Consumer Reports Doesn’t Recommend These Six Models Anymore

Based on Consumer Reports’ annual reliability survey, a half-dozen new models have seen their reliability scores fall, while three new cars have managed to move up the rankings.

The cars that have lost CR’s recommendation wear Acura, BMW, FCA, Tesla and VW badges, have had multiple service campaigns and share common issues such as bad electronics. So, which are the models you might want to steer clear of right now?

Acura RDX

Owners of the recently redesigned RDX crossver have already reported issues with their cars, specifically with the in-car electronics like the sat-nav system. According to CR exec Jake Fisher, this can happen when it comes to the first model year of any newly introduced or redesigned car, as they tend to have growing pains.

“The 2019 RDX went on sale in mid-2018, and just as we’ve seen with other manufacturers, sometimes it can take a year or more for automakers to work out the kinks,” he said.

Meanwhile, an Acura spokesman told CR that the survey respondents “purchased vehicles manufactured in the earliest months of production equipped with V1 software. In the fall, we pushed an over-the-air update to these and all vehicles in the field that significantly improved system performance and addressed these issues.”

The Japanese automaker also stated that “our customer relations data indicates a substantial decrease in issues identified by our own customers who update to V2”.

BMW 5-Series

According to the survey, the 5-Series now features worse-than-average reliability, as several problems have been reported with power equipment, including features like the keyless entry system and the lights, to go with the in-car electronics; for example, owners have seen the screen go blank and the sat-nav system failing.

BMW has yet to offer an official comment, despite repeated inquires.

Chrysler 300 & Dodge Charger

Why are both these cars in trouble? For starters, they’re both built by FCA and share many of the same issues.

CR members who own Chrysler 300 Sedans have reported several issues with in-car electronics, including the display screen freezing or going blank, as well as issues with the radio and sat-nav system.

While the issues with the 300’s climate control system weren’t experienced by Charger owners, those have had to deal with separate problems such as interior and exterior trim and molding pieces, to go with the same in-car electronics issues mentioned above (minus the A/C one).

“The quality and reliability of our vehicles is of the utmost importance to all of us here at FCA US. We address all issues we see in our quality indicators, and the issues referenced had been identified and resolved,” stated an FCA spokesman, who also said that 2018MY and newer cars are also getting over-the-air firmware updates, while is sues with the interior door-trim panel have already been addressed.

Tesla Model 3

Reliability issues for the Model 3 aren’t all that surprising. After all, it’s not just a brand new model, but also the first to be produced in such large numbers by Tesla. CR members reported issues with the door handles, loose interior trim and molding, paint defects and problems with the windows.

The good news is that Tesla is improving its cars, not just in terms of OTT software updates, which also add new features, but also build quality.

“We take feedback from our customers very seriously and quickly implement improvements any time we hear about issues,” stated a Tesla spokeswoman.

VW Tiguan

If you own a VW Tiguan, you might want to watch out for problems with the body control modules (components that control windows, locks etc), remote engine starting and the headlights.

Thankfully, VW addressed these issues according to a spokesman, who said that they should be of no concern for “anyone shopping now,” and that the headlight issue “was addressed almost immediately after launch.”

The ones that ascended

Finally, the three newly recommended models with improved reliability are the BMW X3, Genesis G90 sedan and Lincoln Nautilus as, according to the survey, there haven’t been many complaints about their 2018MY versions.

  • Mr. EP9

    Didn’t Tesla and Chrysler already fix the problems CR brought up because I’m pretty sure they did.

    • EM1

      I would get the 3, skip CR reviews as they never make sense.

      • charlotteharry57

        They usually do, but there can be inconsistencies from year to year. Only a fool…

    • dtd

      I plan to buy the Tesla Model 3, after this news, I would wait for another year. When CR recommends some cars, you don’t need to believe it, but when they say something bad about certain cars, it’s usually true.

      • khodre

        CR is notorious for reporting on very old issues that have been rectified. Go ahead and buy the Model 3…it’s an fantastic game-changing

        • dtd

          I would wait for Tesla to bring back the LR Model 3 ( 310 miles) and some new colors.

    • PhilMcGraw

      Tesla fixed the problems that CR had with it’s test vehicle before, CR put them back on the list, then CR got their yearly surveys back and saw that other quality problems were occurring so they removed them.


    • danno

      If no one replies to mICHGo, does that mean he doesn’t use caps?
      Same as when a tree falls in the forest….

      • bryceee

        I just call him Captain Shouty.

        • paulgdeaton

          Captain Shouty = Captain A**hole

  • StrangerGP

    “The quality and reliability of our vehicles is of the utmost importance to all of us here at FCA US.” LOL

  • DanSemering

    BMW and Tesla …I get the BMW but why Tesla

  • Rocket

    Anybody spending time on the Acura forums knows the various problems are widespread. A few glitches for a brand new model are to be expected, but the RDX’s problems go beyond what should be considered normal. Somebody didn’t do their homework, and customers are paying the price. Long term, so will Acura, as they should.

    The 300 and Charger are ancient by today’s standards. Reliability is one of the few benefits of choosing a model already beyond a standard shelf life. Having significant problems for these dinosaurs is inexcusable.

