When you’re shopping for a new car, it definitely makes sense to consider a host of different factors. You have to think about the type of car that’s right for you, whether that’s a sedan, hatchback, SUV or a pickup truck. You also need to consider its performance, capability and fuel efficiency.
Meanwhile, you may also need to take a closer look at the price. This will allow you to gauge if the car would give you a lot of value for your buck. After thinking about all these though, you also need to consider the car’s reliability.
For us, reliability is a critical factor when shopping for a car because it can determine if a car is a good buy straight away. Does the car suffer from any major issues in the engine, brakes, steering, suspension? Can it take you from point A to point B without breaking down unexpectedly?
Ideally, a reliable car won't give you any headaches over the years. That means that so long as you maintain it properly and it’s got enough gas in the tank, it should run remarkably well. And with no major issues, you won’t end up spending a great deal of money on mechanic repairs. This is an ideal scenario, one that you can experience so long as you pick the right car.
Not sure exactly where to begin? Well, fortunately for you, we have already handpicked a number of cars that we know are built to last. We’ve also compiled a list of cars that you should avoid because they ‘crumble’ easily.
25 Built to Crumble: Kia Cadenza
Korean carmaker Kia may be known for producing a number of reliable car models over the years. However, the Cadenza doesn’t seem to be one of them.
According to a report from Consumer Reports, the Cadenza suffers from a number of issues with regard to the fuel/emissions system as well as climate control. Meanwhile, it also further explained, “Handling is secure when the car is pushed to its limits, but the Cadenza is better suited to long-distance cruising.”
Moreover, it is unclear whether the issues have been fixed for the 2019 model.
24 Built to Crumble: Mazda CX-3
As you may know, Mazda car models typically score well when it comes to reliability. Unfortunately, however, that is not the case when it comes to the small SUV CX-3. Although, it’s worth taking note that some of the car’s major issues only concern its 2016 and 2017 models.
As Consumer Reports explains, “This SUV is rated below average because of climate system problems, which included the condenser and refrigerant leaks. A Mazda spokesman said the automaker is aware of consumer complaints on some 2016 and 2017 CX-3 vehicles that may exhibit symptoms of diminished cooling systems.”
23 Built to Crumble: Honda Clarity
The Honda Clarity is a PHEV vehicle that comes in electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell power options. Hence, you may think it’s perfect for anyone who is conscious about reducing their carbon footprint. Unfortunately, though, this car doesn’t do well when it comes to reliability.
The reliability issue is due to the car’s body hardware, fuel/emissions system, and climate control, according to Consumer Reports. Moreover, it also said, “The ride is comfortable, but its handling is rather clumsy. The cabin is roomy, but the front seats are uncomfortable because of their short bottom cushion and lack of lower-back support.”
22 Built to Crumble: Honda Odyssey
Another Honda that is not faring well in terms of reliability is the Odyssey. If you must know, there are as many as 55 reported problems on this car model, according to records from the website Repair Pal. These include problems with the brakes, drive train, electrical, engine, exhaust, emissions, heating, air conditioning, suspension, and steering. Aside from, there are also several reports regarding the car’s electric sliding door and manual sliding door as well as the third-row seat.
Overall, it seems that there are a lot of headaches associated with owning this car.
21 Built to Crumble: Ram 3500
Especially when it comes to pickup trucks, reliability is a crucial factor. After all, we are talking about a vehicle that you may be using to transport large items and haul something even bigger. Hence, you need to make sure that the truck you get can truly get the job done without breaking down on you every so often. Unfortunately, that may not be the case when it comes to the Ram 3500.
According to Consumer Reports, this truck has some issues when it comes to steering/suspension, engine cooling, and fuel/emissions system. Moreover, there are also reported leaks and noises.
20 Built to Crumble: Volkswagen Atlas
The Volkswagen Atlas is a midsize SUV that comes with as much as three rows in the back. That means this car has room for as much as seven passengers. Unfortunately, however, the Atlas doesn’t rank well when it comes to reliability.
According to Lemberg Law, the 2018 model suffered electrical, engine and brakes issues, according to several completed that were received by the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA). One complaint also talked about the car’s front assist feature. According to the complaint, they are currently “experiencing a situation where the feature could cause a collision.”
19 Built to Crumble: Cadillac ATS
The Cadillac ATS is one sleek and powerful sedan. In fact, the 2019 ATS comes with an available 3.6-liter V6 engine that can readily deliver as much as 335 horsepower. Unfortunately, it seems that previous models have suffered from reliability issues.
