Car Reliability Survey Results, 48th Round

At the end of August we updated our car reliability stats for the 48th time. The stats now cover through the end of June, 2018, putting them over a year ahead of the car reliability information you’ll find elsewhere. These stats include the Tesla Model 3 plus the redesigned Accord, Camry, and Equinox, among others. Which have been reliable?

With a calculated repair frequency of 115 repair trips per 100 cars per year, Tesla Model 3 has required repairs over four times as often as the average 2017-2018 car. The larger Model S, introduced back in 2012, used to require as many repairs, but lately has required repairs only about twice as often as the average car. The Model 3’s reliability should similarly improve in future years.

Most of the reported repairs involved cosmetic and trim issues, which is usually the case for nearly new cars. Looking only at powertrain and chassis repairs, the Model 3 required 23 repair trips per 100 cars per year, which is over three times the average. As always, we post the description of every reported repair.

Both the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry were fully redesigned for 2018. The new Honda Accord’s requires repairs 67% more often than the average new car. Nearly half of the problems involved body and trim, including rattles. The new Toyota Camry? Just 43% of the average, far better. Honda, like much of the industry, doesn’t often launch a glitch-free car. A common problem with the new CR-V is especially worrisome: gasoline has been leaching into the engine oil, diluting and overfilling it. Both the Accord and Civic use the same 1.5T engine, but for some reason members have reported this problem only for the CR-V.

Toyota isn’t the only car maker of launching a new model without glitches. The fully redesigned Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain have been faring as well as the redesigned Camry, with repair frequencies about less than half of the average. This is a big improvement over the previous generation. But, while the stat for the 2018 is promising, sometimes GM models do start out well then require repairs after they’ve been on the road for a year or two. We saw this happen model year after model year with GM’s large crossovers. Hopefully the new Equinox won’t follow in their footsteps.

Looking at other models redesigned for late 2017 or 2018, the Mazda CX-5 has had an oustanding start, the Honda Odyssey has had an about-average first model year, and the Audi Q5 has been running double the average (though with no obvious problem areas). The Audi Q7, which had a good start in 2017, then worsened, appears to be doing much better in its second model-year, with no repairs reported yet. We have a somewhat small sample size for the Atlas, but VW’s new large crossover appears to be having problems. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid requires repairs much more often than the regular Pacifica. Finally, the Volvo XC90 remains far worse than average even in its third model year.

For reliability stats on these and many other cars, go here.