When you are looking to buy a new car, you want to know it will last a long time and that it will be reliable for you. Whether you plan on keeping your car and using it for years (even decades) to come, or you just want something that has good resale value, you want to buy a car that will stand the test of time.
But what makes a car reliable, and what brands are at the top of the list? Today we are diving into the world of new cars and discussing what brands are the most reliable in 2022–and why.
Here are the most reliable brands of 2022.
What makes a good reliable car?
First things first–what makes a car reliable? A reliable car is obviously one that won’t break down. Most modern cars are designed to last, so reliability isn’t as much of an issue as it used to be. But some brands still outperform others, so it’s worth looking into what makes a car reliable.
A reliable car should hold up well on the road and need little more than routine maintenance (oil changes, brakes, tires, tune ups, etc). It should also have good fuel efficiency and safety features that will make it practical as well as reliable.
But more than that, reliability is about not needing to run to the mechanic every time there might be an issue. High tech entertainment systems and navigation systems have a tendency to stop working, making them a big issue for reliability.
What makes a car unreliable?
Cars are pretty complex systems, so it’s no surprise that there’s a lot that can go wrong with them. As cars get older, these problems can become serious. While most cars today are reliable, there are a few reasons why manufacturers may still fall short of the mark, such as using cheaper or poor quality materials and rolling out features that still have issues. Having an unreliable car means that you will need to get things fixed more often and that your car might not have as high of a resale value. The following factors may make a car unreliable.
- Transmission issues
- Problems with the engine
- Bad fuel economy
- Suspension issues
- Four Wheel Drive issues
- Brake issues
- Infotainment problems
What car brand is the most reliable?
Everyone has their own opinions as to what brands are the most reliable and which ones aren't. But by looking at reliability reports from well-regarded companies such as Consumer Reports and JD Power and Associates you can get a more objective idea of what brands are most reliable.
So how do companies rank reliability? Consumer Reports looks at data from over 300,000 vehicles to create their rankings, looking at the last three years of each model’s performance (unless there was a redesign in which they only consider what's in the same generation). Consumer Reports uses this data to assign a reliability score out of 100 for each vehicle, and this data is considered an index of quality in the industry.
When it comes to brands, Consumer Reports ranked the following as the top five most reliable brands for 2022 (out of 28 total brands):
Using the same metrics, Consumer Reports ranked the following as the five least reliable brands of 2022:
Within these brands however there is a lot of variability. So beyond looking at what brands are reliable, you need to consider what specific models are ranked as reliable. According to Consumer Reports, the ten least reliable cars of 2022 are:
- 2022 Subaru Ascent
- 2022 Chrysler Pacifica
- 2022 Tesla Model Y
- 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan
- 2022 Volvo XC90
- 2022 Chevrolet Corvette
- 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
- 2022 Ford Mustang
- 2022 Ford Explorer
- 2022 Mercedes Benz GLE
As you can see, a number of these cars are expensive and on the higher end of the market, such as Mercedes Benz GLE and the Tesla Model Y. On a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the most reliable, the Mercedes scored a mere 5. Luxury brands want you to think that luxury equals reliability, but time and time again we see that is not necessarily true.
In fact, a number of Consumer Reports top picks for reliability are not luxury cars, and are in fact pretty affordable. Here are the Consumer Reports top ten most reliable cars for 2022:
- 2022 Lexus GX
- 2022 Kia Niro EV
- 2022 Toyota Prius Prime
- 2022 Toyota Prius
- 2022 Cadillac XT5
- 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata
- 2022 Honda Insight
- 2022 Toyota Highlander
- 2022 Subaru Crosstrek
- 2022 Mazda CX-9
Kia, Toyota, Mazda, Honda, and Subaru make up 8 out of the ten brands on the top ten list, and none of them are luxury brands. Consumer Reports has found that the brands that are more conservative with their approach to new tech are more consistently ranked as reliable. They wait until tech is proven to work and that major kinks are worked out before they roll out features in their cars. Because of this, they are often criticized for being a bit boring. This is the opposite of how some of the other, less reliable brands operate. Brands like Tesla have a reputation for rolling out the latest and greatest technology that is innovative and fun, but it may not always work properly, earning it a spot on the least reliable list.
Those are the most reliable car brands of 2022.
Buying a new car is a big undertaking, especially now when the prices are so high. So it's important to buy a car that is reliable and will last a long time. Reliability of course isn’t everything. You need to think about style, how you plan to use it, features, and countless other details. But reliability should always be a major factor in your decision making.
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