Consumers in the market for a new car have faced a unique challenge this year: because of shortages of critical components, scarcity on dealer lots has resulted in less choice.
But before you concede to simply taking what you can get, Consumer Reports wants to remind you that not all makes and models are created equal when it comes to their reliability.
The independent publication unveiled its annual brand rankings for auto reliability, and reported that Asian auto brands led by a wide margin. In fact, Lexus, Mazda and Toyota were all in the top three for the second year running.
The Consumer Reports methodology follows a zero to 100 point scale, and the report said the average ranking fell between 41 and 60 points. Asian automakers, this year, had an average score of 62, which far outshined European models, which averaged 44.
U.S. brands brought up the rear at an average of 42 points. In fact, the only domestic brand to make the top 10 was Buick, which came in at no. 5. Consumer Reports said that while, globally, cars tend to be more reliable than SUVs and trucks, domestic automakers are exhibiting the opposite trend. American cars, for example, scored a 38 in reliability compared to its SUVs at 45 and pickups at 41.
Consumer Reports only assessed auto brands for which it had sufficient data, so brands like Dodge, Fiat, Land Rover and Jaguar, among others who produced too few vehicle models, were left off the list. As for those who were evaluated and performed poorly, last place was awarded to Lincoln, with 18 reliability points. Just ahead was Tesla which, despite strong sales, earned just 25 points.
A Reuters report elaborated on Tesla’s overall ranking, quoting Consumer Reports director of vehicle testing Jake Fisher, who says the Model X gull-wing door, as well as the much-maligned full self-driving software, continue to be problem areas for the automaker. Overall, the Tesla Model X, with a starting price north of $100K, scored the lowest of ANY model, with just 5 points out of 100 overall.