The most reliable car you can buy in South Africa right now

 ·17 Feb 2024

A recent Consumer Reports (CR) study shows that Lexus is the most reliable vehicle brand worldwide, including South Africa.

The survey was conducted on 330,000 individuals who owned vehicles as old as 23 years. The survey asked vehicle owners about problems they experienced in the last 12 months. 

The survey focused on 20 areas of concern, ranging from minor irritations like squeaky brakes to major issues like engine and gearbox problems.

The report created a “predicted reliability score” for each vehicle based on the collected data and was scored on a scale from 1 to 100 after assessing the severity of each problem type.

The reliability rating was then combined with data collected from CR’s track testing, as well as its owner satisfaction survey results and safety data, to calculate each test vehicle’s overall reliability score.

The results showed that Lexus is home to the most reliable cars, with a reliability rating of 79/100. 

Among the brand’s most dependable models are the ES, NX, RX, and UX, all available in South Africa.

It’s not surprising to know that Toyota, the parent company of Lexus, scored second with a rating of 76/100, while Mini, a sub-brand of BMW, came in third with a score of 71/100. 

Interestingly, the report further noted that vehicles from Asia have the highest overall score at 63/100, followed by European automakers at 46/100, and in third place the Americans at 39/100.

When comparing types of cars – sedans, hatchbacks, and wagons remained the most reliable vehicle type, with an average rating of 57/100, trailed by SUVs at 50/100 and minivans at 45/100.

Most reliable vehicles

The most reliable car brands in the world, according to the Consumer Reports study, are listed in the table below. The brands available in South Africa are in bold – but not every model offered may be sold in South Africa.

BrandModelsReliability score
LexusES, ES Hybrid, NX, NX Hybrid, RX, RX Hybrid, UX79/100
Toyota4Runner, bZ4X, Camry, Camry Hybrid, Corolla, Corolla Cross, Corolla Hatch, Corolla Hybrid, Crown, GR86, Highlander, Highlander Hybrid, Prius, Prius Prime, RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid, RAV4 Prime, Sienna, Tundra, Venza76/100
MiniCooper, Countryman71/100
AcuraIntegra, MDX, RDX, TLX70/100
HondaAccord, Accord Hybrid, Civic, CR-V, CR-V Hybrid, HR-V, Odyssey, Passport, Pilot, Ridgeline70/100
SubaruAscent, BRZ, Crosstrek, Forester, Legacy, Outback, Solterra, WRX69/100
Mazda3, CX-30, CX-5, CX-50, MX-567/100
PorscheCayenne, Macan66/100
BMW2 Series, 3 Series, 4 Series, i4, iX, X1, X3, X5, X5 PHEV, X764/100
KiaCarnival, EV6, Forte, K5, Niro, Niro EV, Seltos, Sorento, Sorento Hybrid, Soul, Sportage, Sportage Hybrid, Sportage PHEV, Telluride61/100
HyundaiElantra, Elantra Hybrid, Ioniq 5, Ioniq 6, Palisade, Santa Cruz, Sonata, Tucson, Tucson Hybrid, Tucson PHEV, Venue56/100
BuickEnclave, Encore GX, Envision55/100
InfinitiQ50, QX50, QX6053/100
TeslaModel 3, Model S, Model X, Model Y48/100
Ram1500, 2500, 350046/100
CadillacCT5, Escalade, XT4, XT5, XT645/100
NissanAltima, Ariya, Frontier, Kicks, Leaf, Murano, Pathfinder, Rogue, Sentra45/100
GenesisG70, G80, GV60, GV70, GV8044/100
AudiA3, A4/Allroad, A5, A6, Q3, Q4 E-Tron, Q5, Q5 PHEV, Q7, Q8, Q8 E-Tron43/100
ChevroletBlazer, Colorado, Corvette, Equinox, Silverado 1500, Silverado 2500HD, Silverado 3500HD, Suburban, Tahoe, Trailblazer43/100
FordBronco, Bronco Sport, Edge, Escape, Escape Hybrid, Escape PHEV, Expedition, Explorer, F-150, F-150 Hybrid, F-150 Lightning, Maverick, Maverick Hybrid, Mustang Mach-E40/100
LincolnAviator, Corsair38/100
GMCCanyon, Sierra 1500, Sierra 2500HD, Sierra 3500HD, Terrain, Yukon, Yukon XL36/100
VolvoS60/V60, XC40, XC60, XC60 PHEV, XC9028/100
JeepCompass, Gladiator, Grand Cherokee, Grand Cherokee L, Renegade, Wrangler26/100
VWAtlas, Atlas Cross Sport, GTI, ID.4, Jetta, Taos, Tiguan26/100
RivianR1S, R1T24/100
Mercedes-BenzC-Class, EQS, GLA, GLB, GLE23/100
ChryslerPacifica, Pacifica Hybrid18/100

Read: The real cost of owning a standard R350,000 car in South Africa

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