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November 20, 2020

Mazda Overtakes Toyota, Lexus in Consumer Reports Reliability Survey

Mazda is the highest ranked brand in the Consumer Reports Reliability Survey, beating both Toyota and Lexus. This marks the first time Mazda stood atop the survey.

They survey, which covers the 2000-2020 model years is based on data collected by Consumer Reports’ members about their experiences with more than 300,000 vehicles. The non-profit organization (they are not supported by any sort of advertising and are therefore, unbiased) then assigns a predicted new-vehicle reliability score to various nameplates on a scale of 1 to 100. The scores of all of a brand’s models from which the magazine has gathered statistically sufficient information is used to determine that brand’s average reliability score.

To be ranked, a brand must have sufficient survey data for two or more models. Consumer Reports had insufficient data to rank the Acura, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Fiat, Genesis, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, and Mitsubishi brands.

The MX-5 is the most reliable Mazda scoring an impressive 98 out of 100. The CX-30, CX-3, and CX-5 all scored 85 or better.

Other Japanese brands dominated the Top 10 list with Toyota, Lexus in second and third place respectively; Honda in fifth (hampered by the Passport and Odyssey); and Subaru in eighth (problems were centered around the Ascent).

Among American brands, Buick moved up 14 spots from last year to crack the top five. Ram was the next highest domestic brand, retaining its seventh-place spot from last year’s survey, while Dodge dropped two spots to finish 10th. GMC, Chevrolet, Jeep and Cadillac improved from last year but still finished below average. Ford dropped six spots and fell into the magazine’s “less reliable” tier (in large part due to the all-new Explorer which had the dubious honor of scoring a 1 out of 100, and the Escape).

Hyundai finished in fifth, ahead of Honda, while Kia ended up in fifteenth.

Lincoln finished last among all brands on the survey with an average reliability score of just 8 — the only brand to have a score in single digits—and 21 points lower than Tesla, which was second to last.

Porsche was the highest-ranked European brand but dropped five spots into Number 9.

Consumer Reports said vehicle owners “reported everything from transmissions needing replacement after as little as 5,000 miles (8,046 kilometers) to display screens that required hardware replacement” and, in the case of one Tesla Model Y, paint that was marred by embedded human hair.

A model’s overall reliability score also includes road-test performance, owner satisfaction survey results, whether the model comes with key safety systems and crash test data, where available.

2021 Consumer Reports Reliability Survey Rank and Score
  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

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