No. 1 Toyota, which includes Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands, had a very low incident rating (0.477) and low cost ranking.
- Toyota had 18 vehicles in the top 100, led by the 2010 Corolla. Other top-ranking Toyota vehicles include the 2008 Toyota Yaris (no. 2), 2009 Toyota Camry (no. 13), 2007 Toyota 4Runner (no. 18) and the 2009 Toyota Matrix (no. 25). Toyota has long been known for making reliable, solid compact cars and sedans, but the addition of the Matrix and Yaris to the top 100 list show the brand is making a mark in the crossover/compact SUV category.
- Toyota achieves the no. 1 ranking despite recent recalls such as the unintended acceleration problem, which was ruled by the DOT to be a sticky gas pedal, unrelated to the vehicles’ computer. Toyota’s failure to take responsibility early and get in front of the issue was the problem. Not the vehicle.
Hyundai’s No. 2 ranking is attributable to the lowest average repair costs of any manufacturer and low Sonata and Santa Fe model scores, each appearing twice on the top 100 list: 2010 Sonata (no. 8), 2011 Santa Fe (no. 14), 2009 Sonata (no. 49) and 2009 Santa Fe (no. 74). Hyundai’s rise to the top tier of manufacturers can really be traced back to their engineering. Their vehicles are designed with Service and maintenance taken into consideration. This leads to lower average repair costs and greatly helps their scoring.
- New to the top 100 list this year is the Genesis luxury sedan, whose 2010 model landed at no. 36.
- While its CarMD Index scores continue to improve, Hyundai is still outranked by Toyota this year because Toyota has a lower percentage of incidents per number of vehicles on the road.
BMW debuted on the CarMD Manufacturer and Vehicle reliability rankings this year as the no. 3-ranked manufacturer. Previously, BMW did not meet CarMD’s minimum requirement for vehicle population, but with the sales growth of Mini, the manufacturer now qualifies. BMW includes Mini in its calculations.
- Top-ranked BMWs include the 2008 5 Series (no. 65), 2008 3 Series (no. 78) and 2007 5 Series (no. 86).
- The 2008 Mini Cooper ranks no. 60 on the CarMD top 100.
No. 4 ranked Honda’s overall manufacturer Index ranking fell from no. 3 to 4 due to a slightly higher score of 0.98.
- Honda is led by the 2009 Pilot, which ranks no. 4 in the top 100 vehicles, as well as no. 1 in the full-sized SUV category. Over the past two years, the Pilot has earned solid scores and led the SUV category.
- Poor scores on the 2003 and 2004 Odyssey, which are in the bottom 10th percent of all vehicles ranked by CarMD, hurt Honda’s ranking the most. But newer Odyssey vans are much improved with the 2010 Honda Odyssey ranked no. 33 overall and the second best ranked vehicle in the Minivan category.
Ranked no. 5 Volkswagen enters the top five this year with an overall CarMD Index score of 0.99.
- VW improved its overall Index score rating from 1.38 and moved four spots up from no. 9 in 2011.
- VW is led by the Jetta, which was listed four times in the top 100, including 2010 (no. 15); 2008 (no. 38); 2007 (no. 43) and the 2009 Jetta (no. 45). This enduring 6th generation model dates back to 1979 – before on-board computers were standard on vehicles.
- VW includes luxury brand Audi in its rating. The 2008 Audi A4 missed the top 100 list by a slim margin, coming in at no. 104.
No. 6-ranked Nissan moves up from last year’s no. 7 spot with an overall score of 1.00.
- Nissan includes Infiniti, which significantly helped Nissan’s overall Index score and ranking. The G35 appears three times in the top 100 and the 2006 G35 earned a spot as the no. 3 ranked luxury vehicle.
- The top-ranked Nissan is the 2007 Versa (no. 41) thanks to a very low average repair cost.
Kia ranked no. 7 with a score of 1.04, and moved up from no. 8 in 2011.
- Kia’s average repair cost is up from $257.73 in 2011 to $320.08 in 2012, but repair incidences remain unchanged.
- Kia now has two vehicles in the top 100, including the 2011 Kia Sorento (no. 17) and the 2009 Rio (no. 76). The Kia Sorento has seen vast improvements in its rating since first-generation. For instance, the 2003 Kia Sorento ranks in the no. 1112 spot, while its second-generation counterpart is in the top 20.
No. 8-ranked GM earns an overall index score of 1.12 and falls from its no. 5 spot in the top five.
- GM’s decline in ranking is due in large part to an 18% increase in average repair costs.
