With the release of Consumer Reports‘ most recent owner survey, Ford has enjoyed mixed results in a variety of areas. On the positive side of the equation, the 2023 Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair were added to the consumer organization’s list of recommended vehicles, while the latter was also named as one of the top 10 most reliable vehicles. However, the Ford Bronco Sport and Ford Mustang Mach-E both lost their recommended status over quality concerns, and in terms of brands, Ford ranked a mere 18th among 24 entities, dropping four places from last year, while Lincoln finished 10th – an improvement of 14 spots. Now, there’s more bad news for The Blue Oval, as the Ford Explorer has once again ranked as one of the top 10 least reliable vehicles, continuing a trend that began in 2021 and repeated in 2022.
Consumer Reports came up with its list of the top 10 most and least reliable vehicles using data from its owner survey, which contains information on over 300,000 vehicles. The organization takes a look at 17 different common problem areas including everything from powertrains to interior quality, weighs the severity of each problem, and then creates a predicted reliability score ranging from 1 to 100. Otherwise, the only stipulation is that a model must have at least two model years of availability to qualify for the list.
When the scores were tabulated, the Ford Explorer finished with a predicted reliability score of just 16 out of 100, with the main trouble spots being its transmission, power equipment, body hardware, steering, suspension, in-car electronics, noises, and leaks. The Explorer ranks behind every other vehicle in its class – save for the Kia Sorento and Nissan Pathfinder, which both recorded reliability scores of 5 out of 100.
Making matters worse, predicted reliability hasn’t improved by much for the Ford Explorer over the past three model years, with both 2020 and 2021 recording the worst possible overall reliability metric. For the 2022 model year, things improved slightly, but the long-running crossover still trails most of its competition by a significant margin.