Lexus Named Most Reliable Brand in Annual Consumer Reports Survey

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Who Makes the Most Reliable Cars?
CR ranks the brands and reveals survey results by region

Our newest survey collected data on more than 500,000 vehicles from CR’s members, and from this data, we can let shoppers know which vehicles are likely to have troublesome turbocharged engines, infuriating infotainment systems, and taxing transmissions, among other problems.

The survey reinforces our recommendation that consumers should avoid brand-new or redesigned models and wait a year or two until the automaker has had the chance to work out the kinks and headaches that often arise. Here are how the automakers performed, grouped by their traditional regions.

The brands are ranked by reliability, starting with the top, within each region.

Lexus: Lexus and Toyota again lead in CR’s predicted reliability ranking—the sixth year in a row. This year all Lexus models with sufficient data were rated average or above. (We did not have sufficient data on the redesigned LS sedan.)

Toyota: The Tacoma continues to have problems with the driver system and in the transmission minor trouble spots. The redesigned 2018 Camry saw a slight drop in reliability—but only to better than average. Members said they had some problems with the Entune infotainment system, and rough shifting from the eight-speed automatic transmission. This shows that even a reliable brand such as Toyota has to work out bugs after a redesign.
A lot more at the source:
https://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability-owner-satisfaction/who-makes-the-most-reliable-cars/

 

Gecko

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Great news for Lexus and Toyota. It's surprising to me that Toyota still hasn't been able to iron out the transmission woes on the Tacoma... this has been widely reported since launch. With that said, I'm hearing new V6/8AT for 4Runner and Tacoma next year, so maybe that will help.

Pretty shocked by Honda's placement and some of the notes that CR made on their lineup: one spot above VW and below BMW, Mini, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, etc. Yikes!
 

corradoMR2

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Nothing new here
I feel as long as the earth remains, Lexus & Toyota will keep switching between first and second

Haha yes good analogy and my sentiments as well. Now if only Toyota Motor Corp would take a bit more risk in tech/performance - I'd accept a drop or two in positions.
 
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Great news for Lexus and Toyota. It's surprising to me that Toyota still hasn't been able to iron out the transmission woes on the Tacoma... this has been widely reported since launch. With that said, I'm hearing new V6/8AT for 4Runner and Tacoma next year, so maybe that will help.

Pretty shocked by Honda's placement and some of the notes that CR made on their lineup: one spot above VW and below BMW, Mini, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, etc. Yikes!
What have you overheard about the new 4R/Tacoma engine tranny combo specifically, if you dont mind elaborating? Thanks
 

Gecko

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What have you overheard about the new 4R/Tacoma engine tranny combo specifically, if you dont mind elaborating? Thanks
MY2020 refresh in 2019 with new V6 and 8AT. I think it might just be the same iteration of the Tacoma's 2GR-FKS which would be "new" to the 4Runner.
 
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MY2020 refresh in 2019 with new V6 and 8AT. I think it might just be the same iteration of the Tacoma's 2GR-FKS which would be "new" to the 4Runner.
Thank you as always sir! I figured this was the scenario we would see as a "refresh". Hoping they bump up the HP in the 2GR-FKS. 8 extra HP in 10 years is pathetic:)
 

ssun30

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Thank you as always sir! I figured this was the scenario we would see as a "refresh". Hoping they bump up the HP in the 2GR-FKS. 8 extra HP in 10 years is pathetic:)
https://www.ovtuned.com/blogs/news/2gr-fks-toyota-tacoma-bringing-new-life-to-the-tacoma-platform

I think they did a decent job at documenting Taco's engine and transmission calibration problems. It seems that the tuning was rushed for the utility variant of the FKS, and resulted in unsatisfactory performance and reliabity in the Taco. Basically, the entire powertrain was half baked at launch, and it's incredibe to hear that Toyota would release a very important product unfinished. After seeing the Taco's problems, I'm now not surprised the LC Prado with the same powertrain is ill-received in China as well.

