Survey Says Get A Lexus If You Want Reliability, Not A Fiat Or Nissan

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A Lexus runs like a clock and a Fiats still have to visit Tony, according to Consumer Reports' annual reliability survey. Oh, and car infotainment still sucks.

The 2014 Consumer Reports reliability survey was announced Tuesday, the bible for buyers interested in sensible purchases. And like many years since its 1989 launch, Lexus takes the top spot for new car reliability. And the old joke for what the letters in "Fiat" stand for is becoming applicable to a new generation.

Some takeaways from this year's survey:

The Scion xB was CR readers' most reliable car in 2014, unsurprising, since it's one of the oldest new cars you can buy today.

General Motors makes the most reliable domestic-branded cars. In fact, Buick is ranked sixth overall among brands for reliability, higher than Subaru and Acura this year. Even the redesigned Cadillac CTS and Chevy Corvette are reliable.

GM also outscores Nissan as an automaker. Problems with the Altima, Sentra, Pathfinder and Infiniti QX60 were singled out. Also dragging Nissan down is the new Infiniti Q50, sinking the brand 14 places to 20th on the rankings. CR said 1 in 5 of their respondents with a Q50 had problems with the touchscreen/navigation setup, calling it "worse than MyFord Touch in its first year." Ouch.

Mercedes is apparently back to its early 2000s ways with reliability, at both ends of its lineup. The CLA and the 2014 S-Class were big problem areas, according to the survey.

Still, it sucks to be Fiat-Chrysler. Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat occupy the bottom for places on the brand rankings, the aforementioned Fiat 500L takes the bottom spot. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee was singled out for its 9-speed automatic problems, and the UConnect system was also cited as a sore reliability point. And not that Fiat's quality has typically been laudable in these kinds of surveys, but could the rapid rollout of Fiat-engineered Chrysler products over the last couple years exacerbated this issue? It'll be interesting to see how 9-speed-auto-equipped cars like the 2015 Chrysler 200 do next year.

If you've been following this survey for the last few years, these results aren't too surprising. For the most part, Toyota brands are back to their old ways for dependability, but under-engineered in-car tech can drag anyone down – ask the Japanese brands.

And you still don't buy a car affiliated with an Italian brand if you want trouble-free ownership.

The whole video discussion on the rankings is below.

By Zac Estrada

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