Consumer Reports magazine yesterday presented its list of manufacturers featuring the most reliable and least reliable alignments in the industry. To the surprise of many, it was neither Toyota nor Lexus that came out on top, but Mazda.
For the Hiroshima firm, we are talking about a major feat.
Part of Mazda’s success, according to the Consumer Reports report, is thanks to its powertrains that use strong and durable six-speed automatic transmissions instead of continuously variable transmissions which are generally more fragile. Mazda has also not bet on overly sophisticated multimedia systems. Rather, it ignored industry trends by offering approaches that discourage the use of on-screen touch functions while driving. Rather, handling is done using thumbwheels located at the center console. These can be handled without taking your eyes off the road.
The Mazda showing the best reliability record was the MX-5 with a score of 98 out of 100, followed by the new CX-30, CX-3 and CX-5. In all cases, results of 85 points or more were recorded.
Overall, Toyota and Lexus still rank well above average, taking second and third places respectively. The arrival of Mazda in the lead ended a domination that had lasted for six years. Lexus has been affected by issues with the new LS, but Consumer Reports has not specified the nature of these.
Buick is the brand that has improved the most, gaining 14 spots to place 4th. She has to thank her Encore SUV which received 91 points. Honda moved up 7 places to complete the top 5, which had had a few hiccups in recent years. It was, however, affected by poor results from its Passport and Odyssey models (between 30 and 40 points each).
Among the European brands, Porsche did the best with a 9th place. BMW moved up 5 steps to reach 12th place, while Audi maintained its midfield position, in 14th. And Mercedes? 20th.
At the bottom of the list, we find, Ford, Mini, Volkswagen, Tesla and Lincoln. In the latter case, Ford’s luxury division lost 11 places to find itself last. In his defense, the end of production of the Continental and MKZ sedans, two models that performed well, hurt him. At Ford, the Explorer struggled to get a single small point. Known issues with the model’s launch, be it with the engines, bodywork, electrical equipment, electronics and transmission, literally plagued him. At Ford, we say that everything is settled. If so, the firm will be able to look up from next year.
On Tesla’s side, its new Model Y dropped it to penultimate place. Owners of Model Y, which began production last January, have reported issues with misaligned body panels that had to be repaired and mismatched paint, including, in one case, human hair stuck in the paint, according to Consumer Reports. The Model Y finished with a “much worse than average” reliability rating.
Consumer Reports rankings are compiled each year based on a survey of 300,000 vehicles owned by consumers.
It should be noted that the more vehicles a manufacturer has, the more its rank is likely to be stable, because it is the whole of its range that establishes its score (average of all its products). If a firm offers only two or three models, it can climb quickly in the rankings if they do well, but it can end up in the bottom if they have problems.
This reality must always be taken into account.
As for Mazda, it is the crowning of years of work, as the reputation of several of the firm’s products has gradually gained in popularity in recent years. The consecration has just taken place. Now, the most difficult remains to be done, namely to remain at the top.
Here is the ranking of Consumer Reports.
1 – Mazda 83
2 – Toyota 74
3 – Lexus 71
4 – Buick 70
5 – Honda 63
6 – Hyundai 62
7 – Ram 58
8 – Subaru 57
9 – Porsche 55
10 – Dodge 54
11 – Infiniti 54
12 – BMW 52
13 – Nissan 51
14 – Audi 46
15 – Kia 45
16 – GMC 43
17 – Chevrolet 42
18 – Volvo 41
19 – Jeep 41
20 – Mercedes-Benz 40
21 – Cadillac 38
22 – Ford 38
23- Mini 37
24 – Volkswagen 36
25 – Tesla 29
26 – Lincoln 8