In fact, according to the website CarComplaints.com, the 2016 ATS suffered from several major issues. The chief complaint was that its transmission was shaking. Aside from that, the rims tend to discolor. According to Consumer Reports, the car also has in-car electronics, drive system and climate system issues.
18 Built to Crumble: Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S has not always scored well in terms of reliability during the last five years.
Based on the Consumer Reports Auto Reliability Surveys from 2013 to 2018, it seems the car suffered a major dip in reliability back in 2018. Moreover, Consumer Reports Director of Auto Testing Jake Fisher explained, “The Tesla Model S appears very similar to the car that launched six years ago, but Tesla has made many significant changes. Just as we’ve seen with other manufacturers, major changes and updates often cause reliability to slide.”
17 Built to Crumble: Tesla Model X
Another Tesla car that comes with reliability issues is its SUV, the Model X. According to Consumer Reports, it’s got some issues when it comes to in-car electronics and body hardware. Moreover, owners have also reported certain leaks and noises in the car. A CBS Los Angeles report also revealed that the Model X tends to require “too many repairs,” according to owners.
At the same time, there have been a number of complaints regarding the car’s falcon doors. According to these complaints, the doors sometimes get stuck so that they are difficult to close.
16 Built to Crumble: Mercedes-Benz CLA
Typically, Mercedes-Benz car models receive good reviews. They even go on to be among the most recommended cars around. However, that is not the case for the CLA. In fact, according to a report from Business Insider, Consumer Reports referred to the 2014 CLA as “140% worse than the average car.”
Moreover, Consumer Reports said, “The engine and transmission lack refinement. At first, the powertrain feels unresponsive, then the power comes on abruptly. The ride is punishingly stiff, and the CLA is loud inside. Cabin access is difficult, and the well-appointed interior is cramped.” Ouch.
15 Built to Last: Kia Sedona
The Kia Sedona is one minivan that has enjoyed pretty good reviews over the years. Even better, it comes with a relatively cheap starting price of $27,200 for its 2019 model.
Under the hood of the 2019 Sedona is a standard 3.3-liter V6 engine that can deliver as much as 276 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 248 pound-feet of torque at 5,200 rpm. Moreover, it’s got an estimated efficiency rating of 18 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway.
14 Built to Last: Kia Stinger
When it comes to sedans, the Kia Stinger is one that has enjoyed pretty good reviews. Moreover, it hasn’t suffered from any major issues. Although, some would argue that its fuel economy could still be improved.
Today, the 2019 Stinger comes with a starting price of $32,990. Under the hood of its base trim is a 2.0-liter I-4 turbo GDI engine that can deliver as much as 255 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. On the other hand, the Singer GT uses a 3.3-liter V6 twin turbocharged engine that can crank out 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque.
13 Built to Last: Toyota RAV4
The Toyota RAV4 is one SUV model that has been around for many years. Generally, the RAV4 has had decent to good reviews in the past five years. Moreover, the reported major problems with this car concerned much earlier models. In fact, the ones that were specified were 2007, 2008 and 2001 models, according to CarComplaints.com.
The 2019 RAV4 comes with a starting price of $25,500. Under its hood is a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with VVT-i that can deliver as much as 203 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 184 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm.
12 Built to Last: Toyota Highlander
The Toyota Highlander is another SUV model that has been in the market for a long time. And what’s great about this car is that it always seems to be well-recommended. In fact, according to Consumer Reports, “The Highlander ranks among the best midsized three-row SUVs, with a desirable balance of an absorbent ride, responsive handling, and generous interior space."
The 2019 Highlander comes with a starting price of $31,330. Its base trim comes with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine with VVTi that can deliver up to 185 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 184 pound-feet at 4,200 rpm.
11 Built to Last: Subaru Forester
If you’re in the market for a reliable small SUV, then the Subaru Forester is definitely one model to consider. In fact, according to the Repair Pal, there have been no major problems for this car’s most recent year models.
Under the hood of the 2019 Forester is a standard 2.5-liter Subaru Boxer engine that can deliver 182 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 176 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. Moreover, it’s got an efficiency rating of 26 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the highway.
10 Built to Last: Honda Fit
The Honda Fit is a sporty hatchback that is known for its reliability. Based on Consumer Reports’ review of the 2015 to 2018 model years, the Fit has no major issues except for some “quirks” in the continuously variable transmission that tends to cause more engine noise.
