"Consumer Reports ranks Toyota, Lexus most reliable, Mercedes worst"

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It's statistics! CR only surveys their subscribers. CRs survey is certainly large but it's also gotten smaller & smaller with fewer respondents.

My U.S.A. made Nissan's have been more reliable than my Japanese made Honda's & Toyota's though the Hon/Yota's were better than many of my domestic vehicles. My 5 Chrysler vehicles were disasters.

My daughter's US/CA made Honda's(in my sig) have been superb. Her 2015 Civic was remarkable. Her Japanese Mazda, not so much.
I'm not sure myself, if I am on board with the "Japanese made cars are better"!

When we see Chevrolet down as low as they are, my BILs & FIL all laugh. Their Chevy's have be fine for over 50-60 yrs.
 
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I like to look at the score spread between most and least reliable models in a car maker's lineup. That's probably the most accurate measure of brand-level QA/QC (at least for brands with at least 5 models featuring in this survey).
 
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I've been eyeballing used hatchbacks lately for a second vehicle and the Mazda3 is on my "maybe" list. Glad to see it is highly ranked.
 
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I take it all with a grain of salt. I wish they would disclose how many of each model was reported. I see no way that they could issue a report on two tested cars.
 
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If I were to ONLY buy vehicles based on my circle of family & friends success with certain brands, I would buy(in this order), GM, Toyota, Honda.
And nothing from the FCA. And prior to FCA, nothing from Chrysler Corp. I just don’t know anyone who has had good success with them including myself.
 
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