How car reliability varies by vehicle type

How car reliability varies by vehicle type

Fuel-efficient wagons, alt-fuel vehicles and small luxury SUVs are the most reliable vehicle types, according to our 2014 Annual Auto Survey, which is based on our subscribers' experiences with more than a million vehicles. Compact cars, subcompact cars, and pickup trucks are among the least reliable. (See our complete report on car reliability.)

All six wagons, 18 of 20 electric/hybrid vehicles, and all 12 luxury compact SUVs have average or above-average predicted reliability. Pickups are at the bottom of the list, with only eight reliable models out of 22, which shows that trucks don't always live up to their sturdy image. Only five of the nine subcompact cars were reliable. See how the other vehicle categories fare below based on their average predicted reliability score (percent better or worse than the average car).

Vehicle Type

Average predicted reliability score



Hybrids/Electric Cars


Luxury copmact SUVs


Midsized cars


Coupes & convertibles


Luxury mid/large cars




Large SUVs


Large cars


Sporty cars


Luxury mid/large SUVs


Small SUVs


Luxury compact cars


Midsize SUVs


Compact Cars


Subcompact cars


Pickup trucks


When it comes to buying a new car, you do not need to spend top dollar. But it does pay to do your research and find the model that meets Consumer Reports' stringent requirements to be recommended and suits your budget.


For more details on our 2014 Annual Auto Survey, including the full list of most and least reliable new cars by vehicle type, see our complete car reliability report. Also, check out our guide to car reliability for more details on new and used car reliability.

George Kennedy

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