It can be tough to rate long-term reliability on a vehicle, so Consumer Reports surveys its members on their experiences with their cars. For the 2020 vehicle reliability survey, the publication received more than 420,000 responses on vehicles dating back as far as model year 2000. With that data, they're able to take a good look at the problems real owners had and then turn it into a prediction of how reliable the 2020 version will be.
With the study covering more than 17 areas, from annoyances like squeaky brakes to deal-breakers like transmission repairs, and everything in between, these are the vehicles that Consumer Reports has labelled this year's least reliable.
10. Chevrolet Traverse
This is the third year for the redesign of Chevrolet's three-row Traverse crossover. It scored 18 for reliability, and for reference, it would have taken a score of 87 to get on the top 10 for most reliable. Where were the issues? CR reported trouble spots that included the nine-speed transmission, in-car electronics, which includes items like the infotainment system software and hardware, and for power equipment, which includes things like the cruise control, lights, and similar items.
9. Chrysler Pacifica
The Pacifica might be big on family hauling, but with a score of 16, you might like some more reliability with that space. CR reported that the top issues giving it a well-below-average reliability rating were with the infotainment system. But sore spots with the drive system, which includes drive shafts or CV joints and similar components lowered the score as did body hardware, including items like locks and latches, doors, and trim.
8. Tesla Model X
Telsa's Model X offers the longest range of any current electric crossover and is filled with cool features like the top-opening falcon doors. But its those same features that has lead to the model's low scoring in the reliability study. CR said that problems with the balky doors, noises, and leaks lowered the X's scores, along with issues with the large infotainment and vehicle operation screen freezing, going blank, or rebooting.
7. Acura MDX
The MDX showed trouble spots in a number of areas, with the transmission minor category, a group that includes items like leaks, transmission computer issues, and rough shifting, as well as in the drive system as the most important parts in the ranking. But it also showed issues with the in-car electronics and some fuel system issues, leading to the overall score of 15.
6. Volkswagen Tiguan
Two years after a redesign, Consumer Reports members still report a number of issues with the compact Tiguan crossover that give it a low rank on the reliability list. Issues reported include problems with the fuel and emissions systems, and body integrity, the latter category including squeaks, rattles, wind noises, and issues with weather seams. Tiguan owners also reported issues with paint and trim, a category that can include paint fade or peeling, as well as loose trim inside and out. Body hardware problems were also on the list.
5. Volkswagen Atlas
Closely related to the Tiguan, the midsize three-row Atlas scored slightly lower when it comes to reliability with CR survey respondents. Those members reported problems in many of the same areas as the Tiguan, including the fuel system and body integrity, but also reported issues with power equipment as well as the suspension and in-car electronics. All contributed to the reliability score of 13.
4. Alfa Romeo Giulia
Alfa's Giulia inspires many feelings in buyers, thanks to its good looks and the Ferrari-developed V6 that top trims get. But buyers report some reliability concerns that give this a score of just 13 and put it in a bad spot on the list. The survey gives it the lowest mark in three different classes, including power equipment, in-car electronics, and the fuel system. Paint/trim and engine minor, a category that includes belts, pulleys, and engine noises, were both also sore points for the Giulia.
3. Jeep Wrangler
The Jeep Wrangler is known for off-road toughness, but that doesn't extend to this reliability survey. Despite or because of a redesign last year, the Wrangler received a reliability score of 12. Trouble spots included body integrity and in-car electronics, but paint and trim, the climate system, and the suspension all received less than top marks in the survey.
2. Chevrolet Camaro
Two Chevrolet vehicles are capturing the two worst spots on the list, starting with the Camaro. A car that earned a score of just five. It ranked a low-score of 1/5 in five different categories for the most recent year of data including power equipment, paint/trim, transmission minor, body hardware, and suspension. The Camaro was also docked points for in-car electronics.
1. Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon
Last on the list were GM's compact pickup twins, the Canyon and Colorado, with a reliability score of just four. The trouble areas for the two small trucks include both the transmission minor and transmission major categories. It's the first time we've seen that latter one mentioned, which can include rebuilt or replacement of the transmission or torque converter. The pair also lose points for in-car electronics and body integrity and there are trouble spots mentioned that include the drive system and fuel/emissions systems.