EVs, pickups not as reliable as other vehicles, CR survey finds

Lexus, Toyota most reliable brands

With today’s stubbornly high auto prices and interest rates, buying a car, new or used, is a high-stakes financial decision, so you want one that’s reliable.

Consumer Reports’ exclusive car reliability report finds that, in general, electric vehicles and pickup trucks have room for improvement.

They surveyed hundreds of thousands of its members asking them what problems they’ve had with their 2020-23 vehicles in the past year.

“Everything from the engine to transmission issues, leaks, paint and trim problems,” Keith Barry with Consumer Reports said. “And with EVs growing in popularity, we ask electric car owners about battery and charging issues. And then we can crunch those numbers to calculate the predicted reliability of new and used cars, almost every car on the market.”

Electric vehicles, growing in popularity, didn’t exactly shine.

Members experienced 79% more problems with their EVs compared to gas-powered cars. EV trouble spots included issues with charging, electric motors, and battery problems.

“Our members are reporting the same issues with most EVs as they are with vehicles that have been designed brand new from the ground up, whether they’re gas or electric. And EVs are about the newest technology out there,” Barry said. “And it’s taking a while, even for established carmakers to work through those growing pains.”

But automakers seem to have worked out the growing pains for hybrid vehicles.

CR’s members reported their hybrids have 26 percent fewer problems on average than a gas-only car. However, plug-in hybrids were not nearly as reliable as more established integrated gas-electric hybrids.

Pickups may rule the road in Texas, but not when it comes to reliability, according to the report. Pickups have been at the bottom of CR’s rankings for seven of the past eight years. Electric trucks ranked last this year.

Sedans, along with hatchbacks and wagons, remained the most reliable vehicle types.

As for the most reliable brands, Toyota took the top spots, followed by Mini, Acura, Honda, and Subaru.

Auto brands at the bottom of the reliability report were Rivian, Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler.


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About the Author

Marilyn Moritz is an award-winning journalist dedicated to digging up information that can make people’s lives a little bit better. As KSAT’S 12 On Your Side Consumer reporter, she focuses on exposing scams and dangerous products and helping people save money.

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