Following the release of Consumer Reports‘ most recent owner surveys, we’ve seen considerable shuffling in terms of what vehicles the organization recommends, as well as which vehicles rank as the least and most reliable. Ford ranked 18th among the 24 brands that were part of the annual survey, dropping four places from last year. Meanwhile, both the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator ranked among the top ten least reliable vehicles, while the Ford Bronco Sport and Ford Mustang Mach-E both lost their recommended status over quality issues, too. On the bright side, the Ford Escape Hybrid crossover, Lincoln Corsair luxury crossover, and Lincoln Nautilus were all added to CR‘s list of recommended vehicles – a list that the 2023 Ford Maverick is also now on, too – in both hybrid and regular ICE-powered guise.
Consumer Reports gathers its reliability data via online questionnaires that it sends to its members, which ask if those owners have experienced any problems with their vehicles in 17 different categories over the past year. These problem areas include such things as the vehicle’s engine, transmission, electrical system, body hardware, paint, and trim, as well as more specific issues related to those categories. CR then uses that date to come up with predicted reliability scores, and this year, that data covers 300,000 2020-2022 model year vehicles.
To come up with a predicted reliability score, Consumer Reports averages a vehicle’s overall reliability score for the most recent three model years, so long as no significant changes have taken place. To earn recommended status, a model must have a high enough overall score, which means they must perform well in CR testing, owner surveys, crash testing, and safety tests. This year, the organization notes that ongoing supply chains issues have made reliability more of a focus.
“With rising costs for parts and components, vehicle reliability is more important than ever,” said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports. “Our data show that it takes automakers time to work out problems, particularly on all-new models. That’s why we recommend consumers wait two to three years before buying an all-new model, and focus their search on vehicles that are consistently trouble-free year over year.”
Meanwhile, the Ford Maverick Hybrid has remained a mainstay on Kelley Blue Book’s most considered electrified vehicles list for months now as the compact pickup still faces tremendous demand, more than a year after it launched. While many 2022 model year orders were pushed back due to this high demand and short supply, 2023 Ford Maverick deliveries remain on track to begin later this month, as Ford Authority reported last week.