This year, the Consumer Reports’ list of reliable 2012 vehicles is led by the Toyota Prius C compact hybrid. In fact, Toyota-made automobiles dominated the top of the list.
This list is compiled from subscriber input and experience with 1.2 million vehicles, however, Consumer Reports did acknowledge that some results may have been affected by vehicle release dates. Ford had a substantial drop in ratings from 2011, partly due to pushing the majority of vehicle revamps to 2013. Of the vehicles Ford did update in 2012, the four-wheel-drive V6 Food Explorer earned the lowest score.
Japanese automakers seem to dominate the brand-reliability list, with Toyota, Lexus, and Scion at the top. Mazda, Subaru, Honda, and Acura followed closely. 86 of 90 cars tested scored at minimum of average reliability.
Green cars got the thumbs up from Consumer Reports, dispelling consumer fears about hybrid reliability. Gone is the decade-old fear that hybrid technology is unreliable and not worth the investment. In fact, the Nissan Leaf was deemed Excellent and the Chevrolet Volt was rated Above Average.
From its debut in February 2012 until September 2012, Toyota sold 26,130 Prius C vehicles, accounting for 14% of all Prius sales this fiscal year. Despite commercial success and positive Consumer Reports’ subscriber feedback, Consumer Reports magazine is not a fan of the Prius C.
Leigh is a Senior Technical Writer at Ambit Energy in Dallas, Texas. Prior to her work in the energy sector, Leigh spent years specializing in life saving engineering projects for the US Department of Defense. In her spare time, Leigh pursues her passions of environmental awareness, dog rescue, and defending the place of art, literature, and music in a world that values science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.