Ford Authority

Lincoln Ranked Dead Last In Consumer Reports’ Annual Reliability Report

Several substantial redesigns and other ongoing quality issues contributed to a poor showing for Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln luxury brand in the latest automotive surveys conduced by Consumer Reports. The data pushed Lincoln to last place in the publication’s ranking of 26 automotive brands. The drop follows a similar downward trend for Ford-branded vehicles, which often share the same parts and components as their upmarket counterparts.

As an all-new product sitting on a brand new vehicle architecture, the 2020 Lincoln Aviator faced an uphill battle in avoiding any first-year quality issues. Unfortunately, a troubled launch appears to have at least been partially responsible for the luxury crossover losing that fight. According to Consumer Reports, owners are having issues with its instrument cluster and infotainment systems, plus various drive system failures and problems with keyless entry.

The Aviator rides on the Ford CD6 platform along with the Ford Explorer, which also experienced similar quality issues.

Reliability woes also impacted the 2020 Lincoln Corsair, and owners reported issues with various in-vehicle features, such as the rain-sensing wipers. Like the Aviator, the Corsair was all-new for 2020. It utilizes the Ford C2 platform and is closely related to the similarly troubled Ford Escape.

If that wasn’t enough, quality stumbles also affected the Lincoln Nautilus, a vehicle that’s not that new. The mid-sized crossover rests on mechanicals dating back to the 2016 model year, when it was introduced as the second-generation MKX. That said, it received a substantial refresh in 2019, which is when it was renamed to Nautilus. The updates may be why owners reported issues with the transmission. The Nautilus rides on the Ford CD4 platform shared with the Ford Edge.

This rather troubling news comes at a time when Lincoln is starting to attract a younger customer base and is looking to convert more buyers to the brand. If it aims to continue doing that, then a renewed focus on quality certainly wouldn’t hurt. Fortunately, Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Farley recently stated that reduced warranty costs are a priority for the automaker, so hopefully the situation is a temporary one.

We’ll have more things to share about Lincoln in the future, so subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Lincoln news and 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Ed owns a 1986 Ford Taurus LX, and he routinely daydreams about buying another one, a fantasy that may someday become a reality.

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  1. Mark L Bedel

    Mmm, sounds like Ford has to get to the bottom of this…? Doesn’t it?

    1. Barry Lynn Watson

      Drove a aviator small cramped inside I believe Ford has to get rid of some designers and start anew

  2. Justin L.

    This is what happens when your former CEO was a furniture salesman, Jim will turn it around quickly I’m sure.

  3. GaryB

    Any issues with the 2020 ranger? I’m wondering what’s going to be wrong with the reborn bronco. It’s based and shares the 2.3 with the ranger so I’m expecting the same troubles will affect both

    1. George Fantacone

      I have a 2020 Ranger Lariat fully optioned, even the off road package. Zero problems with it. Quiet and tons of power. The B/O sound system is unbelievable too. I drive it about 1000 miles a week and would definitely get another. First time not getting an F 150, wasn’t sure I would be happy going smaller but plenty of room.I have the crew cab with 5.5 foot bed.

  4. Jorge Esquinca

    This is what happens when a luxury car company stops to be serious. Making Lincoln a pure SUV/Crossover company is pure nonsense. Absolutely no luxury car brand in the world does that, specially when not everybody likes SUV´s or Crossovers, is willing to buy one or, particularly in the luxury car segment, even consider an SUV or a Crossover as a luxury vehicle. Lincoln needs a serious sedan flagship capable to compete with the likes of MB, Audi, BMW, Lexus, Jaguar, Tesla or the future Lucid among others. Even Cadillac is considering the Celestiq and keeps two sedans in its lineup. The worst of this result, is that Lincoln is really capable to be serious and competitive if it only decides to go all the way.

