With every new year comes a new crop of car models from the world’s most famous automakers. Some models take the world by storm and revolutionize driving – others fall flat. Each year, Consumer Reports puts together a list of the most reliable cars, trucks, and SUVs based on data taken from nearly half a million drivers.
As a lemon law attorney, my duty is to advise people on their legal rights if they purchase or lease a defective vehicle. There’s never a convenient time to deal with the lemon law process – your best bet is to put yourself in a position to avoid it. With this in mind, I want to share Consumer Report’s picks for the most and least reliable vehicles.
Let’s get into it.
Most Reliable Automotive Brands
Before we get into the actual car models that make Consumer Report’s famed list, we want to start by mentioning the most reliable cars of 2022. If you’re in the market for a new or used vehicle, starting with these automakers would be a smart choice.
Lexus scored the top spot (up from the third spot last year) on CR’s list –with the GX model notching a flawless 100/100 points. The RX came in at 76/100. The ES and UX scored 68 and 60, respectively.
Lexus is no stranger on lists of the most reliable cars. Most models are generally problem-free – although it’s been reported that early SUVs were susceptible to problems with the engine, brakes, and fuel systems. Fortunately, it seems these problems have been resolved.
To minimize your chances of buying/leasing a lemon, we’d recommend starting here.
Mazda has held the crown of the most reliable automotive brand in recent years – and comes in at number two in 2022. The Miata – Mazda’s prized sports car model – rates the highest, with the CX-5 and CX-9 trailing closely behind. These models all ranked in the 80-80 out of 100 range.
While most of Mazda’s car models are favorably rated, the Mazda3 compact sedan has been reported to have electrical issues in the last few years. The model comes in at 46/100.
If you’re looking for a high-performance vehicle that won’t let you down, Mazda is a great option.
Toyota has built its reputation around reliability, making its entry on this list no surprise. Overall, the brand ranks 71/100 – with the most reliable being the brand’s catalog of hybrids – the Prius, Venza, and Prius Prime.
In the SUV department, the RAV4 and Highlander lead the pack with high ratings. Toyota’s classic Camry, Corolla, Avalon, and 4Runner reported average scores this year, ranging from 66-75. In the grand scheme of things, you can’t go wrong with Toyota.
Infiniti doesn’t boast a huge catalog, but that may be a good thing. Consumer Reports only looked at the Q50 and the QX50 compact SUV. Both of these models scored favorably, landing Infiniti in the fourth spot, up six spots from last year.
The QX50 saw many improvements – including the brakes which were an issue in previous models. The Q50 was also known for problems involving brakes and electronics. Fortunately, these issues were solved in subsequent models, making Infiniti’s models some of the most reliable cars on the market.
Buick had four of its models examined by Consumer Reports. The highest-rated models were the Encore and Envision compact SUVs. These models notched scores in the 80-90 range.
Unfortunately, the other two models – Enclave and Encore GX – did not score as favorably. The Enclave has been plagued with issues over the years, including electronic components, transmission, fuel systems, drive systems, exhaust, and suspension. The good combined with the bad brought Buick into the fifth spot, down from the fourth spot last year.
Top 10 Most Reliable Cars, Trucks, and SUVs
Now, let’s get a little deeper into the most reliable car models:
- Lexus GX
- Kia Niro EV
- Toyota Prius Prime
- Toyota Prius
- Cadillac XT5
- Mazda MX-5 Miata
- Honda Insight
- Toyota Highlander
- Subaru Crosstek
- Mazda CX-9
Top 10 Least Reliable Cars, Trucks, and SUVs
If you’re looking to purchase or lease a new vehicle this year, you might be wise to avoid these:
- Mercedes-Benz GLE
- Ford Explorer
- Ford Mustang
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500
- Chevrolet Corvette
- Volvo XC90
- Volkswagen Tiguan
- Tesla Model Y
- Chrysler Pacifica
- Subaru Ascent
What Happens If My Vehicle is Defective?
Even with all the statistics, reports, and good faith on reliable cars, no one can predict a lemon. Just because a vehicle ranks well doesn’t mean it’s immune to defects. Mistakes happen on the production line, and fortunately, consumers are protected by the state’s lemon law.
If your vehicle is showing signs of defects, the first step is to contact the manufacturer. You’ll need to have the warranty terms in hand. Assuming the vehicle is still covered, the manufacturer will direct you to the nearest facility to begin repairs.
If the defect cannot be repaired after multiple attempts, get in touch with a lemon law attorney. Now, each state has different rules on what qualifies as a lemon. Be sure to look over your state’s lemon law criteria before you jump to conclusions.
In the state of California, a vehicle must meet these qualifications to be ruled a lemon:
- The vehicle is covered under the manufacturer or dealer warranty; and
- The defect(s) is substantial and impairs the safety, functionality, or value of the vehicle.
- The defect(s) was not caused by driver abuse or neglect; and
- The manufacturer has made a reasonable number of unsuccessful repair attempts to fix the defect(s); or
- The vehicle has been out of service for repairs for 30 or more days.
Knowing what to do with a defective car can be a scary thought. We won’t sugarcoat it – manufacturers have no intention of taking responsibility for mistakes in their factories. They have no problem misleading you to ruin a potential lemon claim.
If you purchased or leased a defective vehicle, you deserve full compensation for your troubles. The most important thing you can do is speak with a lemon law attorney for guidance. We might be biased, but we promise you lemon lawyers are not as intimidating as you think! Most understand you’re dealing with this problem for the first time – and will happily guide you in the right direction – even if you don’t have a claim.
For any questions about defective vehicles and California lemon law, reach out to Cline APC for answers. Call our office at 888-982-6915, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out a free case evaluation.