Consumer Reports has just released its list of the most and least reliable 2018 auto brands, and U.S. manufacturers didn't fare so well. None made the best top 5, only one made the top 10. Before you say it, yes, we know that many foreign-owned manufacturers build their cars and SUVs here in the states. But we digress.
Starting with the good.
Consumer Reports ranks Toyota as the overall #1 brand. No big shock there. The automaker has consistently ranked at or near the top of the list for the last couple of decades. The only Toyota model CR found issue with is the Tacoma pickup, which they ranked as below average reliability.
Sister manufacturer Lexus comes in at #2. All models of this brand testes at or above average for reliability.
Consumer Reports puts Kia as the #3 ranked manufacturer. A little bit of a surprise for the Korean automaker. CR says Kia's ranking comes on the strength of their new Niro hybrid crossover, which also garnered Consumer Reports' top spot overall for most reliable auto for 2018.
Now for the bad.
Ford has two models in the bottom five. The Fiesta and Focus are #5 and #4 respectively. For the Focus, it's the second year in a row this model has made the list. Fiesta owners report the auto climate system stops blowing cold air. And owners of both models report automatic transmission issues. Consumer Reports says owners of the Focus report:
"Cars would buck and stutter, especially when starting out. Rough, erratic shifts are common, even at normal driving speeds. Many owners had to replace the clutch prematurely."
The Volvo XC90 luxury SUV comes in at #3 on the least reliable list. CR says the touchscreen infotainment system was slow to load and constantly needed to be rebooted. The info screen would go blank during reboot, denying access to audio and climate controls.
The Cadillac Escalade is #2. Consumer Reports says owners report issues with the infotainment and powertrain. The Q infotainment system would freeze or crash, and climate system "would turn on to the highest setting without any user input." Powertrain problems include irregular idling, rough shifts, and even total transmission failure.
Taking Consumer Reports' top spot as the least reliable automobile is the Tesla model X. CR says owners report problems with the most basic functions such as opening and closing the falcon-wing doors. Drivers reported a sensor malfunction wouldn't allow the doors to fully open. There are also issues with the fit and finish. Loose exterior moldings and body misalignment were common, along with latch failures on multiple doors.
Buick was the highest rated U.S. brand by Consumer Reports, finishing #8. Ford came in at #15.