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While Honda and Toyota still dominate in reliability, General Motors has improved considerably in our latest predicted-reliability Ratings. Those are the findings of our 2010 Annual Auto Survey, based on subscribers' experiences with 1.3 million vehicles.
While some GM (Stock Quote: GM) nameplates had been among the least reliable brands in past years, they now rank above some major European competitors. But as a company, GM is still far from tops in reliability.
Across GM brands (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC), 69% of models had average or better reliability. Cadillac improved the most, rising seven places from last year's ranking. Chevrolet had its best showing in years; 83% of models had average or better scores in predicted reliability, up from 50%. Also noteworthy:
- The major Asian brands are still doing well overall. All models from Acura, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Scion, and Toyota have at least average predicted reliability.
- Ford continues to be the most reliable American automaker. Ninety percent of Fords, including Lincoln models, have at least average reliability.
- Chrysler remains the lowest-ranked manufacturer in our survey. We can recommend only one of its vehicles, the four wheel-drive Dodge Ram 1500.
- While European reliability had been improving, momentum seems to have stalled. All Porsche and Volvo models are rated average or better. But Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz are among the worst automakers overall.
- The Porsche Boxster has the best predicted reliability in our survey, while the Audi A6 3.0T and Jaguar XF have the worst.
General Motors and Ford have taken different paths to improving reliability. GM discontinued many of its below-average models, and some redesigns have scored well. Ford has been fine-tuning some older platforms, which gets around the bugs that often plague a new vehicle or major redesign.
Recent GM introductions, such as the Buick LaCrosse V6 (FWD), Cadillac SRX, and Chevrolet Camaro and Equinox, are proving reliable from the get-go. And some older models, such as the Chevrolet Avalanche, Corvette, and Suburban, have improved to average. Last year, all Cadillac models were below average. This year, about half its models rated at least average.
Ford's quality renaissance has been led by the midsized Fusion, which has been very reliable since its debut five years ago. Some new models from Ford have struggled out of the gate, but the hightrim Flex EcoBoost and Lincoln MKT sportutility vehicles rated above average in their first year.
Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep are saddled with dated vehicles that rate below average in reliability. But since Chrysler's acquisition by Fiat, many of its products will either be replaced or redesigned.
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