The 10 Cars Consumer Reports Ranked Worst for Reliability in 2019
Reliability isn’t everything in a new car. Just ask the owner of a Toyota Prius c, the mini hybrid vehicle Consumer Reports named one of the most reliable for 2019. If you prize performance or a quality interior, you won’t be happy driving one to work every day.
On the other hand, if value and convenience are your top priorities when buying a car, you can hardly doing better than the smallest Prius. Anyone who has dealt with multiple recalls and the daily annoyances of an unreliable vehicle knows how unpleasant once can be.
Identifying the best and worst in this department is the goal of the annual Consumer Reports reliability study. Looking ahead to 2019, the nonprofit organization collected feedback on over 500,000 vehicles to gauge how well they’ll perform in the coming year. These 10 models ranked as the least reliable models available on the market.
10. Honda Odyssey
- Multiple tech glitches sank the Odyssey for 2019.
While a used Honda Odyssey is usually an excellent buy, the automaker is still working out the kinks on the redesigned model (2018 and later). According to owner feedback, problems with the infotainment system and power doors popped up often over the past year.
As a result, Consumer Reports took away its recommendation for the Odyssey. This change in the minivan’s rating was one of the reasons Honda dropped several places in the brand rankings for 2019.
9. Volkswagen Atlas
- Some typical new-model issues dinged the Atlas’s reliability rating for 2019.
In general, Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend new models. Over the years, testers have seen enough flaws in debut vehicles to convince them that buyers are better off waiting for automakers to get it right. (It usually takes a few years for most manufacturers.)
The Volkswagen Atlas offered an example of what often happens in this regard. Issues with the climate system, transmission, and overall body integrity made this all-new model among the worst for predicted reliability.
8. Buick Enclave
- Mechanical and interior problems haunted the redesigned Enclave in owner surveys.
Looking back over the past year, Buick Enclave owners reported issues with the climate system, fuel system, and transmission. Those problems were enough to sink this model into the worst 10 of 2019.
Once again, Consumer Reports was skeptical of a model redesigned for 2018, and it hurt Buick’s overall ranking. After making the top 10 most reliable car brands last year, Buick dropped 11 places and became an also-ran for 2019.
7. Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD
- Engine and infotainment issues popped up in surveys of Silverado 2500 owners.
While it’s rare to see a pickup truck among the most reliable vehicles, it’s equally uncommon to find one predicted to have poor reliability. Nonetheless, the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD joined the worst-of list for 2019.
Owners reported trouble with the powertrain, in-car electronics, and with the general body integrity in the latest Consumer Reports survey. That also means bad news for the GMC Sierra, which shares the same platform.
6. Kia Cadenza
- The Cadenza was one of the few blemishes on Kia’s record.
As a brand, Kia rated excellent for reliability at fifth place overall. However, the Cadenza sedan did not contribute to that ranking. Owners reported issues with the thermostat, climate system, and engine over the past year.
That turned the Cadenza’s above-average reliability rating (2016) into one of the worst for 2019. Once again, problems with a recent redesign (2017) led to this score.
5. Chevrolet Traverse
- Chevy’s answer to the Buick Enclave shared some of the same problems.
Since the Chevrolet Traverse runs on the same platform as the Buick Enclave (seen above), you can expect its reliability rating to be similar. That was the case for 2019, when both models ranked among the 10 worst.
Owners reported issues with the transmission and in-car electronics in the latest Consumer Reports survey. As a result, reliability is predicted to be poor for this model.
4. Honda Clarity
- In its debut year, owners reported several tech glitches in the Clarity.
If you’re looking to drive electric but want a gas engine as a backup plan, the Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is a great call. Its fuel economy and overall package prove hard to top in this segment.
However, owners reported some tech glitches in the debut model. The list includes a trunk that won’t open using the key fob, faulty warning lights, and issues with the cabin temperature sensor.
3. Cadillac ATS
- Engine, transmission, and cabin issues plagues the Cadillac ATS over the past year.
If you look at reliability ratings going back to 2015, you’ll find the Cadillac ATS as one of the worst models of recent years. Problems with the engine, transmission, climate system, and electronics were reported by owners over that time.
That report changed little for 2019, and ATS took the worst spot of any passenger car. With the four-door model now gone from GM’s lineup, Cadillac only sells an ATS coupe.
2. Tesla Model X
- Another year of bad feedback left Model X as the lowest-rated SUV for predicted reliability.
If you look at the 2018 reliability survey, you’ll find Tesla Model X with the worst rating of any vehicle. For 2019, the electric utility vehicle only narrowly missed landing in the lowest spot.
Once again, problems with the electronics, body integrity, and overall fit-and-finish hurt this Tesla’s rating. Among utility vehicles, it has the lowest rating for 2019.
1. Ram 3500
- This heavy-duty Ram had a litany of reported problems over the past year.
It takes time to absorb all the reported problems in the Ram 3500 in the latest Consumer Reports survey. Owners noted trouble with the fuel system, suspension, transmission, drive system, and body integrity over the past year.
As a result, this model got the lowest rating for predicted reliability (9% out of 100%) of any vehicle on sale in the U.S. If you plan to buy one for your business, get ready to spend some time at Ram service centers.
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