Hopefully the refresh will bring a recalibrated powertrain. There probably won't be peak power gains but the torque curve and shifting definitely can be fixed. There's no way Toyota can't do it when there are already 3rd party shops doing it.
 
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GNS

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Unless Toyota really slips up and the Camry, RAV4 etc all start experiencing reliability issues en masse over a period of several years, nobody is going to beat Toyota on reliability. The typical consumer who buys a Toyota would not even give them a chance to prove themselves.

You can test drive a vehicle, try out the cold AC, heated seats and all that. However, you cannot really tell how reliable your car is going to be until after you've gone through a few years of ownership. All you have is a promise from the manufacturer that your vehicle is going to stay reliable, which takes the form of a warranty. Unfortunately, warranties expire and are (sometimes) not honored by the dealer. Fixes under warranty could cause more issues than they rectify. A warranty does not make the frustration go away when your car lets you down 800km out of town on a roadtrip.

The best warranty is one where you'll never have to use, and when the Toyota faithful go to buy their next car, they quite often buy another Toyota without considering another brand because they don't want to take a chance and get screwed. Ask anybody off the street if they think that Toyotas are reliable, and 9 times out of 10 you'll get a 'yes' answer - this kind of 'common knowledge' doesn't happen overnight.

With this 'common knowledge' on their side, Toyota has managed to take first place in a metric that you can't throw money at and see instant results. By that, I mean you can throw money at a car's interior and customers will notice the new nappa leather seats, aluminum panels and all that. You can't throw money at 'reliability' and, voila, your car is now reliable - it requires a complete rethink of everything from upper management style, corporate philosophy, down to the line worker and the suppliers. Even if you could do that... the Toyota fanbase won't buy your car anyway because Toyota has never let them down. Even non-Toyota owners will choose a Toyota based on the company's proven track record. You have to justify your business plan to upper management, who will shoot you down because you're spending money and getting no short term results whatsoever.

In short, it is impossible to take Toyota at their own game, unless Toyota falls flat on their face. You could be like Hyundai/Kia and sell on high feature content, low cost, insane finance / lease rates and long warranties...but the danger lies in cutting your margins so close that you have no choice but to produce crappy cars that only further reinforce the very stereotypes you're trying to fix.
 

CIF

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Haha yes good analogy and my sentiments as well. Now if only Toyota Motor Corp would take a bit more risk in tech/performance - I'd accept a drop or two in positions.
This is actually a huge topic of discussion but I will keep this as short as I can.

I think that I live in the wrong time and in the wrong world market. More and more reliability, quality, durability, NVH, and comfort are becoming high priority attributes for me personally over anything else. While many people in Western markets demand more and more gadgets, tech, performance, etc. I stand out I guess. Powertrain performance is always nice, but for me not at the cost of the above-mentioned attributes. Also all of these safety gadgets and safety tech I really don't care for. I guess I'm old school like that. When I'm driving I want as little distractions as possible, firstly so that I can focus on the task of driving but secondly so that I can have as serene and relaxed of an experience while driving as possible.

I've heard that the previous-gen XA40 Rav4 has a number of uncharacteristic quality issues that start cropping up with age and mileage. There's also the well-known quality issues of the current N300 Tacoma. Besides that, I was very dismayed and disappointed recently with a personal experience with a Lexus. Recently I had extended seat time in a 2016 RX350 (no AVS, regular model, 20 inch rims) with about 50,000 km on it. In the past I had driven a brand new 2016 RX350 as well and while I really liked the interior style, materials and design, I wasn't wowed by the overall driving experience. I thought it was merely adequate. So though this RX had some mileage on it, I was shocked at the various little issues I noticed while driving. There were 2 or 3 different vibrations and rattles happening somewhere inside the top part of the dashboard. They occurred when moving, not when stopped or idling. The ride comfort on regular city roads was very rough for my liking. I often felt like I was being thrown or tossed around while driving over pothole-filled roads. Also on some rough bumps I felt a lot of harshness directly transmitting through the unibody of the vehicle and into the cabin. In addition, the seats did not feel that comfortable at all compared to when I had first driven a 2016 4RX brand new. The seats after an extended period actually started to feel as hard as a rock, as if there was no cushioning present. 50,000 km is not a lot of mileage at all for a Lexus. This car had no mechanical issues, everything else looked and sounded fine as far as I could tell. Was a dealership-serviced vehicle (still under warranty of course). So I don't know if this was a one-off occurrence, or some first-year build problems or what, but it was one of the most disappointing Lexus vehicles I had ever been in, in terms of the real world driving experience. I'm sure the 20 inch rims didn't help, but this is a Lexus regardless, and an RX at that (with Michelin all-seasons on it). I never should have experienced what I experienced.

