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  • By John R. Quain

Drivers’ Choice: The Most Reliable Cars

Neck-snapping acceleration is thrilling, and swanky interiors can be seductive, but the most important quality a car can offer is reliability. After all, zippy performance and plush seats won’t do you much good if the car won’t start in the morning. Thankfully, two firms — J.D. Power and Consumer Reports — scour thousands of owner surveys each year to find the most dependable vehicles and try to predict which new models will be the most reliable next year.

With the average vehicle in the U.S. being 12½ years old, owners are clearly trying to squeeze more value out of their purchases, making reliability all the more critical. Here’s a look at what drivers are saying when it comes to how dependable (and not) cars are.

Unfortunately, J.D. Power’s latest survey, released in February, found that overall long-term dependability declined compared to last year, with four more problems per 100 vehicles than in 2023.

What is causing the decline in reported dependability? Frank Hanley, senior director of auto benchmarking at J.D. Power, said cars with complex technology such as EVs are experiencing the biggest growing pains because of their issues with software updates and the level of complexity they present to users.


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