Car shoppers have no shortage of resources available when researching which vehicle to buy. But the problem with most vehicle rankings, surveys and awards is that they are usually opinion-based and are typically skewed toward new cars.
Consumer Reports comes up with its reliability ratings by asking its subscribers to report serious problems they’ve had with their vehicles in the prior 12 months. It then uses that data to predict how well cars on sale now will hold up. Predicted-reliability scores are based on a car’s track record over the three most recent model years.
Here’s a look at the 10 Most Reliable Vehicles, according to CarMD:
2010 Toyota Corolla: The Corolla consistently ranks high in reliability studies and CarMD’s analysis of vehicle repairs confirms it. It has few problems, and the average cost of repairs is $283.13. Despite a rash of highly publicized safety recalls, Toyota is the most reliable of any manufacturer, according to CarMD.
2008 Toyota Yaris: The tiny Yaris is a good bet, based on its showing in CarMD’s analysis of vehicle repairs. It had a low incidence of “check-engine” problems and the average repair cost was $259.33.
2009 Honda Pilot: The Pilot doesn’t even show up on J.D. Power’s annual Vehicle Dependability Study, but CarMD says it’s the most reliable full-size SUV on the road. Average repair costs are just $141.
2009 Honda Accord: The Accord is another vehicle that’s not included in the J.D. Power dependability rankings, but its low failure rate and modest repair costs ($201.74) earned it a Top 10 ranking at CarMD.
2010 Subaru Forester: Subaru has some of the most dependable vehicles on the road, which probably explains why Subaru owners hang on to them longer than most other brands. The Forester rarely needs repairs, and when it does, the average cost is just $116.33.
2007 Lexus ES 350: The Lexus ES 350 is rated the most reliable luxury model on CarMD, with average repair costs of $377.71. But a “check engine” light is fairly rare in this car.
2011 Hyundai Sonata: Hyundai had the lowest average repair cost for the Top 10 manufacturers, at $271.86. Toyota’s average, by comparison, was $490.72. But Toyotas have fewer repair incidents, so it outranks Hyundai overall. The Sonata, with average repair costs of $336.30, was the top-ranked vehicle from the Korean manufacturer.
2011 Chevrolet Impala: GM will introduce a newly redesigned Impala next year. It can only hope it’s as reliable as the outgoing one, which had few problems and average repair costs of just $184.30.
2010 Subaru Outback: Subaru had two cars in the Top 10. The Outback holds up well, and repair costs average just $110.43. A testament to the longevity of Subarus: the most common repair is replacement of the catalytic converter, a part which fails only after extensive wear and tear.
2008 Ford Taurus: Ford’s overall score and ranking were hurt by older vehicles such as the discontinued Windstar minivan, one of the least reliable models on the road. But the Taurus scored high at CarMD, with a low frequency of repairs and very low repair costs averaging $141.17.
CarMD says its Vehicle Health Index, based on actual repair data, looks past the new car ‘honeymoon’ period to help car shoppers get a true picture of what to expect as vehicles age. It looks at real-life repair data for one full calendar year on 10 model years worth of vehicles, weighing the frequency of repairs and the cost of those repairs equally. It gives each vehicle a letter grade for reliability, along with a list of the most common repairs and the repair costs, based on the car’s mileage. This helps buyers anticipate what problems might crop up at a certain mileage, and helps them figure possible repair costs into their budget and even decide whether to buy an extended warranty.
Source: carMD, yahoo
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