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Consumer Reports published its Reliability Survey today. The report saw many brands, including some with a strong reputation for reliability, fall in the ranking. Some of the brands that saw the largest or most surprising drops are: Acura and Cadillac (both dropping seven spots to 18th and 25th place respectively), and Honda (dropping 4 spots to 8th place).

At the other end of the spectrum were a few brands that saw a nice rise in the ranking. Audi is now in the top three brands with a rise of two spots since last year. Subaru rose two spots to break the top five this year, and Kia jumped four spots from 10th to 6th place.

So how did Infiniti do?

Unfortunately, not so well. :( Unlike its mainstream partner brand Nissan, which rose one spot to 15th place, Infiniti dropped four spots to 24th place. That puts Infiniti in the bottom 5 of the survey, ahead of only Cadillac, Ram, Jeep and Fiat. With those brands in descending order; Fiat in last place. Infiniti largely suffered because of its InTouch infotainment system. Common problems with the infotainment system include system lockups and screen freezes. Repairs often require replacement parts to fix, making them quite inconvenient.

Here is the full list of all 28 brands ranked in the Consumer Reports Reliability Survey:

 

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Reliability Ratings

I do not trust Consumer's Reports' auto reliability ratings. I have been very suspicious of those ratings for years. For example, I don't think they survey enough car owners to make the ratings valid. You have to subscribe to their magazine to rate a car on reliability, so their surveys are certainly not random. By using volunteers who subscribe to their magazine instead of a random survey, CR is definitely not using accepted scientific research methodology in determining its reliability scores. Even using their own subscribers, their response rate is very low (around 10 percent). Their surveys may understate or overstate the reliability of certain cars because the people who own them are not homogeneous. All car owners are not alike, and they can have personality traits that can directly influence their choice of vehicle, their vehicle expectations, and how they subsequently maintain their cars. CR does not control for this kind of systematic error in their surveys. In my opinion, there are far too many problems in CR's reliability survey methodology to take the ratings seriously. If you don't believe me, compare CR's reliability ratings to the J.D. Powers dependability ratings for vehicles, which are based on a scientifically selected random sample of vehicle owners, instead of the subscribers of a single magazine. And keep in mind that automobiles have improved substantially over the years to the point where the rankings among brands are far less meaningful than they were years ago. Sometimes the so-called differences in reliability reported are actually statistically insignificant. Be a critical thinker.
 

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I agree about CR....they are OK for washer and dryers, because they test them in the lab. But, on cars they don't have much data, especially on not popular models like Infiniti (poor dealership network in the USA).
 
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