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While test drives at dealerships help consumers evaluate drive quality, comfort and features, assessing long-term vehicle reliability is another matter. Fortunately, Consumer Reports conducts an annual study ranking automakers by their reliability score based on surveys of its members.

The 2018 study released last week collected data on more than 500,000 vehicles and across 17 trouble areas, ranging from the engine and transmission to climate system, brakes, electrical system and power accessories. Consumer Reports synthesizes this data to generate scores for each automaker on a 0-to-100-point scale. This year, the study has also grouped brands by region.

We’ve featured some of our favourite offers this week from the most reliable automaker from each region as determined by Consumer Reports. If you don’t find an offer that suits you, be sure to check out the new Globe Drive Build and Price Tool to see the latest incentives and discounts on any new car, truck or SUV .

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Top-ranked Japanese brand: Lexus

Lexus GX.

Lexus was the highest ranked Japanese brand. With an average reliability score of 78, it also emerged as the highest-ranked brand overall. Additionally, the Lexus GX was ranked as the automaker’s most reliable model.

The 2018 Lexus GX 460 (features a 4.6-litre, V-8 engine that makes 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque. Notable interior features on this luxury SUV include a 330-watt, 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium surround-sound system, a voice-activated navigation system, a heated and leather-wrapped wood steering wheel and a mahogany wood trim. Its exterior boasts auto-leveling LED headlights with washers and automatic high beam, rain-sensing wipers with deicing capability and power-folding sideview mirrors.

2018 Lexus GX 460

  • MSRP: $73,900
  • Manufacturer cash incentive: $2,000 (applied after tax, as compared to no incentive in September)
  • Estimated dealer discount: $2,000
  • Freight, PDI, government fees: $2,215
  • Cash purchase price before tax: $72,345
  • Finance for 60 months at 4.9-per-cent interest for $1,577 per month including tax and assumes zero down payment
  • Lease for 48 months at 3.9-per-cent interest for $1,207 per month including tax and assumes a 20,000 annual kilometre allowance with zero down payment

Get Local Price on Globe Drive

Top-ranked Korean brand: Kia

Kia Sedona.

Kia rounded off the top five in Consumer Reports’ reliability ranking with an average reliability score of 61, and the Sedona was rated its most reliable model. Additionally, J.D. Power ranked the automaker second in initial quality and fifth in dependability earlier this year.

The 2019 Kia Sedonaoutputs 276 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque through a 3.3-litre V-6 engine with gasoline direct injection. Highlights on the SX+ trim include eight-passenger seating capacity with leather upholstery, a seven-inch infotainment system with a seven-inch multi-information display, wireless cellphone-charging capability, tri-zone automatic climate control, aeroblade windshield wipers with deicing capability, LED tail lights and fog lights. Standard safety technology on the SX+ trim include a rearview camera with rear parking sensors, a blind spot detection system and a rear-cross traffic alert system.

2019 Kia Sedona SX+

  • MSRP: $39,065
  • Manufacturer cash incentive: $2,000
  • Estimated dealer discount: $500
  • Freight, PDI, government fees: $1,925
  • Cash purchase price before tax: $38,490
  • Finance for 60 months at 1.49-per-cent interest for $777 per month including tax, which includes a $750 manufacturer incentive and assumes zero down payment
  • Lease for 48 months at 3.99-per-cent interest for $726 per month including tax, which includes a $750 manufacturer incentive and assumes a 20,000 annual kilometre allowance with zero down payment

Get Local Price on Globe Drive

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Top-ranked European brand: Audi

Audi A5.

Audi beat out the likes of BMW, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz once again to take home the European crown for reliability with an average reliability score of 60. Its Q5 SUV as well as A5 coupe and convertible models were found to be its most reliable models.

Equipped with a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo engine with direct injection, the 2018 Audi A5 produces 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. Notable features on the Progressiv trim include leather seating surfaces, tri-zone automatic climate control, foot-activated trunk release, light-sensing Xenon headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a panoramic glass roof, engine start-stop functionality and Audi drive select, which allows the driver to customize the vehicle’s driving dynamics based on preferences and road conditions. The Progressiv trim’s standard safety technology includes front and rear parking sensors, an electromechanical parking brake and Audi pre sense, which engages the automatic belt tensioner and triggers anticipatory protection measures for the passengers upon detecting a high probability of collision.

2018 Audi A5 2.0 TFSI Quattro Progressiv S tronic

  • MSRP: $51,650
  • Manufacturer cash incentive: $3,000 (as compared to $1,500 in August)
  • Estimated dealer discount: $500
  • Freight, PDI, government fees: $2,830
  • Cash purchase price before tax: $50,980
  • Finance for 60 months at 1.9-per-cent interest for $1,007 per month including tax, which includes a $3,000 manufacturer incentive (as compared to $1,500 in August) and assumes zero down payment
  • Lease for 48 months at 1.9-per-cent interest for $696 per month including tax, which includes a $3,000 manufacturer incentive (as compared to $1,500 in August) and assumes a 20,000 annual kilometre allowance with zero down payment

Get Local Price on Globe Drive

Top-ranked domestic brand: Ford

Ford Taurus.

Ford attained an average reliability score of 45, making it the most reliable domestic brand. The Ford Taurus was found to have much-better-than-average reliability.

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The 2018 Ford Taurusis powered by a 3.5-litre, V-6 Ti-VCT engine that generates 288 horsepower and 254 lb-ft of torque. Standard features on the SEL trim include a SYNC infotainment system with voice recognition and SiriusXM capability, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote engine ignition, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, a reverse-sensing system and projector-beam halogen headlamps. Also available on the SEL trim are an eight-inch SYNC3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a voice-activated navigation system and a power moonroof.

2018 Ford Taurus SEL All Wheel Drive

  • MSRP: $41,936
  • Manufacturer cash incentive: $3,500 (as compared to $2,500 in August)
  • Estimated dealer discount: $1,000
  • Freight, PDI, government fees: $1,890
  • Cash purchase price before tax: $39,326
  • Finance for 60 months at 2.99-per-cent interest for $798 per month including tax, which includes a $3,500 manufacturer incentive (as compared to $2,500 in August) and assumes zero down payment
  • Lease for 48 months at 4.49-per-cent interest for $780 per month including tax, which includes a $3,500 manufacturer incentive (as compared to $2,500 in August) and assumes a 20,000 annual kilometre allowance with zero down payment

Get Local Price on Globe Drive


Andrew Tai is CEO of Unhaggle. Follow on Twitter @ahytai

Manufacturer incentives and pricing calculations are based on Ontario customers and subject to availability of inventory. Dealer discounts shown are estimates for illustrative purposes only, may vary by region and are given at the discretion of individual dealers. Please note that while every effort is made to ensure the information above is accurate at the time of publication, pricing, incentives and discounts are subject to change or discontinuation at any time. Vehicle images may not represent the exact model featured in the pricing provided. Consult your local dealership for details.

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