2017

Make & Model Rankings

Published by CarMD, December 2017

With the release of our 2017 CarMD® Vehicle Health Index Make & Model Reliability Rankings, we at CarMD® continue to strive toward excellence and innovation in the automotive repair solutions industry. We offer the only annual manufacturer and vehicle ranking system that statistically compares check engine failures and repair costs. While other industry reports often rely on subjective survey data, we base our figures on statistical analyses. This Index looks at the population of 1996 to current model year vehicles on the road, which is more comprehensive than many first-year owner surveys and studies.

This 2017 Index ranks brands and vehicles for frequency of check engine light problems and average cost of repairs for a large array of makes and models. It ranks the 10 brands with the lowest repair incidents/lowest average car repair costs, 100 vehicles by year, make and model with the fewest repair incidents/lowest average repair costs, and top three vehicles by category. Historical rankings are not necessarily indicative of future vehicle reliability.

To achieve this unmatched level of accuracy, we have analyzed the check engine health of more than 4.2 million models that span from 1996 to 2017. Each data point was administered on real in-use vehicles reporting check engine health between Oct. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2017. Consumers, used car buyers and fleet managers have a goal to minimize vehicle upkeep, while OE manufacturers and aftermarket providers look to increase their knowledge of trends within the industry. This Index offers insight to improve on what every consumer and business cares about – the bottom line.

Highlights


For the second consecutive year the vehicle brand with the lowest average repair cost for Check Engine was Hyundai, which had an average parts and labor repair estimate of $306 in 2017. The 2014 Elantra and Sonata both rank among the 10 vehicles with the lowest average repair costs.


Among the vehicles with the lowest average car repair costs*, the 2012 Mazda 5, 2015 Kia Forte and 2015 Chevy Traverse rank tops, according to CarMD.

*vehicles must meet minimum vehicle population and data requirements of 1% to qualify for CarMD’s top 10 ranking.


The vehicle brand least likely to have a check engine light on in 2017 was Acura, which now ranks no. 1. Honda ranks no. 2 for the second consecutive year. Toyota is no. 3, down from its ranking in the top spot in 2016.


The 2013 Honda Civic is the vehicle least likely to have a check engine light on among the 8,900 different model year 1996 to 2017 vehicles analyzed by CarMD in 2017.


At least 10 percent of the cars and trucks on the road in the U.S. have a check engine light on at any given time, so chances are good that most vehicle owners will experience the hassle of needing a check engine light-related repair at some point. But which brands are least likely to need check engine repairs? To rank these brands, CarMD developed a formula that accounts for those with the lowest percentage of repair incidents per percentage of vehicle population. Based on this data, an Index frequency score is assigned. The lower the score the higher the vehicle make ranking.

CarMD found that over the past year when it comes to repair frequency Acura ranks no. 1, with a 1.40 CarMD Index frequency score. Acura is followed by Honda, which ranks no. 2 on the list for the second consecutive year. Toyota ranks no. 3 this year, down from its ranking in the top spot in 2016. Rounding out the top five brands least likely to need check engine light repairs are Mercedes and Mitsubishi.

*The lower the Index frequency score, the higher the ranking.

(Top 10 vehicle makes by repair frequency based on model year 1996-2017 vehicles inspected between Oct. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2017, and determined to have the fewest percentage of CarMD repair incidents, per vehicle population. Sources: CarMD.com Corp., with vehicle population data provided by R.L. Polk. )


Any given brand can have a mix of very reliable vehicles along with some that are inherently known to have more frequent issues. For this reason, our Index drills down to rank vehicles by year, make and model. Three Toyotas, two Fords, two Hondas, one Jeep, one Nissan and one RAM truck comprise this list of 10 vehicles with the lowest check engine light-related repair frequency among the 8,900 different model year 1996 to 2017 vehicles on the road over the past year.


Cars and trucks will need repairs from time to time. Of the 4.2 million vehicles analyzed by CarMD for needing repairs this past year, which makes cost their owners the least? CarMD found that the brand with the lowest average check engine light-related repair cost again this year was Hyundai at an average cost of $306, which is nearly 4 percent less than last year. Mazda ($310) remained the brand with the second lowest repair cost, and Kia ($317) retained its third-place ranking. Chrysler and Dodge rounded out the top five, ranking fourth and fifth respectively. New to the list this year are Infiniti and Volkswagen, which debut at no. 6 and no. 9 respectively.

(Top 10 vehicle manufacturers based on model year 1996-2017 vehicles inspected by CarMD’s network, found to need repairs and receiving parts and labor estimates between Oct. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2017.)


When the check engine light comes on, here is the list of the 10 vehicles with the lowest average repair cost among the 8,900 different year, make and model vehicles on the road today. Many drivers are surprised to learn that a loose, damage or missing gas cap is one of the most common check engine light triggers. Vehicles that have a high percentage of finicky gas caps often have lower average repair costs, but spend time getting it diagnosed nonetheless.


The following is a list of the top three vehicles by category using data reported from Oct. 1, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2017, according to CarMD, which based its ranking on the vehicles with the fewest and those with the lowest cost check engine-related problems reported by or to our network:

Wait, there’s more


If you’re interested in more info on the current state of vehicle health, download the PDF below. What you see on this page is only about 10% of all the info we have to offer – don’t miss the rest!


Stats


By ranking vehicles

(The Top 100 Vehicles in the U.S. (MY 1996-2017) with the fewest “check engine”-related problems reported from Oct. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2017)

Rank Year Make Model Index Frequency Score
1. 2013 HONDA CIVIC 0.07
2. 2015 TOYOTA CAMRY 0.08
3. 2015 TOYOTA COROLLA 0.08
4. 2014 TOYOTA CAMRY 0.10
5. 2013 HONDA ACCORD 0.10
6. 2015 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE 0.10
7. 2015 FORD ESCAPE 0.10
8. 2015 FORD F150 0.11
9. 2016 RAM 1500 0.11
10. 2015 NISSAN ALTIMA 0.11
11. 2016 JEEP CHEROKEE 0.12
12. 2011 HONDA CR-V 0.13
13. 2012 TOYOTA CAMRY 0.14
14. 2015 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 0.14
15. 2012 HONDA CIVIC 0.15
16. 2015 CHEVROLET EQUINOX 0.15
17. 2014 FORD F150 0.15
18. 2015 GMC SIERRA 0.16
19. 2013 TOYOTA CAMRY 0.16
20. 2014 TOYOTA COROLLA 0.17
21. 2015 FORD FUSION 0.17
22. 2015 FORD FOCUS 0.17
23. 2014 HYUNDAI SONATA 0.18
24. 2007 TOYOTA PRIUS 0.18
25. 2015 HYUNDAI SONATA 0.19
26. 2015 JEEP CHEROKEE 0.19
27. 2014 FORD ESCAPE 0.20
28. 2015 NISSAN SENTRA 0.20
29. 2015 KIA SOUL 0.21
30. 2013 TOYOTA COROLLA 0.21
31. 2014 HYUNDAI ELANTRA 0.21
32. 2016 CHEVROLET MALIBU 0.21
33. 2013 HONDA PILOT 0.21
34. 2014 FORD EXPLORER 0.21
35. 2014 FORD FUSION 0.21
36. 2012 HONDA ACCORD 0.22
37. 2011 HONDA CIVIC 0.22
38. 2010 HONDA CIVIC 0.22
39. 2009 TOYOTA TACOMA 0.22
40. 2015 FORD F250 0.22
41. 2009 HONDA CR-V 0.23
42. 2015 FORD MUSTANG 0.23
43. 2014 NISSAN ALTIMA 0.23
44. 2011 TOYOTA CAMRY 0.24
45. 2012 TOYOTA COROLLA 0.24
46. 2008 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER 0.24
47. 2014 KIA SORENTO 0.25
48. 2015 JEEP PATRIOT 0.25
49. 2011 SUBARU OUTBACK 0.25
50. 2013 HYUNDAI ELANTRA 0.25
51. 2013 NISSAN ROGUE 0.25
52. 2012 TOYOTA RAV4 0.25
53. 2013 HYUNDAI SONATA 0.25
54. 2008 HONDA CR-V 0.26
55. 2008 LEXUS RX 0.26
56. 2010 HONDA CR-V 0.27
57. 2011 TOYOTA RAV4 0.27
58. 2003 TOYOTA COROLLA 0.27
59. 2011 TOYOTA COROLLA 0.27
60. 2004 TOYOTA COROLLA 0.27
61. 2010 TOYOTA RAV4 0.28
62. 2013 KIA SORENTO 0.28
63. 2014 FORD FOCUS 0.28
64. 2015 NISSAN VERSA 0.29
65. 2001 DODGE Ram 2500 0.29
66. 2004 FORD F350 0.29
67. 2014 KIA SOUL 0.29
68. 2004 HONDA PILOT 0.30
69. 2011 HONDA ACCORD 0.30
70. 2016 CHEVROLET CRUZE LIMITED 0.30
71. 2013 KIA OPTIMA 0.30
72. 2007 HONDA CR-V 0.30
73. 2014 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA 0.30
74. 2015 FORD F350 0.31
75. 2004 FORD F250 0.31
76. 2012 FORD FOCUS 0.31
77. 2010 TOYOTA COROLLA 0.31
78. 2014 JEEP CHEROKEE 0.31
79. 2012 HONDA PILOT 0.31
80. 2001 TOYOTA COROLLA 0.31
81. 2012 FORD ECONOLINE 0.31
82. 2015 GMC ACADIA 0.32
83. 2015 DODGE GRAND CARAVAN 0.32
84. 2012 SUBARU OUTBACK 0.32
85. 2012 TOYOTA TACOMA 0.32
86. 2014 CHEVROLET CAMARO 0.32
87. 2009 HONDA CIVIC 0.33
88. 2016 DODGE JOURNEY 0.33
89. 1999 TOYOTA COROLLA 0.33
90. 2004 HONDA ODYSSEY 0.33
91. 2001 BUICK LESABRE 0.33
92. 2014 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE 0.34
93. 2014 NISSAN SENTRA 0.34
94. 2012 MAZDA 3 0.34
95. 2014 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 0.34
96. 2003 TOYOTA CAMRY 0.34
97. 2014 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE 0.35
98. 2012 TOYOTA TUNDRA 0.35
99. 2003 HONDA PILOT 0.36
100. 2003 HONDA ODYSSEY 0.36

(The Top 100 Vehicles in the U.S. (MY 1996-2017) with the lowest average “check engine”-related repair costs reported from Oct. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017)