The 2019 Fit comes with a starting price comes with a relatively slow starting price of $16,190. Under its hood is a standard 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that can deliver as much as 130 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 114 pound-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm when using a six-speed manual transmission.
9 Built to Last: Mazda MX-5 Miata
If you’re looking for a sports car that is reliable and not too pricey, the Mazda MX-5 Miata is one that you can definitely go for. In fact, this roadster has gotten pretty good reviews over the years. It might have the most powerful engine, but it has respectable speed.
Under the hood of the 2019 MX-5 Miata is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that can deliver as much as 181 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 151 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. It has a starting price of $25,730.
8 Built to Last: Mazda CX-5
The Mazda CX-5 is one SUV that is well-recognized for its performance and reliability. Moreover, for its 2017 to 2018 models, Consumer Reports stated that Mazda managed to address a lot of “weaknesses” from earlier year models. In fact, the ride is said to be better and cabin noise has been significantly reduced.
The 2019 CX-5 comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that can deliver as much as 187 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 186 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. This SUV comes with a starting price of $24,350.
7 Built to Last: Lexus GX
The Lexus GX is an SUV that’s got dependable performance and reliability. Based on a review of its 2010 to 2018 models, Consumer Reports wrote, “The ride is quiet and comfortable and off-road capability is commendable.”
The 2019 GX 460 comes with a standard 4.6-liter V8 engine that can easily produce as much as 301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm. Moreover, it’s got a fuel efficiency rating of 15 miles per gallon in the city and 18 miles per gallon on the highway.
6 Built to Last: Lexus NX
The Lexus NX refers to a luxury compact SUV line that is known for its impressive performance and reliability. After all, according to Consumer Reports, this model was based on the equally reliable Toyota RAV4.
The 2019 NX 300 comes with a starting price of $36,385. Under its hood is a standard 2.0-liter engine that can deliver as much as 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque at 1,650 to 4,000 rpm. Meanwhile, it has a fuel efficiency rating of 22 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon on the highway.
5 Built to Last: Audi Q5
The Audi Q5 is one SUV that has enjoyed pretty good reviews over the years. Even better, Consumer Reports also refers to the 2019 Q5 as “one of the best choices among compact luxury SUVs.”
Under the hood of the Q5 is a 2.0-liter engine that can deliver 248 horsepower at 5,000 to 6,000 rpm and 273 pound-feet of torque at 1,600 to 4,500 rpm. Moreover, this SUV can readily go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 5.9 seconds.
4 Built to Last: Audi A5
Another car model from Audi that has been quite reliable is the Audi A5. Except for its 2011 model, the A5 has had very few complaints. This is why many see this car as a pretty practical choice for everyday driving.
The 2019 A5 Sportback comes with a starting price of $44,200. Under its hood is a 2.0-liter engine that can deliver as much as 248 horsepower at 5,000 to 6,000 rpm and 273 pound-feet of torque at 1,600 to 4,500 rpm.
3 Built to Last: BMW 5 Series
The BMW 5 Series is a midsized luxury sedan that’s had minimal issues over the years. In fact, based on Consumer Reports’ review, the only issue with the car is that its 2011 to 2016 models tend to “understeer at its limits.” Besides this, the car is completely fine.
The 2019 BMW 5 Series comes with a starting price of $53,400 for the 2019 530i and the 2019 530e iPerformance. Both of these models come with a 2.0-liter that can deliver as much as 248 horsepower. Moreover, they can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in six seconds.
2 Built to Last: BMW X1
If you are in the market for a reliable luxury SUV, then perhaps you should consider driving away with a BMW X1. Over the years, the X1 has not had any major reliability issues. And in fact, there had been minimal complaints on the car concerning its recent year models.
The 2019 X1 comes with a starting price of $34,950 and this one is referring to the X1 sDrive 28i. It’s got a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine that can deliver as much as 228 horsepower at 5,000 to 6,000 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque at 1,450 to 4,500 rpm.
1 Built to Last: Mercedes-Benz GLS
The Mercedes-Benz GLS is one SUV that people appreciate for its size and reliability. In fact, this car has been recommended by experts over the years. And more importantly, it has not suffered from any major issues in recent time.
The 2019 GLS comes with a starting price of $70,150 for the GLS 450 model. This one is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 bi-turbo engine which can easily crank out 362 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 369 pound-feet of torque at 1,800 to 4000 rpm. Moreover, it can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds.
Source: Consumer Reports, Repair Pal, Lemberg Law, CarComplaints, CBS Los Angeles