Consumer Reports’ 10 Most Reliable Cars on the Market for 2019
What’s in a reliability rating? At Consumer Reports, there’s a considerable amount of data that goes into the annual scores for each vehicle. What make these rankings so compelling is, no automakers get a say in the results.
For the 2019 model year, Consumer Reports looked at survey responses from 500,000 vehicle owners. With information on everything from engine and brake systems to interior quality and infotainment, the nonprofit testing agency felt confident predicting which vehicles will give buyers the least trouble in the coming years.
If you’re looking for a new vehicle in the next calendar year, these ratings are about as trustworthy a resource as you’ll find. Here are the 10 cars and SUVs that landed the highest reliability scores for 2019.
10. Toyota Highlander
- After a flawless performance in 2018, Highlander cracked this year’s top 10.
If you look at the data on the Highlander SUV since its 2014 redesign, you’ll find a vehicle with no mechanical problems whatsoever (and barely any cabin issues, either). But Highlander’s best overall year came in 2018, when it scored the highest mark in each of the 17 categories Consumer Reports examined.
Since 2010, only a handful of cars (and just two SUVs) have been more dependable for owners than Highlander.
9. Kia Sedona
- The most reliable minivan of recent years even left Toyota Sienna in the dust.
To land the top reliability rating in any segment, a vehicle usually has to knock a Toyota off the podium. That’s exactly what the 2019 Kia Sedona did.
After several consecutive years of running without any major complaints from owners, Sedona landed its best reliability mark (82%) to date this time around. That was more than enough to top Toyota Sienna (72%) and bury the rest of the minivan competition.
8. Honda Fit
- After 3 straight years with top reliability ratings, Fit entered the winner’s circle for 2019.
Consumer Reports rates the Honda Fit as the best subcompact car on the U.S. market, and its high reliability marks are a big part of that. In the latest survey, owners reported no flaws at all in this model. Over the two years prior, the only negative feedback you can find revolves around minor climate-system issues.
Overall, that made it three straight years that Fit scored the top reliability rating. That’s one reason why this car has such low depreciation compared to the rest of the segment.
7. Toyota Prius
- The most reliable passenger car of the decade held steady for 2019.
If you round up every Consumer Reports reliability survey since 2010, you’ll find the Toyota 4Runner scoring better than any vehicle in America. Following that truck-like SUV, you get Toyota Prius, the iconic hybrid that gets 56 mpg in its most economical trim.
For 2019, there was no change in Prius’s standing, despite the safety recalls the automaker announced in October. The bottom line is this: Prius owners haven’t reported any flaw in this model’s engine, transmission, hybrid system, or brakes in the past 10 years.
6. Lexus NX
- After a flawless performance in 2018, Highlander cracked the top 10.
There have plenty of problems with luxury crossovers in recent years, but you never find Lexus models among them. In the case of the compact NX, minor issues with paint and trim (2015) and infotainment (2016) were settled over the last two years.
As of the latest Consumer Reports survey, the NX looks close to flawless. Its high marks (88%) made everything from the Porsche Macan (53%) to the Mercedes GLC (34%) look inadequate in this department.
5. Toyota Corolla
- In a tough compact-car class, Corolla topped the pack again for 2019.
By now, you’re probably already tired of seeing Toyotas beat out the competition for reliability, but imagine how other automakers feel. The story continued with the Corolla once again besting other compact cars to claim the top spot with its excellent score (89%).
Owners haven’t reported anything wrong with this car since 2014, and that was a minor issue with in-car electronics. Otherwise, it’s proven to be as durable and practical as the one your mother used to drive.
4. Mazda Miata
- The Miata’s reliability rating for 2019 is one of its highest ever.
For 2019, the Mazda MX-5 Miata got a significant power boost, which should make the popular roadster even more fun to drive. Meanwhile, it logged one of its best reliability ratings (91%) ever in Consumer Reports rankings.
Over the past five years, Miata owners haven’t reported a single mechanical flaw in their cars. That’s been a common thread in this model’s history since the late 1980s.
3. Toyota Prius Prime
- One of America’s most economical cars is almost one of its most reliable.
With about 25 miles of electric driving and a 54-mpg system backing it up, the Toyota Prius Prime is one of the most economical cars you can buy in America. (As we learned in a week-long test, it’s easy to get over 100 mpg driving one.)
Heading into its third model year, owners haven’t reported a single trouble area for the plug-in hybrid. Once you claim the tax credit, Prime is as affordable as the standard Prius, though it rates even higher for reliability (91%).
Given that option, we can’t see why buyers would opt for regular hybrid — especially since you can charge Prime in a few hours on any household outlet.
2. Toyota Prius c
- Even the smallest Prius was close to perfect on the reliability front.
If you look at Prius c’s poor road-test score (55) or read some of the testers’ notes (“crude,” “cheap,” “unrefined”), you might get the impression the Consumer Reports team hates this car. That may be so, but they couldn’t deny it was the most reliable passenger car in America for 2019.
You can pore over six years of ratings for as long as you like; you’re not going to find any mechanical flaws with this subcompact. That makes the prediction of excellent reliability here an easy one.
1. Lexus GX
- The luxury version of the most reliable vehicle of the decade reigns for 2019.
If you want the peak reliability of a 4Runner but need more tech and comfort, the rugged Lexus GX is the way to go. Say what you will about this platform’s body-on-frame clunkiness in late ’18; it’s a proven warrior.
Specifically, its lofty reliability score (95%) left the Audi Q7 (66%) way behind while embarrassing competitors like the Mercedes GLE (52%) and Acura MDX (40%). Just file it under “not a single thing wrong with it in years” and leave it there.
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