- Bright spots are the 2011 Chevrolet Impala, which ranks no. 9 among most reliable vehicles on the road today, and the 2010 Chevrolet Malibu at no. 11.
- Buick continues to help its GM parent brand with the 2007 LaCrosse ranked in the top 100 at no. 88.
Ford, along with Honda and GM, declined in overall CarMD Index score and rating, dropping from no. 4 in 2011 to no. 9.
- Ford’s overall score and ranking were hurt by older model minivans such as the 2002 Ford Windstar, which ranks among the bottom 1% of all vehicles on the road. But Ford strengths in SUVs swept the entire category
- The 2008 Taurus broke through in both rankings, taking the no. 1 in the Sedan category and no. 2 overall.
Chrysler improved its overall index rating score from 1.97 to 1.23, holding steady at no. 10.
- Chrysler saw a slight increase in average repair incidents and costs since 2011, but introduced three vehicles to the top 100 list: 2010 Town + Country (no. 21), 2010 300 (no. 48) and the 2009 Town + Country (no. 67).
No.1-ranked manufacturer Toyota accounts for two of the top 10 ranked vehicles model year 2002 to 2012 and 18 of the top 100 vehicles (16 Toyota-branded vehicles and 2 Lexus vehicles).
- The no. 1 ranked 2010 Toyota Corolla, had the lowest combined repair incidents and lowest average repair costs per number of registered vehicles, and the best CarMD Index rating of 0.80.
– It should be noted; however, that the no.1-ranked vehicle on the 2011 Index was the 2009 Toyota Corolla, which has fallen off the top 100 list due to a recent increase in average repair cost from only $45.84 in 2011 to $232.50.
- Other top-ranking Toyota vehicles include the 2009 Toyota Camry (no. 13) and the 2007 Toyota 4Runner (no. 18).
- The top-ranked Lexus vehicles are the 2007 Lexus ES350 (no. 7 overall and no. 1 among luxury vehicles) and the 2005 ES330 (no. 31 overall and no. 2 in the luxury category).
- Scion fell short of making the top 100 list with the highest ranking Scion being the 2004 xB, which ranked no. 204.
Ford has 15 vehicles in the top 100; including one in the top 10 (Ford had 13 vehicles in the top 100 in 2011).
- Ford is led by the no. 2-ranked 2008 Ford Taurus, which has a very low average repair cost of $141.17 per incident.
- The Ford Escape appears twice on the top 100 list, including the 2008 Escape (no. 23) and 2010 Escape (no. 26).
- Other top-ranking Ford vehicles include the 2008 Expedition (no. 24); and the 2008 and 2007 Edge that rank no. 34 and no. 35 respectively.
- Additionally, Ford took the top three spots among the CarMD list of top trucks, led by the 2008 Ranger, 2009 F150 and 2008 F150.
Subaru has 11 vehicles in the top 100, including two in the top 10. The brand also earned all three of the top-ranked vehicles in the Wagon/Crossover SUV category.
- The 2010 Subaru Forester ranked no. 6 and the 2010 Outback ranked no. 10.
- Subaru’s vehicles stood out for longevity; its 2003 Legacy and 2006 Outback are among the older vehicles in the top 100. With Subaru owners holding onto their vehicles longer than most, this explains why the most common repair on Subaru vehicles is “Replace Catalytic Converter” – a part that fails only after extensive wear and tear.
Chevrolet ranks fourth among manufacturers with the most vehicles in the top 100 with nine.
- Its 2011 Chevrolet Impala ranks no. 9 among most reliable vehicles.
- 2010 was a good year for Chevrolet, as six of the top 100 vehicles are model year 2010 Chevy vehicles: Malibu (no. 11), Cobalt (no. 27), Traverse (no. 53), Equinox (no. 63), Camaro (no. 64) and Silverado (no. 92).
Rounding out the brands with the most vehicles in the top 100 is Honda with six overall.
- In 2011, Honda had four vehicles in the top 10. However, this year, Honda had only two of the top 10: the 2009 Pilot (no. 4 overall and no. 1 in the Full-Sized SUV category) and 2009 Accord (no. 5 overall and no. 2 in the Sedan category).
- Honda was hurt by its Acura brand, which did not have any vehicles listed in the top 100. The highest ranking Acura was the 2006 TSX (no. 159).
- Older-model vehicles that had both a high number of problems and high repair costs hurt Honda’s 2012 ranking. These include the 2003 and 2004 Odyssey as well as the 2003 Civic and 2002 CR-V, all of which fall in the bottom 5% of vehicles on the road today.