2013 Consumer Reports vehicle reliability rankings - New York News

2013 Consumer Reports vehicle reliability rankings

Posted: Updated:
Toyota Motor Corporation Toyota Motor Corporation

DEE-ANN DURBIN | AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Japan's lock on Consumer Reports' vehicle reliability rankings is starting to ease.

Three Japanese brands — Lexus, Toyota and Acura — took the top spots in this year's survey, and seven of the top 10 brands are Japanese.

But three non-Japanese brands — Audi, Volvo and GMC — cracked the top 10. And the magazine announced Monday it's not recommending that consumers buy 2014 models of the Honda Accord V6 and Nissan Altima sedans, two of Japan's top sellers, because of poor reliability scores. Two other Japanese mainstays, the Toyota Camry and Toyota RAV4, won't be recommended because they flunked a frontal crash test from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

That's a blow that could impact sales. Consumer Reports' recommendations are frequently cited among the top reasons people buy particular cars and trucks.

Yonkers, N.Y.-based Consumer Reports predicts the reliability of 2014 model year cars and trucks based on a survey of subscribers who own vehicles from current or prior model years. This year, the survey questioned the owners of 1.1 million vehicles.

Problems with infotainment systems, from frozen touch screens to poorly performing voice-operated navigation systems, were frequent complaints. Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports' automotive testing director, said electronic problems may even be underreported, since some drivers find the systems so confusing they don't use them. German cars tended to have the best infotainment systems.

The 2014 Subaru Forester got the top score for predicted reliability, but the magazine noted that the 2014 Forester had only been on sale for a few weeks in the spring when owners were surveyed, so there wasn't much time for errors to crop up. The Subaru Legacy was the top-performing midsize car.

Electric cars and hybrids generally performed well, but the Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid got the worst reliability scores. Ford and its luxury Lincoln brand were near the bottom of the rankings because of customer complaints about their glitch-prone touchscreen dashboard systems and lower-than-expected fuel economy numbers.

The key to reliability is a conservative approach to vehicle redesigns. The brands that do best, like Toyota and Honda, often use time-tested engines, transmissions and other parts from prior models in their newer cars, Fisher said. Automakers with new engines or other untested features in their new cars — like Ford or Cadillac — tend to do worse.

"When you redesign cars from the ground up, you're going to expect those issues," Fisher told The Associated Press.

Brands with many older models, like GMC and Volvo, also tend to do better.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


  • Your MoneyMore>>

  • Conference call: your bathroom break

    Conference call: your bathroom break

    We asked several people what they do when they are on a conference call. Most of them answered: "The bathroom." Yes, according to a survey conducted by InterCall, 47 percent of 500 people admitted to taking a conference call from the bathroom.
    We asked several people what they do when they are on a conference call. Most of them answered: "The bathroom." Yes, according to a survey conducted by InterCall, 47 percent of 500 people admitted to taking a conference call from the bathroom.
  • Monitoring your kids' driving in real time

    Monitoring your kids' driving in real time

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-08-28 02:46:07 GMT
    Many new Ford and GM cars have built-in technology that allows you to monitor speed, signaling, and navigation when your child is driving. But when it comes to this type of digital snooping, teens and their parents often have differing opinions. Kids may call it an invasion of privacy. Most parents, of course, will likely feel otherwise.
    Many new Ford and GM cars have built-in technology that allows you to monitor speed, signaling, and navigation when your child is driving. But when it comes to this type of digital snooping, teens and their parents often have differing opinions. Kids may call it an invasion of privacy. Most parents, of course, will likely feel otherwise.
  • Glamsquad app

    Hair and makeup house call

    Hair and makeup house call

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 10:27 PM EDT2014-08-27 02:27:35 GMT
    A new app is bringing the star treatment to the masses. Glamsquad delivers a hair and makeup artist to your doorstep.I invited them over to my place. Kelly did my makeup and Erin styled my mane. They helped me select a look from examples on the app and they encouraged me to tweak the looks to fit my style.
    A new app is bringing the star treatment to the masses. Glamsquad delivers a hair and makeup artist to your doorstep.I invited them over to my place. Kelly did my makeup and Erin styled my mane. They helped me select a look from examples on the app and they encouraged me to tweak the looks to fit my style.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Broadway preview: 'It's Only a Play'

    Broadway preview: 'It's Only a Play'

    Thursday, August 28 2014 6:12 PM EDT2014-08-28 22:12:00 GMT
    Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham, and Megan Mullally are just some of the names heading back to Broadway. Legendary playwright and four-time tony winner Terrence McNally leads the all-star cast in the new Broadway play appropriately titled It's Only a Play.
    Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham, and Megan Mullally are just some of the names heading back to Broadway. Legendary playwright and four-time tony winner Terrence McNally leads the all-star cast in the new Broadway play appropriately titled It's Only a Play.
  • Mayor pushes back pre-k concerns

    Mayor pushes back pre-k concerns

    Thursday, August 28 2014 5:16 PM EDT2014-08-28 21:16:48 GMT
    Mayor Bill de Blasio, educators and city leaders gathered at p.s. 307 in Brooklyn on Thursday to talk with pride about more than 50,000 kids who have enrolled in pre-kindergarten. Universal full-day pre-k was a platform of his campaign when he ran for mayor.Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina also feels the pre-k program is ready for launch.
    Mayor Bill de Blasio, educators and city leaders gathered at p.s. 307 in Brooklyn on Thursday to talk with pride about more than 50,000 kids who have enrolled in pre-kindergarten. Universal full-day pre-k was a platform of his campaign when he ran for mayor.Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina also feels the pre-k program is ready for launch.
  • Missing NJ man found dead in Israeli forest

    Missing NJ man found dead in Israeli forest

    Thursday, August 28 2014 4:33 PM EDT2014-08-28 20:33:49 GMT
    The body of a missing New Jersey religious student who disappeared during a hike in a forest outside Jerusalem last week has been found. Aaron Sofer, 23, of Lakewood, N.J., had been missing since Friday, when he went on a hike with a friend in the Jerusalem Forest and the two became separated, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
    The body of a missing New Jersey religious student who disappeared during a hike in a forest outside Jerusalem last week has been found. Aaron Sofer, 23, of Lakewood, N.J., had been missing since Friday, when he went on a hike with a friend in the Jerusalem Forest and the two became separated, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices