"None," one shot back. "There isn't any."
"As debaters, we can always do better," I said, then gave my own (admittedly very fake) example of repair statistics. What if, for example, 86% of Ford Focuses (Foci?) are trouble-free after five years? And what if this compared favorably to the latest imports? And what's the best measure of reliability, anyway?
The discussion was cut short by the end of practice, but it continued in my mind throughout the rest of the evening, as I sat in the living room, watching college football on mute and surfing Edmunds.com and the NHSTA's recall / defect investigation database. The wife and I are about ready to replace my poor ol' Chevy Malibu, and we'd like something that's going to run for a long, long time--hopefully with fewer mishaps and brake jobs.
Some of the cars on my radar include the Honda Accord, the Ford Fusion / Mercury Milan, the Hyundai Sonata, the Hyundai Elantra Touring, and the Mazda5. (If you have strong feelings about any of 'em, feel free to share in the comments.) I've read every review and road test and recommendation, and driven all of them, so it doesn't surprise me that today, KOMO would offer the highlights of Consumer Reports' upcoming reliability ratings, and the makes and models I'm seriously considering are the makes and models that owners recommend.
I've had bad experiences with Chrysler and GM products, so I was curious to see if they've recently turned things around. Nope:
Chrysler had only one model that Consumer Reports recommended based on reliability and its staff test, and the Chrysler brand finished last out of 33 brands sold in the U.S. One third of Chrysler's models were much worse than average in reliability.Even fewer surprises if you compare it with CR's overall assessment published in April.
Six models from GM were recommended by the magazine, but it's still inconsistent. Only 21 of 48 models the magazine studied scored average or better in reliability.
I'm finding that the surfeit of available information doesn't make our choice any easier. But at least we have five good choices. And none of them is a Malibu.