As we start the New Year, it’s good to reflect on the highs and lows of 2022. For consumers, vehicle safety remains a primary concern. Those who have just purchased a new vehicle and those who are considering buying a car or truck in 2023 may be interested in which makes and models are considered the most reliable—and which ones have been rated the lowest. In mid-November, Consumer Reports released its 2022 rankings for the most and least reliable vehicles in 2022. Let’s take a look at the cars that topped that list, as well as those that came in last.
What’s Behind the Reliability Rankings
First, it’s important to understand how Consumer Reports defines and calculates a vehicle’s reliability. The magazine polls readers, asking them to report any problems they’ve had with their vehicles in the last twelve months. They only use data for cars and trucks from model years 2000 through 2023, and they obtained responses addressing over 300,000 individual vehicles. However, this data has its limitations, as Consumer Reports readers may favor certain brands over others and cause the results to overrepresent some brands and neglect others. These rankings also offer an alternative view of reliability, as some automakers (like Tesla) do not participate in industry quality studies. The results of the Consumer Reports data allow the public to get a sense of how consumers feel about the brands they drive—not just what the automaker claims about its vehicles’ reliability.
Most Reliable Vehicles By Brand
The top two slots for reliability go to Toyota and Lexus, both earning solid scores of 72 (out of 100). BMW and Mazda follow closely behind with scores of 65. Honda, Audi, Subaru, Acura, Kia, Lincoln, Buick, and Genesis all boast scores of over 50. In terms of the most reliable car models, the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid, the 2023 Lexus GX, and the 2023 Mini Cooper enjoy the top three slots. The 2022 Toyota Prius, 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata, 2023 Lincoln Corsair, 2023 Toyota Corolla, 2023 Subaru Crosstrek, 2023 BMW 3 Series, and 2022 Toyota Prius Prime round out the top ten most reliable vehicle models.
Most Reliable Vehicle Types
Hybrid vehicles rank the highest among consumers in terms of reliability. However, plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) did not rate nearly as high as their hybrid counterparts. In fact, electric vehicles are tied with full-sized pickup trucks for the least reliable vehicle type. Other vehicle types topping the most reliable list include sports cars, hybrid SUVs, midsize/large cars, compact pickups, subcompact SUVs, luxury compact SUVs, luxury compact cars, and luxury midsize/large cars. Overall, Japanese and Korean automakers make up seven of the top ten most reliable brands, with Lexus earning the most models scored above average for reliability.
Brands Earning Low-Reliability Scores
Jeep and Mercedes-Benz earned the bottom two reliability ratings from consumers, with many of their models experiencing safety issues like squeaky brakes, transmission problems, and trouble with four-wheel-drive systems. Volvo, Nissan, Ram, Cadillac, Ford, Tesla, Chevrolet, GMC, and Volkswagen also earned low-reliability ratings from customers. Tesla customers reported several issues with their vehicles’ body hardware, steering and suspension, paint and trim, and climate systems. Mercedes-Benz fell considerably among the reliability rankings, mainly because several owners reported major and recurring electronics issues (i.e., blank screens, backup camera issues, etc.).
Least Reliable Vehicle Models
According to consumer data, the top ten least reliable car models include the following (with number one being the least reliable): 2023 Jeep Wrangler, 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE, 2022 Jeep Gladiator, 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500/GMC Sierra 1500, 2022 Chevrolet Bolt, 2022 Ford Explorer, 2022 Nissan Sentra, 2022 Lincoln Aviator, 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric, and the 2022 Ford F-150 Hybrid. Most of these models experienced substantial safety recalls and worrisome defects. Just like in previous years, pickup trucks continue to rank low for reliability, with only seven of the 17 models in this year’s rankings earning a reliability score of average or above. Electric vehicles also suffered, as customers complained of charging problems, battery issues, and other electric drive motor issues.
What to Do With Recurring Vehicle Issues
As consumers, we want to trust that our vehicles are safe to drive. If you are struggling with a recurring performance problem, such as braking system failures, transmission issues, or engine complications, consider reaching out to a knowledgeable and experienced lemon law attorney to discuss your options. Your attorney can help you determine whether you’re entitled to a refund or replacement vehicle under California’s Lemon Law. Together, you can take the necessary steps to ensure you feel safe out on the road like you should.
Reach out to Lemon Law Partners, LLP, today at (510) 944-0336 to schedule a free case evaluation with a dedicated and friendly Berkeley attorney.