Don’t Waste Your Money: Toyota Up, Ford Down

Posted at 12:42 AM, Nov 02, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-02 00:42:31-04

Bad news today for the Ford Motor Company. Consumer Reports just released its reliability rankings of new cars, which shows Ford has dropped to near the bottom of the list. Of 28 makes, only Jaguar does worse.

Just two years ago, more than 90 percent of Fords were average or better for reliability. But in the last couple of years, Ford has released some new or redesigned models that have had more problems than normal. Those models include the Explorer, the Fiesta, and the Focus. Also problematic: Ford’s relatively new electronic infotainment system, MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch.

Consumer Reports is waiting to see how well the cars Ford redesigned for 2013 will hold up—the Ford Escape, Ford Fusion, and Lincoln MKZ. Those three were too new to be included in this year’s reliability analysis.

Consumer Reports did find that other automakers are delivering less trouble-prone vehicles. Top of the list is Toyota. Consumer Reports says it’s the most reliable carmaker out there. Toyota’s three brands, Scion, Toyota, and Lexus, finished first, second, and third for reliability, followed by Mazda, Subaru, Honda, and Acura, all Japanese brands.

General Motors did better in Consumer Reports’ latest rankings. Cadillac was the top U.S. brand, and its CTS coupe was the most reliable domestic car.

The most reliable car of all is the Toyota Prius C. In fact, all the Priuses have above-average reliability. When the Toyota Prius was released 12 years ago, there was a lot of skepticism about how well it would hold up. But Consumer Reports is finding that most hybrids and electric vehicles are proving very reliable.

The reliability rankings are based on subscribers’ experiences with more than a million vehicles.