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Deciphering the Consumer Reports’ reliability survey

Talking Cars podcast digs deep into the data

Published: October 27, 2014 12:45 PM

Jake, Tom, and Anita

With over one million vehicles spanning back a decade, Consumer Reports' annual reliability survey gives us plenty to talk about in episode 52 of “Talking Cars with Consumer Reports.” Auto Test Director Jake Fisher and engineer/host Tom Mutchler are joined by Anita Lam, who does the statistical heavy-lifting for the survey's analysis. We discuss many of the highlights from this deep pool of data.

Once again, most reliable brand status goes to Lexus and Toyota. For a change, amidst near-daily safety recalls, there's some good news for General Motors; They're the most reliable domestic automaker for the second year in a row. Ford rebuilds its reliability after a crop of extensive—and unreliable—redesigns. Fiat-Chrysler struggles with the problematic Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee.

Turns out not all Japanese brands are reliable. On the plus side, Mazda and Subaru do well with launching reliable cars. Nissan is in a deep slump, with the Altima proving unreliable in its second year and problems at Infiniti including the most troublesome infotainment system we've ever seen.

Audi makes the top five most reliable brand list, but Mercedes-Benz is pulled down by the new CLA and redesigned S-Class.

We wrap up by looking at the latest reliability info on the Tesla Model S, plus Tom's take on Halloween.


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