One of the main reasons people buy a brand-new car is the promise of a no-hassle ownership experience, free from the drip-drip-drip of service problems that set in as cars age. Nonetheless, our comprehensive annual auto reliability survey tells us that some buyers will be taking their brand-new car back to the dealer’s service department sooner and more often than other car buyers will.

The models featured here are the 10 least reliable vehicles based on our Annual Reliability Survey.

More on Car Reliability

Our survey takes a deep dive into the numerous things that can go wrong with a vehicle. We study 17 trouble areas, from nuisances—such as squeaky brakes and broken interior trim—to major bummers, such as out-of-warranty transmission repairs or trouble with four-wheel-drive systems. We weight the severity of each type of problem to create a Predicted Reliability Score for each vehicle. 

Based on that analysis, these models are the least reliable. They are presented in rank order, counting down to the least reliable model, the Tesla Model X.

For more details on the models’ reliability histories, click through to their respective model pages.

Chevrolet Camaro

Least reliable cars: Chevrolet Camaro

Price as tested: $47,020
Trouble spots: Transmission (minor), in-car electronics, drive system

The Camaro possesses impressive handling agility and sharp steering. The optional magnetic ride suspension impressively keeps the car planted. The manual shifter has light, precise throws. Base models use a 275-hp turbo four-cylinder, and the new 3.6-liter V6 makes 335 hp. For the SS, Chevrolet dropped in the ferocious 6.2-liter V8 from the Corvette. All use a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic. The easy-to-use MyLink infotainment system is a plus, but the low dash vents tend to freeze your hand when it’s on the shifter. Visibility is atrocious, and rear-seat room is extremely tight. A performance ZL1 version is available, powered by a 650-hp, 6.2-liter V8 supercharged engine mated to the six-speed manual or an optional 10-speed automatic.

See the complete Chevrolet Camaro road test.

Mercedes-Benz GLC

Least reliable cars: Mercedes-Benz GLC

Price as tested: $49,105
Trouble spots: Brakes, steering/suspension, power equipment

Based on the C-Class, the GLC is one of the best compact luxury SUVs on the market. Plush furnishings inside the quiet cabin prove appealing, although it also has Mercedes’ complex infotainment system. The front seats are very comfortable and supportive, but the rear is a bit snug. The 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder delivers ample power and is matched to a nine-speed automatic that works well. The GLC rides comfortably and handles with athleticism. Automatic braking is standard, but other safety gear, such as blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert, comes in confusing option packages. A turbo V6 AMG GL43 and a coupelike SUV, the GLC Coupe, are also available.

See the complete Mercedes-Benz GLC road test.

Jaguar F-Pace

Least reliable cars: Jaguar F-Pace

Price as tested: $53,895
Trouble spots: Drive system, in-car electronics, noises and leaks

Jaguar’s first SUV is based on a rear-wheel-drive platform shared with the XF and XE. The F-Pace is quick, thanks to its 340-hp, supercharged 3.0-liter V6, but the omnipresent engine drone quickly becomes tiring. The S uses a 380-hp version of this engine. A 2.0-liter turbo is now the base engine, and a diesel is also available. All versions come with a smooth eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. The taut and nimble F-Pace is one of the best-handling SUVs, contributing to the lively driving experience. However, the ride is stiff and choppy. The seats are comfortable, but interior quality isn’t as impeccable as in the German competitors. The infotainment system is behind the times, utilizing a slow and fussy touch screen. The air conditioning system isn’t always up to the task. Active safety features are available if you opt for the vision package.

See the complete Jaguar F-Pace road test.

GMC Acadia

Least reliable cars: GMC Acadia

Price as tested: $51,585
Trouble spots: In-car electronics, power equipment, drive system

The Acadia is a very pleasant three-row SUV, particularly in the Denali trim. The ride is steady and composed, and handling is responsive. The most appropriate engine is the smooth 3.6-liter V6 that returned 19 mpg in our tests, which isn’t a standout. A less powerful but still sound 2.5-liter four-cylinder is standard. This family-friendly three-row SUV is very quiet, the front seats are comfortable, and the infotainment system is easy to use. The outboard second-row seats can slide and tilt forward, even with a child seat in place. But many luxury features, such as four-way adjustable lumbar, a power sunroof shade, and auto-up windows, are missing even on our high-end Denali version. Available safety features include forward-collision warning with automatic braking, pedestrian detection, and blind-spot monitoring.

See the complete GMC Acadia road test.

