Yearly Consumer Reports predicts the short-term reliability of motor vehicle models for the new model year. This predicted reliability is based on the infrequency of serious problems in the three preceding model years, as reported in a survey of its subscribers.
When data are lacking or insufficient for one or more model years, the predicted short-term reliability is based on fewer than the last three model years. In some instances, it is based on only one year – primarily when a model is new or newly redesigned.
By the reliability predictions for model year 2011, CR’s Top Ten small cars are listed below. The list omits all models whose reliability prediction is based on only one year.
Consumer Reports’ Top 10 Small Cars
- The Toyota Yaris, a sedan or 2-door or 4-door hatchback
- The Honda Fit, a 4-door hatchback
- Toyota Motor Corporation’s Scion xD, a 4-door hatchback
- The Honda Civic coupe
- The Honda Civic sedan
- Toyota’s Scion xB, a boxy wagon
- The non-turbo Subaru Impreza, a sedan or wagon
- The Mazda3 sedan
- The Toyota Corolla, a sedan
- The Hyundai Elantra wagon
CR’s next 5 are also of noteworthy reliability. They are:
- The Toyota Matrix, a wagon
- The Mazda3 hatchback
- The Nissan Sentra
- The Suzuki SX4, a sedan, a 4-door hatchback or wagon
- The Ford Focus sedan.
Of the Top 10, Toyota Motor Corporation accounts for 4, Honda Motor Company for 3, and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (Subaru), Mazda Motor Corporation, and Hyundai Motor Company each account for one.
Below are the 2010 Auto Reliability GPAs, based on last year’s survey, of the above best. In most instances, the GPAs are based on more than the three most-recent model years, and may be a preferable guide for those consumers planning an intermediate- or long-term ownership.
- Toyota Yaris/Echo: a perfect 4.00 over a 9-year data history
- Honda Fit: 4.00 over 3 years
- Scion xD: 4.00 over 2 years
- Honda Civic coupe: N/A
- Honda Civic sedan: 3.75 over 10 years
- Scion xB: 3.78 over 5 years
- Non-turbo Subaru wagon: 3.02 over 9 years
- Mazda3 sedan: 3.33 over 6 years
- Toyota Corolla: 3.81 over 10 years
- Hyundai Elantra sedan and wagon: 2.38 over 10 years
- Toyota Matrix: 3.40 over 7 years
- Mazda3 hatchback: N/A
- Nissan Sentra: 2.00 over 9 years
- Suzuki SX4: 3.00 over 2 years
- Ford Focus sedan: 2.38 over 10 years.
Consumer Reports’ 2010 survey provides data on 1.3 million vehicles. As it queries for serious problems, it is highly regarded by many consumers who plan to purchase a used, as well as new, vehicle. Reliability ratings for used cars based on its 2010 survey will out in very late 2010 and early and mid 2011, if past publication history holds in the present.
CR’s current predictions of short-term reliability for model year 2011 are based on model years 2008, 2009, and 2010.