Least Reliable Car Brands for 2014

A car is one of the biggest purchases a person will make and the last thing a car owner wants is to pay extra over the life of the car because of problems and repairs.

A car is one of the biggest purchases a person will make, and with that much money at stake the last thing a car owner wants is to pay extra over the life of the car because of problems and repairs.

Consumer Reports recently released its 2013 Annual Auto Survey naming the most and least reliable car brands for the next year.

“Reliability Ratings show you how well vehicles have held up compared with competitive models, and the odds that you could be inconvenienced by problems and repairs,” according to Consumer Reports.

To rank new cars, Consumer Reports looks at the newest three model years, providing there was no significant redesign, and predicts based on manufacturer’s track record and the model’s history.

A total of 28 car brands were ranked and those in the bottom and top in last year’s list mostly stayed there, according to the rankings. Although, one car in the bottom 10 (ranked 25) fell 14 spots from number 11 last year.

Last year’s number one brand, Scion, fell just out of the top 10, letting Lexus take the top spot with its ES 300h hybrid (starting MSRP of $39,350) declared the brand’s best model.

The 10 least reliable car brands are a mix of foreign and domestic and for many in-car electronics were an issue and cause for complaints. While Consumer Reports asks about 17 problems areas, electronics generated the most complaints.

Photos, mileage and MSRP from cars.com

10. Ram

Rank change from 2013: +6

Best model: 1500 (V8 four-wheel-drive)

2014 MSRP from: $31,375

Gas mileage: 17/25 MPG

Worst model: 2500 and 3500 (diesel)

1500

Ram has a new owner in Fiat, and although the brand rounded out the top 10 most unreliable, it was up six spots from last year. The heavy-duty 2500 and 3500 models are larger and yielded more problems than the entry-level 1500.

9. Volkswagen

Rank change from 2013: -2

Best model: Golf

2014 MSRP from: $19,995

Gas mileage: 24/30 MPG

Worst model: Beetle

Golf

The luxury counterpart to Volkswagen is Audi, which was ranked as the fourth most reliable car, an improvement of four spots from last year.

8. Hyundai

Rank change from 2013: -4

Best model: Accent

2014 MSRP from: N/A

Gas mileage: N/A

Worst model: Genesis coupe

2013 Accent

Hyundai may be gaining in popularity but it clearly still has a long way to go. The Genesis Coupe has a starting MSRP of $24,250 and its MPG starts at 16/25.

7. Nissan

Rank change from 2013: -9

Best model: Leaf

2014 MSRP from: N/A

Gas mileage: N/A

Worst model: Pathfinder

Pathfinder

According to Consumer Reports, the Leaf has a simpler powertrain so less can go wrong, but the rest of the lineup did worse, despite the fact that Altima sales are doing well.

6. Jeep

Rank change from 2013: -4

Best model: Patriot

2014 MSRP from: $15,995

Gas mileage: 21/27 MPG

Worst model: Grand Cherokee (V6 engine)

Patriot

Like Ram, Jeep is also owned by Fiat now; although where Ram went up in the rankings year over year, Jeep fell four spots.

5. Dodge

Rank change from 2013: Same

Best model: Dart (2.0-liter engine)

2014 MSRP from: $15,995

Gas mileage: 23/33 MPG

Worst model: Grand Caravan

2013 Dart

Yet another Fiat-owned brand that needs a little love. It was actually the brand’s minivan — a car usually purchased by families for dependability and safety— that was trouble for Dodge.

4. Cadillac

Rank change from 2013: -14

Best model: ATS (2.0-liter engine)

2014 MSRP from: $33,065

Gas mileage: 18/26 MPG

Worst model: XTS

XTS

The brand had issues from failing electronic systems that froze and didn’t respond to touch or voice commands. However, corporate cousin GMC did much better and ranked ninth.

3. Ford

Rank change from 2013: +1

Best model: F-150 (V6 engine)

2014 MSRP from: $24,215

Gas mileage: 11/16 MPG

Worst model: C-Max Energi

C-Max Energi

Most of Ford’s issues have stemmed from the MyFord Touch program and the new infotainment system in the company’s cars.

2. Lincoln

Rank change from 2013: -1

Best model: MKS

2014 MSRP from: $40,690

Gas mileage: 17/25 MPG

Worst model: MKT (EcoBoost Engine)

MKS

According to Business Insider, Lincoln’s infotainment setup shares an underlying algorithm with Ford’s MyTouch, so it makes sense that the brand would be having issues there as well.

1. Mini

Rank change from 2013: -6

Best model: Cooper

2014 MSRP from: N/A

Gas mileage: N/A

Worst model: Cooper Countryman

2012 Cooper

While Mini fell six spots to land at the bottom, its owner BMW ranked 15th in the Consumer Reports ranking.