  5. Myron H Scharkey

    I have 2016 Lincoln MKT Ecoboost, 26K miles, The led navigation radio Screen went black and goofy, Ford dealer charged $650b for Recondition unit and 350 for labor. Ford should do warranty
    as they been having problems since 2013 with Navigation GPS units. The car as an former Master ASE mechanic handels , Rides great, very quiet, good power but resale is very low UGH.

    1. Bob Byrnes

      The wife’s terrain has the same issues,
      I wonder how GMC is flying under the radar on this

  6. Roy Chile’s

    This is what happens when you put hobbies before work Jim Farley is to busy at the race track instead of work on Quality Issues, Customers Service, and New Models to better the Lincoln Brand

    1. Rod Ferguson

      I agree wholeheartedly with what your saying Lincoln like Chysler and Buick have become soccer mom brands in stead of luxury cars ones . Yes of course you can have SUV’S and Crossovers in your line up BUT the ENTIRE lineup with SUV’s and Crossovers !!??. Yes. . It’s nonsense 😭😂😑 .
      Lincoln needed a REAL Flagship sedan a rear-wheel-drive Continental WTH existing V8 power or twin Turbo V6 / hybrid power and styling with suicide doors as standard options a mustang derived Mark X with the same type of power options… In other words EXCITING sedans and coupes type of cars that made The Lincoln brand what it was and what it should be .You must take risks in order to be distinctive and unique these are the attributes of what a luxury CAR brand SHOULD stand for…

  7. Materialman

    Sounds like Ford still doesn’t understand, this just cannot happen if they are truly serious about saving Lincoln. At that price point, no quality, no sale.

  8. KM

    Sadly, this can’t come as a surprise to anyone except the owners who bought these vehicles. These vehicles should be world class and be the envy of all of their competitors. Instead they’re going to be dismissed as a joke. Ford’s track record for cutting corners on the development process and falling victim to purchasing agents who save a penny to ultimately create a $100 (or more) warrant repair bill goes back decades . And “cutting warranty costs” doesn’t mean there’s going to be an improvement in the product. It just means Ford is going to squeeze the dealers on paying for warranty claims.

  9. Jason

    This isn’t just an issue through ford. Every brand of vehicle on the market today, has issues. Sounds like it’s time to stop the focus on “More Power!” and focus on why, the new advancements in the auto industry is causing more problems than they did when it was more about mechanics, than technology.

  10. Jason

    This is where Toyota gets it right. They drop in rankings for a brand new release and then doesn’t do an “all new” for like 20 years to keep quality high. Ford seems to like to release an “all new every 5 to 8 years.

    Regardless all the “all news” killed ford this year for quality. It might have some hangover in 21, but by 22 as long as they don’t clean sheet things the quality should be toward the top again.

  11. Jeremiah DiBlasio

    So very sad considering my town car is one of the most dependable v8’s to have ever been made…

  12. George Fantacone

    I have a 2020 Corsair Reserve with 2.3 and zero issues. Also have a 2020 Ranger Lariat and 2.3. No issues at all with this truck either. Both vehicles have every option available. Not one thing has gone wrong. Been buying Fords and Lincolns my whole life. The latest generation is definitely the best so far.

  13. George Fantacone

    I have a 2020 Ranger Lariat fully optioned, even the off road package. Zero problems with it. Quiet and tons of power. The B/O sound system is unbelievable too. I drive it about 1000 miles a week and would definitely get another. First time not getting an F 150, wasn’t sure I would be happy going smaller but plenty of room.I have the crew cab with 5.5 foot bed.

    1. G M

      Ford can build their bread & butter vehicles. They go cheap on the Lincoln brand by trying to make them cost effective using standard Ford components. The Lincoln products come off the same production line as their Ford counterpart but it seems the Lincoln products have more quality issues. Toyota can build vehicles for the mainstream market and the Premium market with minimum issues if any at all. Ford just can’t.


    No surprise here, neglecting this brand for so many years has made this brand the least reliable in the auto industry. Farley’s goal of reducing warranty costs won’t happen any time soon.

