Consumer Reports New Cars – November 2019

(Kiana) #1
Behind the Reliability Ratings
The chart here shows the
average rates of prob-
lems in each trouble spot
by model year for all
vehicles in CR’s Annual
Auto Survey. This is the
basis for the Reliability
History charts.
For example, in 2016,
1 percent of vehicles had
Engine Minor problems
on average. The 2016
Buick Envision (facing
page), scores a 1 (Much
Worse Than Average);
4.7 percent of them had a
problem in this area.
In 2016, the average
rate of problems in the
Fuel System trouble spot
was 1 percent. Because
0 percent of 2016 Envi-
sions were reported to
have a problem in this
category, it has a score
of 5 (Much Better Than
Because high-mileage
cars tend to encounter
more problems than low-
mileage cars, problem
rates are standardized
to minimize differences

Average Percent of Cars
With a Reported Issue

16 17 18
Engine Major <1 <1 <1
Engine Minor 1 <1<1
Engine Cooling <1 <1 <1
Transmission Major <1 <1 <1
Transmission Minor 11 <1
Drive System 11 <1
Fuel System 1 <1<1
Electrical <1 <1 <1
Climate System 11 <1
Suspension 11 <1
Brakes 11 <1
Exhaust <1 <1 <1
Paint/Trim 11 <1
Noises/Leaks 211
Body Hardware 11 <1
Power Equipment 211
In-Car Electronics 321


respectively. In the charts,
a model year in bold identifies
the year of a major redesign
or the first year of introduction.
Yea rs w it h i n su ffic ient d at a
are noted with a column of
asterisks (*).

What the Trouble
Spots Include

(^) Engine, major Engine
rebuild or replacement, cylinder
head, head gasket, turbo or
supercharger, timing chain
or timing belt.
(^) Engine, minor Oil or fuel
leaks, accessory belts and
pulleys, engine mounts, engine
knock or ping.
(^) Engine, cooling Radiator,
cooling fan, antifreeze leaks,
water pump, thermostat,
(^) Transmission, major
Transmission rebuild or
replacement, torque converter,
premature clutch replacement.
(^) Transmission, minor Gear
selector or linkage, coolers and
lines, rough shifting, slipping
transmission, leaks, transmission
computer, transmission sensor
or solenoid, clutch adjustment,
hydraulics (clutch master or
slave cylinder).
(^) Drive system Driveshaft or
axle, CV joint, differential, transfer
case, 4WD/AWD components,
driveline vibration, traction
control, electronic stability
control (ESC), electrical failure.
(^) Fuel system Sensors (includes
O2 or oxygen sensor), emission
control devices (includes EGR),
engine computer, fuel cap, fuel
gauge/sender, fuel injection
system, fuel pump.
(^) Electrical Alternator,
starter, hybrid/electric battery
replacement, hybrid/electric
battery and related systems,
regular battery, battery cables,
engine harness, coil, ignition
switch, electronic ignition,
distributor or rotor failure, spark
plugs and wires failure.
(^) Climate system Blower
(fan) motor, A/C compressor,
condenser, evaporator, heater
system, automatic climate
control, refrigerant leakage,
electrical failure.
(^) Suspension Shocks or
struts, ball joints, tie rods,
wheel bearings, alignment,
steering linkage (includes
rack and pinion), power
steering (pumps and hoses,
leaks), wheel balance, springs
or torsion bars, bushings,
electronic or air suspension.
(^) Brakes Premature wear,
pulsation or vibration,
squeaking, master cylinder,
calipers, rotors, antilock brake
system (ABS), parking brake,
brake failure.
(^) Exhaust Muffler, pipes,
catalytic converter, exhaust
manifold, leaks.
(^) Paint/trim Paint (fading,
chalking, cracking, peeling),
loose trim or moldings, rust.
(^) Noises/leaks Squeaks
or rattles, seals or weather
stripping, air or water leaks,
wind noise.
(^) Body hardware Windows,
locks and latches, tailgate,
hatch or trunk, doors or
sliding doors, mirrors, seat
controls, safety belts, sunroof,
convertible top, glass defect.
(^) Power equipment and
accessories Cruise control,
clock, warning lights,
body control module, keyless
entry, wiper motor or
washer, tire pressure monitor,
interior or exterior light,
horn, gauges, 12V power plug,
remote engine start, alarm or
security system.
(^) In-car electronics Audio
systems, backup camera/
sensors, entertainment
systems, navigation system,
communication system.
due to mileage.
The 2018 models were
generally less than 6 months
old at the time of the survey,
with an average of about
3,000 miles. Redesigned
or newly introduced model
years are in bold.
How to Read the
Reliability Charts
These charts are based on
about half a million vehicles in
our Annual Auto Survey.
CR members reported on
any problems they had with their
vehicles during the previous
12 months, considered serious
because of cost, failure, safety, or
downtime. Our calculations give
extra weight to problems
in the areas of engine major,
engine cooling, transmission
major, and drive system
because they can be serious and
expensive to repair.
To see how a 2019 model on
sale is likely to hold up, look at
the New Car Prediction at the
bottom of each chart. For this
rating, we averaged a model’s
Used Car Verdict for the newest
three years, provided the vehicle
did not change significantly in
that time and hasn’t been
redesigned for 2019.
Several model years’ data
are a better predictor than the
single most recent model year.
One or two years’ data may
be used if the model was
redesigned in 2018 or 2017, or
if there were insufficient data
for more years. We include
a prediction for a new or
redesigned model based on
its reliability history or the
manufacturer’s track record.
To see a model’s individual
strengths and weaknesses, look
at the scores in the Trouble
Spots, which are based on the
percentage of respondents who
reported problems in each
trouble spot compared with the
average model for that year.
Models that score a 1 are
not necessarily unreliable, but
have a higher rate of problems
than the average model.
Similarly, models that score a 5
are not necessarily problem-free,
but had relatively few problems
compared with other models.
Because problem rates in
some trouble spots are very low,
we do not assign a 1 or a 2
unless the model’s problem rate
exceeds 3 percent. If a problem
rate is below 2 or 1 percent, it
will be assigned a 4 or a 5 ,

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