There’s no mincing words here: these are the least-reliable car brands in America, at least according to Consumer Reports.
Some of these shouldn’t be too surprising if you’ve already read the least reliable 2020 cars list: even one model can bring down a marque’s overall score. All in all, Consumer Reports ranked 30 of the car manufacturers available in the US, with the following 10 representing the bottom third.
Of these marques, exactly half are domestic names. Germany is next in line with a pair of brands, with a single showing from Italy, Japan, and Sweden rounding the list out.
It isn’t all doom and gloom: don’t miss the most reliable cars—and the most reliable car brands—of 2020 too!
Let’s get started, with a manufacturer at the lux end of the spectrum…
The three-pointed star dropped a single spot from the previous year, but that was enough for it to kick off the lowest third of the 2020 list. According to CR, most of Mercedes’ lineup earned an “Average Reliability” rating, but that just wasn’t enough.
SEE ALSO: 2020 Audi A6 vs 2019 Mercedes-Benz E450
Leading the Silver Arrow pack is the diminutive GLA soft-roader; least reliable is the brand’s flagship S-Class.
General Motors’ truck-focused brand did not have a strong year with the Consumer Reports community. No less than six GMC models were scored for 2020, but when one of those is nothing less than the least-reliable model of the year—the GMC Canyon pickup—the whole team slides down the rankings.
SEE ALSO: 2019 GMC Sierra AT4 Review
Looking for the most reliable model in the GMC lineup? Owners reported the least issues with the Yukon.
Tesla remains an under-performer in CR’s reliability reports—though to its credit, it’s on an upward trajectory, moving up four spots versus 12 months ago. The Model X, with its troublesome falcon doors, remains the least reliable model in the EV lineup, with the mass-market Model 3 standing tall as the most reliable. That bodes well for the upcoming Model Y, which shares much of its platform with the 3.
The brand that is almost single-handedly keeping the station wagon alive (and cool) in America moved up two spots for 2020. That still puts Volvo at a low 24th, largely thanks to the “Below Average” ratings for its big XC90 and S90 models.
On the plus side for the Swedish brand, its newest crossover, the fresh XC40, has already scored an “Above Average”.
A GM brand shows up for the second time here, in 25th. (Spoiler alert: there’s still one more to go too.) Chevrolet has far and away the largest portfolio of models of the bottom 10 brands, making it harder for the brand to balance out three of the least reliable models on the market (the Colorado, Camaro, and Traverse).
Jeep recently gave the Wrangler a refresh, which didn’t help the brand, as it dropped a further three slots from last year. The Wrangler remains the seven-slotted-grille brand’s least reliable model; not just that, only the Chevrolet Camaro and Colorado rated lower than it on the individual model list.
The venerable Grand Cherokee locked down the highest reliability score for the brand.
Ouch. Volkswagen dropped a huge nine slots for 2020—the biggest slide down of the year, tied with the next manufacturer on this list. Its two crossovers, the Tiguan and Atlas, dragged the Peoples’ Car brand down. According to Consumer Reports, persistent problems with in-car electronics and power equipment hurt the two models. That and emissions/fuel systems. In a Volkswagen. Stop us if you’ve heard that before…
Sporty hatch fans can take solace in knowing the GTI was VW’s most reliable model this year.
Acura tied VW this year in terms of spots dropped, sinking by nine to end up in 28th. It too suffered from continued problems with its crossovers—in this case, the RDX and MDX. Both garnered “Well Below Average” reliability scores.
It’s a tough fall for Honda’s luxury brand. The big H itself landed in 12th position for 2020.
02. Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo just can’t catch a break. The Giulia was the fourth-least reliable single model in 2020. Its high-riding sibling, the Stelvio crossover, managed 42/100 versus 13, enough to land it mid-pack in the tough—but hot-selling—compact crossover segment. That’s good, right?
Unfortunately for FCA, the Stelvio is bucking the industry trend by not selling more than the more traditionally-shaped Giulia. Oof.
GM’s luxury brand brings up the rear of the 2020 Consumer Reports Auto Reliability Survey. A recent explosion of crossovers hasn’t helped Cadillac: the compact XT4 and larger XT6 both have predicted reliability scores of just 1/5. The midsize XT5 helps, but only a bit: its 37/100 in-depth reliability score is only enough for 10th in its class.