Turns out hybrid cars offer more than just a way to save money at the pump. They’re also the most reliable vehicle category of 2023, according to a recent report.
Consumer Reports, a nonprofit research and consumer advocacy organization, on Tuesday released rankings for the most reliable vehicle types, brands and models based on information from car owners on more than 300,000 vehicles. Predictions for 2023 models are based on overall reliability for the past three model years.
Hybrid cars and midsize and large sedans were found to be among the most reliable vehicles based on models from 2000 to 2022 and a few early 2023 model years, while electric vehicles and full-size pickups had the lowest average reliability scores.
“With today’s inflated car prices, people are keeping their vehicles longer than ever,” said Jake Fisher, senior director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports, in a release. “A hybrid can provide years of trouble-free miles, and they are a good defense against rising fuel prices.”
He said top-rated hybrids offer reliability, better fuel economy and lower maintenance costs without giving up acceleration or a ride that is quiet and comfortable.
Top-performing hybrids include the 2023 Lexus NX, the 2023 Ford Maverick and the 2023 Toyota Corolla.
More than 1 in every 3 prospective buyers (36%) are considering a hybrid as their next car or truck purchase, up from 29% in 2019, according to Consumer Reports.
Owning a hybrid means lower fuel costs. And that may be a deciding factor for some potential buyers facing pump prices that have soared from an average of $3.42 a gallon a year ago to $3.76 today.
What are the least reliable vehicles?
While this year’s rankings highlight hybrid vehicles as some of the most reliable options on the road, the same does not hold true for plug-ins.
Toyota Prius Prime and RAV4 Prime EVs have lower reliability scores than their hybrid counterparts, according to Consumer Reports, and the plug-in Chrysler Pacifica hybrid was found to be one of the least reliable vehicles based on the survey.
Only full-size pickups fared worse for reliability when compared with EVs. Consumer Reports notes that with so many new EV models on the market, it’s not surprising that the results are “subpar.”
Models from Tesla Motors, which leads the market in EV sales, continue to have issues with body hardware, steering and suspension, paint and trim and climate system. The Model 3 has average reliability, while other Telsa models – including the S, Y and X – are below average.
Fewer than half of the EV models Consumer Reports has sufficient data on had average or better predicted reliability, with owners reporting charging problems, battery problems and electric drive motor issues.
Mercedes-Benz was named Consumer Reports’ least reliable brand for the first time after owners reported electronics issues such as screens that went blank.
Pickup trucks continue to rank toward the bottom for reliability, with only seven of the 17 models in this year’s survey having average or better reliability scores.
What is the most reliable vehicle?
This year was a win for Asian automakers, with Japanese or Korean companies making up seven of the top 10 most reliable brands.
Once again, Lexus is a top-scoring brand in Consumer Report’s reliability survey. All Lexus models scored above average for reliability.
“Our data can help people choose a satisfying car that can go the distance and avoid headaches at the repair shop, which is more important than ever with high prices, low inventory and more vehicle choices,” Fisher said in a Tuesday release.
Skip the extra costs:Here’s how to avoid those sneaky car rental fees
What are the most reliable automotive brands?
What are the most reliable vehicle types?
1. Hybrid cars
2. Sports/sporty cars
3. Hybrid SUVs
4. Midsize/large cars
5. Compact pickups
6. Subcompact SUVs
7. Luxury compact SUVs
8. Luxury compact cars
9. Luxury midsize/large cars
10. Compact SUVs
11. Midsize two-row SUVs
12. Compact cars
14. Midsize pickups
15. Midsize three-row/large SUVs
16. Electric vehicles
16. Full-sized pickups
What are the least reliable car models?
Consumer Reports least reliable car models ranking includes cars with at least two model years of data. The reliability score is based on a scale of 1 to 100 and factors in issues like squeaky breaks and trouble with four-wheel-drive systems.
1. 2023 Jeep Wrangler (Reliability Score: 24)
2. 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE (Reliability Score: 23)
3. 2022 Jeep Gladiator (Reliability Score: 21)
4. 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500/GMC Sierra 1500 (Reliability Score: 19)
5. 2022 Chevrolet Bolt (Reliability Score: 17)
6. 2022 Ford Explorer (Reliability Score: 16)
7. 2022 Nissan Sentra (Reliability Score: 9)
8. 2022 Lincoln Aviator (Reliability Score: 8)
9. 2022 Hyundai Kona Electric (Reliability Score: 5)
10. 2022 Ford F-150 Hybrid (Reliability Score: 4)
What are the most reliable car models?
1. 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid (Reliability Score: 93)
2. 2023 Lexus GX (Reliability Score:91)
3. 2023 Mini Cooper (Reliability Score: 89)
4. 2022 Toyota Prius (Reliability Score: 89)
5. 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata (Reliability Score: 85)
6. 2023 Lincoln Corsair (Reliability Score: 82)
7. 2023 Toyota Corolla (Reliability Score: 81)
8. 2023 Subaru Crosstrek (Reliability Score: 80)
9. 2023 BMW 3 Series (Reliability Score: 80)
10. 2022 Toyota Prius Prime (Reliability Score: 77)
You can follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter @bailey_schulz and subscribe to our free Daily Money newsletter here for personal finance tips and business news every Monday through Friday.