Car Reliability Rating

The first reliability measurement based on the cost, frequency, and severity of actual repairs.

Learn about your vehicle's reliability

RepairPal's 2019 Reliability Rating Leaders

Honda and Acura lead RepairPal's 2019 Reliability Rating with 4 out of the top 10 most reliable vehicles.
In 2017, RepairPal created the first ever Reliability Rating based on actual vehicle repairs. Updated annually, the 2019 RepairPal Reliability Rating has analyzed millions of repair orders from over 2,000 auto shops across the US, measuring dependability by evaluating the cost, frequency and severity of repairs.
While other reliability scores are based on subjective results from consumer surveys, RepairPal's Reliability Rating uses real-world data to help consumers seek out the best car for them.

Most Reliable Car Brands

Asian automakers continued to rack up top reliability ratings with Honda, Acura, Kia, Hyundai and Mazda forming the top five.
  1. Honda claimed the title of most reliable brand, with the HR-V, Fit, Civic and Accord all in the top 20 most reliable cars overall.
  2. Acura, the luxury division of Honda, was a close second thanks to every one of its models scoring an Excellent rating, with the TLX and ILX in the top 10 overall.
  3. Kia, Hyundai and Mazda rounded out the top five, with Kia moving down from the No. 1 spot despite all of its models maintaining an Excellent rating.
  4. Toyota dropped out of the top 5 to seventh place, however had strong showings with the Yaris dropping only slightly from first to third overall, and the Corolla and Prius C jumping into the top 10.
  5. Two models from the new and growing subcompact SUV segment topped the rankings, with the Honda HR-V first and the Mazda CX-3 second overall. The Porsche Panamera continued to be the least reliable car for the second year running.
Domestic and European manufacturers rated behind Asian brands. Chrysler and Buick scored highest among domestic brands, while Volkswagen, Volvo and Fiat were the only European manufacturers to earn an Above Average ranking or higher.

Reliability Rating Breakdown For All Cars

We looked at the data to find the average yearly repair cost, as well as the frequency and severity of repairs, for all vehicles. Here's what we found.

Cost

The average annual repair cost for all cars is $652 per year. This includes both major scheduled maintenance and unscheduled repairs.
$652
inexpensive
expensive

Frequency

The average car visits a repair shop approximately once every two years for a major unscheduled repair, or 0.4 times per year. The best cars average two to three years before needing a major repair, while some models averaged more than one visit per year.
0.39
not often
very often

Severity

On average, across all models, 12% of repairs are considered severe. By analyzing the cost and frequency of major repairs, we can determine the probability of a repair being a major issue.
12%
not urgent
urgent

Honda and Acura Top Most Reliable Cars

These eight major car makes achieved a Reliability Rating of 4 or higher:
1.
Honda
Annual Repair Cost
$428
Annual Repair Cost
$501
3.
Kia
$474
$468
$462
$551
$441
$500
Honda and Acura moved up to take the top two spots in RepairPal's 2018 Reliability Rating, with 4 cars in the top 10 including the No. 1 ranked Honda HR-V and No. 5 ranked Acura TLX.
Along with the HR-V, Honda had 4 more of its popular models in the top 30 overall with Excellent ratings, including the Fit, Civic, Accord and CR-V. Across the model line, Honda’s strong results were driven by very low annual repair costs.
Along with the TLX, Acura also scored high with the ILX and RDX in the top 30 overall. Acura’s strong results were driven by a very low percentage chance of a severe repair.
Kia and Hyundai slipped to No. 3 and No. 4 overall, despite retaining very strong figures for low repair frequency. Kia had 3 popular models in the top 30 with Excellent ratings, including the Soul, Rio and Forte. Its two most popular models, the Optima and Sorento, also retained Excellent ratings in the top 100.
Mazda rounded out the top 5, with its CX-3 gaining the second highest score overall. Mazda’s performance was also bolstered by the popular CX-5 at No. 21 overall, and the Mazda3 and Mazda6 also in the top 50.
Lexus and Toyota retained their spots in the top 10, coming in at No. 6 and No. 7 respectively. Collectively they had 5 models in the top 10, including the CT200 and ES300 for Lexus, and the Yaris, Corolla and Prius C for Toyota.
Asian manufacturers account for nine of the 10 most reliable car brands, with Chrysler rated the most reliable domestic brand at 10th place. The weighted average reliability of Asian brands rated Excellent at 4.0 compared to 3.5 (Above Average) for domestic and 3.0 (Average) for European brands.
While the overall European rating was hampered by the number of luxury brands, domestic brands ranked lower due to their number of large trucks. Luxury cars and large trucks are often more expensive to maintain.
Pickup trucks performed poorly due to high repair costs and a high percentage of severe jobs, although low in visit frequency. This is likely due to pickup trucks seeing high mileage and workload, but having their owners do most of their own work.
Brands such as Chrysler, Buick, Fiat and Volkswagen rated higher than truck-oriented brands like Ford and Ram, or luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche.

What is the RepairPal Reliability Rating?

The Reliability Rating by RepairPal is a measurement of vehicle dependability based on the cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance. RepairPal combines an extensive proprietary database including millions of vehicle repair invoices with additional automotive statistics and predictive data science to develop the most genuine reliability metric in the industry. Cars included in the Reliability Rating cover 2010-2017 model year vehicles with controls in place to ensure statistical confidence.
The Reliability Rating allows you to research dependability and ownership costs related to unscheduled repairs and maintenance in addition to comparing reliability factors against other vehicles and industry averages.
RepairPal surveyed automotive buyers to understand how they think about reliability during the purchase process. While parents are most concerned with the safety of their children, other consumers focused on the cost of repairs as the critical component of reliability. While costs of ownership such as car payment, insurance, and gas can be easily predicted, it is much harder to anticipate out-of-pocket costs associated with repair and maintenance. Cost is a major factor in our Reliability Rating, and top brands like Honda, Hyundai, and Kia scored well due to their lower costs of ownership. In addition to cost, other components included within the final Reliability Rating include frequency and severity of repairs.

Cost

The average total annual cost for unscheduled repairs and maintenance across all model years of a vehicle. Higher average cost alone does not necessarily mean a vehicle is less reliable. For example, parts and labor for your vehicle may be expensive, especially if it is a European luxury car, but if severe issues and annual average visits to the shop are low, that's a good indicator of a reliable car.

Frequency

The average number of times the vehicle is brought into the shop for unscheduled repairs and maintenance in a single year. This metric is calculated by tracking millions of unique vehicles over multiple years to determine an average number of visits per year for each make and model. Controls were included to omit small routine visits to shops such as for oil changes.

Severity

The severity component to reliability measures the probability that a repair will be a major issue. An issue is considered severe if a repair costs three-times the average annual repair cost for all models, an amount deemed prohibitively expensive given the unscheduled nature of the repair. This threshold is higher for premium and luxury brands, which have higher labor rates and parts costs.

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