Consumer Reports often offers up plenty of controversial insights about new cars and its most recent list of the 20 least reliable vehicles for 2015 has at least one surprise on the list.
The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class made the list due to problems with electronics, steering and drive systems. The normally rock-solid reliability of the German brand was not as it normally is with the new entry-level Benz.
Mercedes actually had two entries – the GL Class too – on the list, but it wasn’t alone in the luxury segment as the Infiniti QX60 and Cadillac ATS also founds spots.
While there were a few really expensive vehicles on the list, the “winner” of the least reliable crown? Fiat 500L. While the old joke about Fiat standing for “Fix It Again Tony” applied to somewhat finicky nature of older models; however, difficulties faced by the 500L such as dead batteries and other issues.
“The transmission won’t shift gears,” said a reader about his 500L, in a video on the magazine’s website. “Had to be towed five times,” said another owner. The magazine, which some claim plays favorites with certain brands or vehicles, analyzed the data from more than 740,000 vehicles for the current survey.
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“We saw clear trends for brands and models, as shown in our complete report and on our model pages,” the publication noted. Fiat Chrysler and General Motors each took five spots on the top 20 list. What follows the Fiat 500L? Here’s the remaining list in order by reliability … or most unreliable and why:
- Ford Fiesta – transmission issues, noise and leaks
- Cadillac Escalade – electronics, drive system and transmission
- Jeep Cherokee, for transmission, electronics and drive system
- Chevrolet Corvette – electronics, engine, climate system
- Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Yukon XL – electronics, power equipment, drive control
- Dodge Ram 2500 – fuel system, power equipment, in-vehicle electronics
- Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon – electronics, transmission, climate system
- Nissan Pathfinder – transmission, electronics, power system
- Cadillac ATS – electronics, engine, climate system
- Ford Focus – transmission, electronics, drive system
- Infiniti Q60 – transmission, paint and trip, noise, leaks
- Mercedes-Benz GL Class – brakes, electronics, power equipment
- Dodge Challenger – engine, transmission, noise, leaks
- Chrysler 300 – electronics, transmission, climate controls
- GMC Yukon/Chevrolet Tahoe SUV – electronics, power equipment, noise and leaks
- Acura TLX – electronics, transmission
- Hyundai Genesis – transmission problems, noise, leaks
- Lincoln MKC – electronics, drive system, power equipment
Some vehicles may show a high incidence of one problem, but in other cases each flaw has a low incidence but there were many faults scattered across the whole population. The magazine also noted that most of the problems cited were fixed under the vehicle’s warranty, although some required multiple visits or long delays.
The magazine ranked 28 brands for their reliability and Lexus came out on top. It was followed by Toyota, which is Lexus’ parent company, Audi, Mazda and Subaru. The only American brand in the top 10 was Buick.
The most reliable vehicle overall was the Audi Q3 followed by a slew of now-popular small SUVs: Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV4 and the Subaru XV Crosstrek.