  15. Max

    I have worked as a service technician at a Ford dealership for 16 years and then a Lincoln dealership for 14 years now. All I do anymore are recalls and warranty work, especially the SYNC apim issues and now a camera recall. Door latch recall rechecks because some morons didn’t do them right or not all. So many electronic modules, the Avaitor has about 30 or more. Time standards are so low its impossible to break even. Time to get out before the ship sinks.

  16. PCruise

    There was a reason I quit buying from that grocery check out aisle rag.
    I own an MKX and a MKZ. Both are very ALIVE and FIRST.

  17. Roger

    I have Ford Explorer XLT 2.3L turbo . I am very pleased with this car, more power than a V-6 especially torque ! My car was produced in Jan 2020 . I am a very aggressive driver and car handles well and controls are intuitive!
    I read about quality issues and wonder what they’re talking about! Before this Explorer I had a Mustang GT w/6-speed and performance pack! Had three years and no warranty visits ! My daughter has a new Lincoln MKX.. no problems…. my Grand daughter has a new Lincoln Navigator… same thing …no problems!!?

  18. Texan78730

    Do you mean lower than Range Rover? Hard to believe.

  19. David Derrick

    I’m guessing Ford is going to leave the consumer hanging for the crappy transmission in the 2019 Nautilus with the 2.7. Mine has right at 8k miles and has done the hard shifting from P-D and R-D. Spoke to the dealer and was told to bring it in and they would reprogram the trans. From all that I have read this is not a fix and sometimes even makes it worse. I’m surprised there has not been a class action law suit by now.

  20. Johnny

    Ford has had the opportunity to pick up styling cues that made Lincoln great in the past but instead have decided to cheapen their brands over time with stupid cheap looking body designs. I can’t stand the cheap stretched pointy headlight design they are putting on their suv, work and economy vehicles…makes them look like a cheap asian brand which impacts the people’s perception of Ford and now it looks like they have added them to the front of the aviator..let’s just say I’m not surprised… Aside from the mustang and trucks ford products have become too bland and not unique at all and people have noticed and numbed themselves to the existence of a brand that they once were proud of that doesn’t care about iconic styling anymore nor cares about being a leader in the automotive industry. Ford should care about styling for every single one of their vehicles regardless of its class because that’s what it will take for them to rebrand themselves properly. Ford has become a follower brand now aside from the Mustang and no one is excited really about most of their products…no enthusiastic styling

    When the new continental came out Lincoln said in their own words that they wanted the car to have a more contemporary look rather then producing what the people truly want which is a commanding flashy beautiful luxury look which was more present in the early 80’s and before…and btw the wheels on the continental look stupid and do not match well…

    If you want to know the truth Rolls Royce designs their vehicles to look like what a modern Lincoln should look like…

  21. G M

    Ford needs to get out of the Luxury vehicle market. They have tried to rectify issues with various Lincoln models but have not made enough progress. The Navigator is an OK SUV, but not enough to command a $90K + price. The Aviator is a nicer Explorer but with issues, The Nautilus and Corsair also have issues. Those vehicles make up the entire product line up for Lincoln and the “Lincoln Concierge” is clueless as to how to help their owners. Rather than look at GM’s Cadillac with envy and trying to mimic their success, Ford needs to look at Lexus and how Toyota has built a premium brand without quality issues like those that newer model Lincoln owners are having to put up with….or as I said above, they just need to cede the Luxury market to manufacturers that know how to build premium vehicles.

  22. RG

    The Lincoln build quality is substandard! Fit and finish are not at par with competitors. Nagging little issues become an annoyance such as lane-keeping system not functioning, brake callipers that grind, gaps in body panels that exceed accepted quality standards for a supposed luxury model. Get with it or get out of it! I have been a loyal Ford customer for 50 years but am quickly becoming enticed by the competition.


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