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2010 Acura RDX (Honda)
2010 Acura RDX (Honda)

Driving It Home

The most - and least - reliable vehicles on the market Add to ...

Most reliable car: Porsche Boxster

Least reliable cars: Audi A6 3.0T and Jaguar XF

Most reliable brand: Scion

Least reliable brand: Chrysler

Those are just some of the finding in the latest Consumer Reports new-vehicle reliability study released today. The 2010 Auto Reliability Study found that Porsche has the second-best predicated reliability overall. And all Porsche (and Volvo) models are rated average or better in CR's new survey based on a survey of 1.3 million vehicles.

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The big losers? Chrysler and its Jeep and Dodge brands are all rated considerably below average. That seems somewhat understandable, given the turmoil at Chrysler over the past few years, and the fact the Auburn Hills, Mich., auto maker is in the early stages of a massive turnaround effort.

But what excuses can high-priced German brands offer? Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz are among the worst auto makers overall in terms of reliability, says CR.

"BMW had a bad year, with five of its 11 models scoring below average," notes CR in a release. BMW was far from alone. "Six of Mercedes-Benz's 13 models were below average, and the GLK SUV was far below average." And, adds CR, "Nearly three-quarters of the Audi models Consumer Reports analyzed were below average."

Meanwhile, 90 per cent ninety per cent of Fords, including Lincoln models, have at least average reliability, says CR.

"As a brand, Ford now outranks Mazda and Nissan and ranks just below Lexus," says CR. "Its quality renaissance has been led by the Fusion, a design that has been very reliable since its debut five years ago. Ford vehicles are tops for reliability in two categories: family cars (Fusion Hybrid) and large SUVs (Ford Flex EcoBoost)."

At General Motors, also in the midst of a turnaround post-bankruptcy, 69 per cent of its models had average or better reliability. Cadillac was the top GM brand, but with 83 per cent of its models earning average or better scores, Chevrolet had its best showing in years.

"General Motors and Ford have taken different paths to improving reliability," said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports Auto Test Center. "Some of GM's redesigned vehicles have scored well. The company has also dropped many of its below-average models. Ford has put its emphasis on fine-tuning existing platforms and limiting the number of new-model introductions."

CR also found that major Asian auto makers, including Honda and Toyota, are still out in front. Despite well-publicized safety recalls of late, Toyota models remained among the most reliable and earned top scores in five vehicle categories: small cars (Yaris), mid-sized SUVs (FJ Cruiser), luxury SUVs (Lexus LX), minivans (Sienna V6, FWD), and full-size pickups (Tundra V6). Only the all-wheel-drive Lexus GS and the new Lexus IS 250 convertible are below average.

Honda and Acura had five vehicle top individual categories: upscale cars (Acura TL, FWD), luxury cars (Acura RL), small SUVs (CR-V), upscale compact SUVs (Acura RDX) and compact pickups (Ridgeline). 4-cylinder Accord and Acura TSX to average.

Top 10 brands for reliability:

1.Scion

2.Porsche

3.Acura

4.Honda

5.Infiniti

6.Toyota

7.Subaru

8.Volvo

9.Lexus

10.Ford

For more information, go to www.consumerreports.org.

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