"A car might be great to drive and have all the features you want, but all that won't matter to you much if you have to keep going back to the dealer for repairs," said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports in a statement. "We use extensive feedback from owners to help you avoid hassles by choosing a reliable car."
General Motors Co.'s Buick brand was the most reliable domestic vehicle brand this year. Buick ranked fourth overall in this year's survey, up 14 spots from last year, the largest jump any brand saw in the survey. It still fell behind Japanese brands Mazda, Toyota and Lexus.
GM's other brands, Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac, ranked 16th, 17th and 21st, respectively.
The GMC Acadia, Terrain, and Sierra 2500 HD had average or better reliability, but the Sierra 1500 pickup truck remained well-below average. Owners told Consumer Reports that the display screen required hardware replacement, and the truck had transmission problems.
Chevrolet remains in the bottom half of the rankings, but did move up eight positions from last year. Consumers said the all-electric Bolt is a bright spot as Chevy's most reliable vehicle. The Silverado, GM's profit maker, had problems similar to the GMC Sierra's.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV's Ram truck brand ranked seventh overall. But its two models, both redesigned for 2019, have differing reports. The 1500 pickup was below average for issues with electronics — screen replacements, headlights, body control modules, gauges and engine computers. The 2500 heavy duty truck's reliability was well-above-average.
The Dodge brand came in 10th place. Jeep ranked 19th overall, the lowest of the FCA brands. But the Gladiator had a high reliability score, outpacing competitors such as the Honda Ridgeline in compact pickups.
Mazda ranked at the top of Consumer Reports reliability list for the first time ever this year. Historically, Toyota and Lexus held the top spot. Mazda has redesigned models conservatively, avoiding the introduction of risky new powertrains and infotainment systems.
Tesla Inc. is now second from the bottom among all 26 ranked brands. It was pulled lower by the newly-introduced Model Y SUV, which has a below average reliability ranking.
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