Consumer Reports Most Reliable Cars.

Discussion in 'Community' started by Xtremehkr, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #1
    Linky

    The Japanese took 29 of the top 32 positions, the manufacturers that didn't fare so well are surprising.
     
  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #2
    Actually, that has been the trend for years, especially the stuff about BMW. People here at MR keep recommending Bimmers as reliable cars, but statistically they're not at all. Not recently, anyway. And we all know about VW. That topic has been rehashed to death.

    And is anyone surprised that Japanese cars like Toyota and Honda own the road? Seriously, they're like Apple is to the computer world. I really don't know what makes their stuff "just work", but it does.
     
  3. oldschool macrumors 65816

    oldschool

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    #3

    these reliability reports are based on customer surveys...do you think that maybe some of the results are skewed in that a BMW owner will expect his car to be perfect and be totally irate when he has a minor problem?

    just a question...
     
  4. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #4
    ditto
    in the yearly german ADAC Breakdown statistic it looks a little bit more even... perhaps because it's not a survey but their own numbers on how often they had to help people with broken down cars who are at least 3 years on the market unchanged
    sure toyota is always a hot bet but last year the german manufactures beat the japanese ones with 4 to 3 category wins ( BMW Mini,Audi A2, Audi A6/S6,Mercedes SLK vs. Toyota Avensis, Toyota RAV-4, Nissan Almera Tino)

    over the last 25 years: 54 japanese category wins,53 european ones
    number 1 of all brands : toyota 31 category wins

    and dominating issue in 2003 for breakdowns was electronic problems with 35,something %
     
  5. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    #5
    There is a coralation between how much one pays for a car and how likely they will label it lemon. The fact is people don't like to think they made an unwise decision with so much money. It keeps some makers afloat.

    I love my hondas, not just because they are hondas, but I have an awesome/honest honda/acura only mech-so I dare not venture out.
     
  6. zarathustra macrumors 6502a

    zarathustra

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    #6
    You know, Japanese cars might be more "reliable", I tend to think that unless you like the car, it is a mere function. And let me explain.

    My wife drives an Acura TL. Very nice car, very reliable, very nice comfort features. It pulls on the highway and gets decent milage. It has a sunglass holder - which is cool. But every time I have to drive it, it feels like I am wearing my high-school clothes. No matter what I do with the seat, I am always an inch away from the ceiling. So overall, the reliability of the car might be better than mine, I wouldn't buy one for myself because every time I drove it I would hate the fact that I have a $30k plus car that I can't get comfortable in. So the reliability factor doesn't do much for me.

    On the other hand, I have a VW Passat TDI. Might not have such a high reliability score, but it fits like a glove. I sometimes drive around town because I enjoy driving it. It doesn't have the sunglass holder, but I'll deal. Plus I get 35 mpg from a boat that pulls really hard (267 ft-lbs of torque). Yeah it smokes - it's a diesel, but overall I just LIKE it. And the trade off between loving the car's experience and having decent reliability make it a winner for me.

    It really doesn't matter to me that it will be reliable 10, 15 years from now. As long as I get 2 years of driving out of it after it's paid off, anything else is a bonus.

    So in short, drive what you enjoy and hold the car maker responsible for things going wrong with the car under warranty. If you bought a used Japanese car because it is rated reliable, well, chances are the previous owner wasn't too kind to it, because it was a perceived as a reliable car. They probably skipped oil changes and pushed it hard, because it was reliable.
     
  7. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #7
    I'm with you, zarathustra. I'll look at reliability, but I'll also look at the "people factors" -- things like how comfortable the seats are, how the instruments are laid out, how difficult they are to operate, how quiet the car is, etc.

    Actually, I've read in several places that when you look at all cars (not just the top 10), you'll find that the Japanese, European and American cars are all ranked pretty close together in terms of reliability. American cars in particular have pulled very close to the rest of the world in recent years.

    Heck, if it's true that Euro cars are dropping in quality, American cars may even pass them (as a group) in terms of reliability.

    Looking at those charts, though, it's interesting to note that different versions of the Pontiac Grand Prix made both the least and most reliable charts.
     
  8. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #8
    I never knew that European cars were all that reliable. I always saw it as the Americans cars were almost always pathetically unreliable but still ahead of French cars, Fiat, and Jaguar. This seemed especially true as the Japanese cars started making headway in the U.S. market in the 1970s.