So with that in mind, I would have to say personally that no, I don't want a further decrease of reliability, quality, durability, NVH (or comfort for that matter) just to get an increase in technology or performance. I know I'm probably in the minority in many regards here, but that's just personally how I see it. Toyota and Lexus can take as long as they want on new models in my opinion, IF that is in service to superior quality, reliability, durability, NVH, and other related attributes. If not then Toyota and Lexus are wasting their time on who knows what.

Also to quickly touch on another big subject; the other issue I see with western markets is the obsession with leasing. This encourages and perpetuates a "lease car culture" within the research and development divisions of different automakers. This has led over the years to vehicles that last well enough during a lease, but quickly start to have problems or fall apart beyond a typical lease period. Toyota long-term has some very big environmental goals. The elephant in the room that nobody seems to want to talk about is planned obsolescence in automobiles leads to massive environmental waste. I'm not saying Toyota is directly taking this approach, but it's clear that Toyota and Lexus models currently don't last as long as the "golden era" models of the 1990s. One of the biggest single actions an automaker can take to help the environment is to make their vehicles last longer and to eliminate any planned obsolescence, which will dramatically reduce environmental waste. Of course that requires a very long-term company view at the cost of some short-term profits.
 
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CIF

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I will also add regarding tech/performance and the competition, my experience with the competition. A while back I had a lot of seat time in a new 2018 Mercedes C300 4Matic (with AMG Apperance package and 19 inch rims). All the tech gadgets and gizmos are cool to play around with, but honestly they did not really add to my driving experience. When I'm behind the wheel of a vehicle, I want to drive, not just sit there constantly toying or playing around with tech, gadgets, and gizmos. If more of the market continues to demand these tech toys and gadgets in a car interior, then I think the sooner autonomous vehicles get here, the better. Then most of the market can sit in an autonomous vehicle and play and toy with tech and gadgets all they want while the vehicle drives for them. While a smaller number of people like myself will remain, people who enjoy the actual act of driving.

Getting back to the C300, the interior quality to me was decent, but nothing amazing. The seats were somewhat hard and not that comfortable, even if fairly adjustable. The interior mood lighting seemed tacky to me, and the nav screen looked tacked on (no pun intended) and out of place. In Sport+ (I believe) mode or whatever it was called, the powertrain response was very impressive. Throttle response was very aggressive and almost immediate. Lots of torque, delivered down low very aggressively. That was very enjoyable. Ride comfort in Sport+ was stiff but handling was very good. When I adjusted everything to Comfort mode, throttle response was still fairly good, but a lot smoother. Ride comfort got better, but it still wasn't great. On rough roads, even in Comfort mode the overall ride quality was only average at best. Also regarding the exterior styling, after looking at the car from many different angles, I realized the car has awkward proportions and that the rear end is really awkwardly designed. In all honestly it looks as if the rear had a section of the trunk chopped off. I personally feel the car would have so much more presence and better proportions if the rear end was longer and did not end so abruptly. So in summary, I wasn't that impressed with the car. Aside from the amazing throttle response and handling in Sport+ mode, almost everything else about the car was fairly average to me. Overall it didn't leave a memorable impression at all to me. So this is one of the direct competitors of Lexus in the market, and I honestly don't see how the C Class is so much better than an IS or ES, nor do I see Lexus being very behind the competition overall. In some specific areas the competitors are better, but then Lexus is arguably better in other specific areas.
 
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