Fiat 500

Least reliable cars: Fiat 500

Price as tested: $18,600-$26,050
Trouble spots: Brakes, power equipment, in-car electronics

The 500’s alert handling, free-revving engine, and crisp-shifting manual make it engaging to drive. The base engine and manual returned 33 mpg overall, but it lacks low-end thrust. On all versions the ride is choppy and the cabin noisy. Headroom up front is good, but some will find the steering wheel to be too far away and the driving position awkward. The tight rear seats are difficult to access, and the cargo area is minuscule. The convertible top can be pulled back like a sunroof or fully dropped. The Abarth is quick and grips well, and the electric 500e is enjoyable for its silence and efficiency. The 500 scored a Poor in the IIHS small-overlap crash test.

See the complete Fiat 500 road test.

Ford Focus

Least reliable cars: Ford Focus

Price as tested: $20,485-$40,990
Trouble spots: Transmission, drive system

Available as a sedan, a hatchback, and an electric version, the Focus feels solid and sophisticated, but it’s plagued by poor reliability and, at low speeds, a jerky transmission. The car is fun to drive, thanks to its agile handling and supple, controlled ride. The cabin is quiet, with good-quality materials for the class. But the driving position is narrow compared with newer competitors. A new 123-hp, 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbo, shared with the smaller Fiesta, is available, but it’s slow and returns the same 29 mpg overall as the 2.0-liter. Ford has replaced the problematic MyFord Touch infotainment system with the superior Sync 3 system. The sporty ST version is quick and fun, and sounds thrilling, and the new high-performance AWD RS comes with a 350-hp, turbo four-cylinder.

See the complete Ford Focus road test.

Ford Fiesta

Least reliable cars: Ford Fiesta

Price as tested: $17,795-$24,985
Trouble spots: Transmission, climate system

This subcompact has agile handling that makes it fun to drive, as well as a supple, controlled ride. Interior fit and finish and equipment levels are among the best of the class, and the cabin is relatively quiet. But the rear seat is very cramped. Our tested 120-hp, 1.6-liter Fiesta with the five-speed manual delivered excellent fuel economy but felt sluggish. A six-speed automated manual tends to cause the car to stumble in stop-and-go traffic. The sporty Fiesta ST version is truly a treat to drive ... if your kidneys can handle the stiff ride. Sync 3 has replaced the MyFord Touch infotainment system.

See the complete Ford Fiesta road test.

Volvo XC90

Least reliable cars: Volvo XC90

Price as tested: $56,805
Trouble spots: In-car electronics, power equipment, electrical system

The XC90 is a competitive three-row SUV. Base models use a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo, offered with front- or all-wheel drive. Our tested T6, with its 316-hp turbocharged and supercharged version, delivered decent punch and returned 20 mpg overall, but it sounds raspy. A plug-in hybrid with an electric range of about 14 miles is available. All versions use an eight-speed automatic. Handling is commendable, but the ride is stiff though the optional air suspension makes it slightly better. The interior is quiet, plush, and modern, with super-comfortable seats. But audio, phone, and navigation functions are controlled through an unintuitive touch-screen infotainment system that’s frustrating to use. Many electronic safety features are available.

See the complete Volvo XC90 road test.

Cadillac Escalade

Least reliable cars: Cadillac Escalade

Price as tested: $87,360
Trouble spots: Power equipment, transmission (major), climate system

The Escalade falls down on the fundamentals as a luxury SUV; it rides too stiffly and can’t stop or handle with the grace of its peers. Despite casting a massive shadow, the Cadillac is not even that roomy inside. The second-row seats aren’t very comfortable, and the third row is cramped. For those who want more room, a longer ESV version that provides more cargo space is available. The Cue infotainment system is confounding. The real strength of the Escalade lies in its work abilities, with a powerful 420-hp V8 and impressive tow capacity. We consider a well-trimmed Chevrolet Suburban or GMC Yukon XL to be a smarter buy.

See the complete Cadillac Escalade road test.

Tesla Model X

Least reliable cars: Tesla Model X

Price as tested: $110,700
Trouble spots: Body hardware, paint and trim, climate system

The electric-powered Model X is more showy than practical. It features rear doors that open up and out of the way, giving easy access to the rear seats. But these massive doors take their time to open and close. The huge windshield extends up and over the front-seat occupants, making the cabin feel airy and futuristic. Buyers can opt for five-, six-, or seven-passenger seating configurations, but unlike every other SUV, the second row doesn’t fold if you have the two captain’s chairs, which compromises utility. Like the S, the Model X is very quick and handles well. Ride comfort and noise isolation aren’t as good as in the S, however. The 90-kWh version we tested had a realistic 230-mile range.

See the complete Tesla Model X road test.