    I'm on my fourth VW, a 1999 normally-aspirated 2 litre Golf, and it's only had minor problems except for the power window regulators which work fine now. Even if it had been less reliable, it would have been a source of comfort and stability compared to other cars.
     
  9. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #9
    I don't put much stock in consumer reports; I don't think they're anything more than collected opinions of people like you and me - and we know that we're all full of it, right? :D

    I think that some of you are right about people having higher expectations with higher priced cars, resulting in lower scores. BMWs are well built, but I think Toyotas are built every bit as good - they just use less expensive materials. I remember reading an article in CAR where they drove an Enzo around New York City. The engine was barely broken in and yet it broke down and stranded them, and pieces of trim started falling off when they opened the engine compartment. The $$$ is largely in the materials and cost of low production numbers; high build quality can be replicated in mass production, as the Japanese have proved.

    I dislike US cars, but they are generally reliable. Part of the reason is the age of the design - vehicles like pickup trucks or full sized cars like the Crown Vic have basic design layouts that are 50 years old, and constant work on the design has made them very reliable. Some new Pontiacs still use pushrod V6s which sound and feel ridiculously harsh compared to DOHC engines but they are simple and reliable, if unrefined. US cars often have looser fit tolerances that make them somewhat more "tolerant" of wear, tear and damage. They aren't as smooth as a BMW, but they're a LOT cheaper to own. They're really not drivers' cars so much as transportation for the pragmatist with some cheap style thrown in.

    I think German cars tend to be a little too gimmicky at times, adopting new technology for its own sake, whereas US cars tend to be too conservative, hanging on to obsolete technology too long. Japanese cars fall somewhere in between and thus hit the sweet spot, though their biggest weakness is some weird ideas about styling. Italian cars have loads of style and little else unless you go Uber-exotic, French cars stretch the bounds of taste with styling as much as the Japanese do if not more.

    And lets just try to forget about SUVs.

    My .02
     
  10. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #10
    I'm really surprised that the Volvo S60 AWD is on the list of least reliable. Consumer Reports has had that model on its recommended list for the last couple of years. My wife has a 2004 model, it's currently one and a half years old. The only work that it has needed is routine maintenance.
     
  11. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    Mercedes went down hill as they started doing everything they can to increase profits, the and the vehicles have ended up with numerous recalls.

    Even to the point where people will tell you NOT to buy a certain first couple years of the Mercedes vehicle (like the M-Class).

    But they continue to go downhill, while they work to correct Chrysler's mechanical quality control problems. Replace the shoddy automatics with Mercedes units, and upgrade the problematic Neon engines to a Hyundai powerplant (imagine that.)

    BMW has also had some very serious problems, but they are working quite hard to improve -- in fact they've done so well at improving the quality they passed Mercedes in sales.

    While we have improved the engines in most cars, which will be quite reliable for 200k miles or more -- the electronic gadgets will really be a problem, lowest bid on the wiring harnesses and electronics and the complexity don't mix.

    VW was the first to really get slapped with it across the entire product line. But the reality of people actually turning on their wipers and having the horn honk isn't too far fetched -- when one of a dozen or more grounding pads goes bad.
     
  12. Will Curran macrumors regular

    Will Curran

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    #12
    First car I'm getting will probably be an xB, just another reason for me to get one.
     
  13. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #13
    I have a 2002 BMW 330XI. It is tied with the Chevy Suburbans for the most reliable vehicle in our family. Our first suburban was a 1996 suburban. I had no problems with it. The second suburban is a 2002 suburban. No problems with it. We had no problems so far with the 330XI. But, since BMW uses low profile tires for great performance, when I hit a pothole a couple of times it dented the rim. But, that is such a minor problem and it was sort of my fault it got dented. People today are expecting too much out of $40,000+ cars.

    As for my least reliable vehicle in our family was any Chrysler car that we bought. That is including Jeep since Chrysler owns them. My dad had a New Yorker and it had oil leaks, transmission fluid leaks, and some starting trouble. Then my dad bought a 2000 Jeep Cherokee. We ave had so many problems with its raditor. The temperature thing kept on breaking and the raditor fan wouldn't cool the hot raditor fluid for some reason so the engine kept on overheating. Than my dad bought a used 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee. After 8 months of owning it the transmission was shot. We have had raditor fluid leaks. We contacted the former owner and he didn't have any problems with the transmission.
     