    • Zandit75

      Why does Acura even exist? Are Honda’s not available in the US?

      • NormT

        Even Buick outsells Acura…

        • Bananarama

          Okay cool. So you would buy an Enclave or Envision over an MDX or RDX?
          If you answer is yes, I’m dearly sorry for you…

          Such a garbage metric to trash Acura/Honda on (which is purely fashionable at this point).

          • NormT

            The RDX is only close to the Envision which runs rings around the Acura, offers more features for less money, and doesn’t have widespread quality issues like the new Acura.

            The Enclave is much larger than the MDX and is also can be discounted $10,000 less than the MDX.

          • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

            “The RDX is only close to the Envision which runs rings around the Acura, offers more features for less money, and doesn’t have widespread quality issues like the new Acura.”

            The only thing the Envision runs rings around is an Enterprise rent-a-car lot. The Envision in rental fodder and bottom of the barrel junk. Even GM Authority says it is lacking, and that site is run by ravenous fanboys.

            There isn’t a single noteworthy feature that the Envision offers over the RDX, and it performs worse as well. Do I need to remind you that it is made in China as well?

            “The Enclave is much larger than the MDX and is also can be discounted $10,000 less than the MDX.”

            The Enclave is garbage, that’s why they have to discount it so much to move them. It is barely nicer than the Traverse but has a higher MSRP, that’s why.

            Consumers aren’t stupid.

          • NormT

            The Acura RDX 2.0T just cannot compete when it comes to reliability.

            “Another crowded segment, the Buick Envision went home with the award in the Compact SUV category. The model received highest marks in all ratings except for features & accessories quality – mechanical and design. Still, it holds bragging rights over the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Equinox, Jeep Cherokee, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Jeep Wrangler, Volkswagen Tiguan, Mitsubishi Outlander, Subaru Forester, and GMC Terrain.” Autoguide.

      • Rocket

        A question many have asked. Hondas are available here, yes, and they sell in much higher volume than Acuras. On paper, the RDX kinda makes sense. It’s sportier and more powerful than the CR-V, and doesn’t use a CVT. But most Acuras have little to offer over the corresponding Honda model.

    • Bananarama

      So the infotainment system is now make or break for a car?
      Pretty depressing time we live in…

      • Rocket

        They’re not minor interface issues. We’re talking about serious crashes to the entire system. And the problems go beyond the infotainment system.

      • Galaxium

        The infotainment is as critical as any other amenity in a car.

        If the window switches had issues, would you make the same type of comment?

        Acura is a premium brand partly built up by Honda’s history of reliability. It’s not OK for luxury brands to have issues with amenities.

  • NormT

    The new RDX has had ot’s share of issues since June. Acurazine backs up the poor quality, $50,000 paying beta testers.

    • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

      Every single review from a major publication backs up how mediocre the Envision is.

      • NormT

        Envision definitely does not have the quality issues the 2019 RDX has. The feature content on the Envision is higher and it costs close to $10,000 less.

        The real kicker is how well the discounted Envision holds its value. When trading it in for a TourX the dealeeahip gave us more than we owed on the Envision and we got $9,000 off on the TourX.

  • Craig

    The best looking ‘car’ in that list is the Chrysler 300. THAT SAID…. It is puzzling. The 300 and Charger are made on the same line – one right after another. So does FCA give the ‘bad’ climate controls to the 300 and the ‘good’ ones to the Charger? FACT IS… all of these vehicles are STILL far more reliable than the overwhelming majority of cars made just 10 years ago.

  • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

    Consumer reports doesn’t recommend the BMW 5 series, the best 4 door sedan in the world – period . LMAO. What a fkin joke of a magazine.

    • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

      You know another thing the 5 Series is great at? Depreciation.

      It is in the top 3 fastest depreciating mass produced vehicles sold.

    • brn

      Period? Oh dang, I guess I’m not allowed to disagree.

      • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

        You can disagree all you like, but you’d be wrong.

  • Alduin

    Teslas are garbage,i’m surprised all their models aren’t on the not recommended list. Acura and BMW are both jokes aswell and FCA? Wheres the Cherokee on not recommended?

    • Bill Nguyen

      Cherokee was already not recommended. This list is for newly not recommended cars hehe

  • SteersUright

    Do I fully agree? Absolutely not. Do I appreciate CR holding carmakers accountable in a very public way? Absolutely.

  • Pavel B.

    The general consensus with most people on this site and in general is that German cars bad and Japanese cars are so reliable with American cars somewhere in the middle. This is the idiotic rhetoric I have heard throughtout life. The reality is that every manufacturer has its issues. Everyone has different experience and if you maintain the car properly there shouldn’t be any issues. Defects aside, which can happen with any manufacture. Speaking from my experience I had a 1998 528i and it was rock solid. The auto transmission was a 4 speed GM. I know have been driving Audi for the past 6 years and no issues

  • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

    It isn’t even considered premium.

    What a joke.

    • NormT

      Buick calls themselves attainable luxury in GM’s lineup. Much more aligned with Acura in the near-luxury segment.

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