Dodge regained its position among the top 10 reliable automotive brands among 2020 model vehicles, while Volkswagen and Audi saw sharp drops due to "troublesome redesigned vehicles," according to Consumer Reports closely-watched annual survey of automotive reliability.
With its annual Auto Reliability Survey, Consumer Reports ranks the best and least reliable vehicles among more than 400,000 models by collecting data from members of its organization that evaluate them.
Dodge moved up to eight from 13 a year ago due to above average reilability for the Grand Caravan and Challenger. Porsche and Mini jumped up five slots, and Tesla moved up to 23 out of 30.
"The Tesla Model 3 struggled last year as the company made frequent design changes and ramped up production to meet demand," said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing. "But as the production stabilized, we have seen improvements to the reliability of the Model 3 and S that now allow us to Recommend both models."
Japanese brands such as Lexus, Mazda, and Toyota continue to be the best for new vehicle reliability. Subaru ranked at seven. Three Korean brands made the top 10, including Genesis, Hyundai, and Kia in that order. Korean brands have "closed the gap" with the Japanese brands, according to Consumer Reports.
Detroit automakers were given mixed ratings from Consumer Reports. Ford ranks 16, which is unchanged from a year ago. The Ranger has above average reliability, while the F-150 was rated at well-below average due to minor transmission issues, body hardware, and drive system problems, according to the organization.
Chevrolet fell three places to 25 because several vehicles were rated as below average, including the redesigned Silverado 1500, Colorado, Traverse, and Camaro.
Brands that declined included Volkswagen, which fell nine spots to 27 due to "much worse than average reliability" for the Atlas and Tiguan. Problems with the SUVs included power equipment, in-car electronics, and the emissions and fuel system. Volkswagen's luxury Audi brand fell seven spots to 14 due to the number of redesigned 2019 models with shared powertrains and a new infotainment system.
Acura fell nine spots to 28 due to below average reliability of the RDX and "continuing problems" with the MDX, according to organization. Cadillac is ranked last on the list.