  14. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #14
    But it could be argued that those that buy "lower priced" cars might not take care of them as well as a high priced car. Many car mags I have seen have gone on and on about all the crap BMW and others are putting in that is nothing but trouble.

    Also you have to look at the various areas and how the cars stack up. BMW may have the best body, engine, and drivetrain; but the other areas like electrical can knock it.
     
  15. Edot macrumors 6502

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    #15
    WTF??

    I don't know if this has been mentioned, but the Pontiac Grand Prix is rated "Most Reliable" while the supercharged version is rated "Least Reliable". The differences in the supercharged version can't be that much can they?? If they are practically the same car then this report seems kind of dodgy! I would like to see a more (less survey) type result. Maybe they can look at actual dealer repairs or something.
     
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Then I guess it's just a coincidence that VW and Audi models across the range are ranked very poor? From what you're saying, it wouldn't be probable that VW owners are the least satisfied owners, as they didn't pay the most for their cars and therefore don't have the highest expectations.

    But that isn't the case...
     
  17. jimsowden macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

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    #17
    Mercedes has gone down hill since they bought chrysler. What a crappy move! The worst car company in the world, followed close by VW and Jag.
     
  18. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #18
    I wonder what criteria are used to come to the conclusions about car reliability.

    I mean, if your doorhandle falls off, or a piece of plastic comes off your seat, does that count as much as your electrical system melting down or your transmission slipping?

    The problems with modern VW are well-documented, but to perhaps draw a poor comparison, I owned a mid-eighties Jetta for 6 years. I went through six doorhandles, several mufflers, a couple of window handles and eventually my bumpers felt like coming off. I had no major mechanical problems, however and the problems I had were cheap to fix, and resulted only in inconvenience, not a loss of fuctionality or safety.

    With the competitive warranties many car companies offer these days, should it really matter?
     
  19. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #19
    Yes, Mercedes is the worst car company in the world and Chrysler was much better off without them. Anyone who will spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to determine the perfect steering wheel position and force it upon people seems to be lacking.

    edot:

    I guess you don't know about the 10 minute engineering job Detroit often does with their engines. Pontiac slapped on a supercharger without giving it enough safeguards and the engine is compromised.
     
  20. gallagb macrumors 6502

    gallagb

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    #20
    true love

    i love my golf
    '04
    no matter what you say
    mean mr consumer reports man.
     
  21. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    egad, please, get a tc if you must go scion, they are much better performers, and look nicer. :D

    My biggest beef with BMW is that they are SOOOO expensive. on the upper end it makes some sense but the 3 series is insane - BASE price $29k for a slow 325i, while a 330xi can hit $40k. That's almost corvette money for a car that is no bigger than a Jetta. If I bought a COMPACT sedan for that money I would expect it to brush my teeth in the morning and ask me about my day on the way home from work. :D

    I still think that the 540i is THE car, though. The Pre-Bangle one.

    RE Veedubs: My dad had an '88 Jetta that was the worst car we have ever owned. It was maintained regularly but was horribly unreliable. It had a terrible rust problem; it also suffered from some very expensive electrical issues caused by bad wiring and corrosion. I'm convinced it was a lemon but friends and family that own VW's all have had similar (if less severe) issues, even with newer cars. :eek:
     
  22. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #22
    in germany it's 27,414.00 EUR for the 325i
    that's 35,795.75 USD ...without taxes
    with taxes the 325 already costs more than 40k...

    but they are still selling a better than in the US...(because all cars are more expensive)
     
  23. jimsowden macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

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    #23
    You got that backwards there. Mercedes, though with its problems, is by far better than diamler-chrysler. Ask any mechanic/car person who isn't comparable to a PC person. A dodge is one of the worst cars on the road, and so is a chrysler. They have the absolute worst transmisions, which the japanese (Toyota in particular) have got down to a tee.
     
  24. 3Memos macrumors 6502

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    #24
    I know a family who only buys Toyota. I owned a Pontiac GrandAm at one point, and that car was constantly being repaired. It was a hellish monetary nightmare. My next car was a used Honda Accord, 200k KMs and counting, and no major problems. I currently own a Toyota 4-Runner and it has been extremely reliable, smooth and quiet. My next car hopefully will be a Toyota Prius or Acura Integra. North American cars I will not buy again, until they can prove their reliability and value.
     
  25. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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    #25
    i have had experience with all 3, american, japanese, an european

    japanese are by the far the most cost effective
     

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