3 years and had 0 issues. Just 3 sets of tires and original brakes and even long oil change intervals.

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