Rank Year Make Model Average “Check Engine” Light-Related
Repair Cost
1. 2012 MAZDA 5 $109.30
2. 2014 KIA FORTE $150.02
3. 2015 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE $152.60
4. 2011 KIA OPTIMA $155.54
5. 2015 GMC ACADIA $155.72
6. 2014 HYUNDAI ELANTRA $164.26
7. 2013 FIAT 500 $164.57
8. 2015 CHEVROLET IMPALA $166.83
9. 2014 HYUNDAI SONATA $167.55
10. 2011 KIA SPORTAGE $171.61
11. 2015 CHEVROLET CAMARO $172.14
12. 2015 CHEVROLET SONIC $173.27
13. 2009 HYUNDAI ACCENT $173.95
14. 2010 HYUNDAI ACCENT $174.51
15. 2013 KIA FORTE $176.43
16. 2008 HYUNDAI ACCENT $176.79
17. 2007 HYUNDAI ACCENT $176.95
18. 2013 HYUNDAI ACCENT $178.16
19. 2009 KIA OPTIMA $178.37
20. 2015 JEEP PATRIOT $181.19
21. 2012 HONDA CIVIC $183.67
22. 2013 JEEP PATRIOT $185.00
23. 2015 CHEVROLET MALIBU $185.54
24. 2013 HYUNDAI ELANTRA $186.36
25. 2010 DODGE CALIBER $188.09
26. 2014 CHEVROLET CAPTIVA $188.56
27. 2015 CHEVROLET IMPALA LIMITED $189.52
28. 2013 CHEVROLET SPARK $190.07
29. 2011 HYUNDAI ACCENT $192.34
30. 2016 CHRYSLER 200 $193.11
31. 2010 DODGE AVENGER $193.47
32. 2001 FORD EXPLORER SPORT TRAC $194.06
33. 2016 DODGE JOURNEY $194.16
34. 2012 HYUNDAI ACCENT $194.28
35. 2002 FORD EXPLORER SPORT TRAC $195.11
36. 2014 JEEP COMPASS $196.37
37. 2014 CHEVROLET MALIBU $198.84
38. 2015 FORD MUSTANG $199.18
39. 2014 CHEVROLET IMPALA LIMITED $199.41
40. 2014 JEEP PATRIOT $200.30
41. 2016 RAM 1500 $200.55
42. 2013 CADILLAC ATS $200.72
43. 2012 FIAT 500 $201.66
44. 2013 CHEVROLET CAPTIVA $202.05
45. 2014 RAM 1500 $202.43
46. 2010 CHRYSLER SEBRING $202.85
47. 2014 CHRYSLER 200 $202.89
48. 2015 TOYOTA CAMRY $203.77
49. 2011 JEEP COMPASS $204.25
50. 2013 TOYOTA CAMRY $204.80
51. 2010 KIA SOUL $205.43
52. 2011 KIA FORTE $205.44
53. 2013 KIA OPTIMA $206.51
54. 2011 KIA SORENTO $207.21
55. 2014 HYUNDAI ACCENT $207.27
56. 2013 CHRYSLER 200 $207.68
57. 2016 CHEVROLET MALIBU $208.02
58. 2012 VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE $208.33
59. 2005 CHEVROLET COBALT $208.36
60. 2013 GMC ACADIA $209.33
61. 2013 HONDA CIVIC $210.18
62. 2012 JEEP PATRIOT $210.22
63. 2014 DODGE AVENGER $210.63
64. 2011 DODGE CALIBER $210.64
65. 2005 DODGE NEON $211.83
66. 2013 BUICK LACROSSE $211.87
67. 2013 HYUNDAI SONATA $212.10
68. 2011 JEEP PATRIOT $212.11
69. 2012 BUICK LACROSSE $212.91
70. 2009 KIA RIO $213.17
71. 2013 CHEVROLET IMPALA $215.44
72. 2008 GMC ENVOY $215.64
73. 2003 DODGE NEON $215.74
74. 2013 KIA RIO $215.79
75. 1996 FORD ECONOLINE $216.32
76. 2004 DODGE NEON $217.50
77. 2013 VOLKSWAGEN CC $218.20
78. 2012 HYUNDAI SONATA $218.61
79. 2010 JEEP WRANGLER $218.92
80. 2001 FORD EXPLORER $219.37
81. 2012 CADILLAC CTS $219.41
82. 2012 BUICK REGAL $219.57
83. 2012 JEEP COMPASS $219.96
84. 2013 FORD MUSTANG $220.16
85. 2008 KIA RIO $220.78
86. 2011 HONDA CIVIC $221.94
87. 2013 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE $222.82
88. 2001 FORD RANGER $223.24
89. 2013 DODGE AVENGER $223.60
90. 2015 CHEVROLET CRUZE $224.05
91. 2011 KIA SOUL $224.25
92. 2014 TOYOTA CAMRY $224.34
93. 2002 FORD RANGER $224.51
94. 2012 KIA FORTE $225.69
95. 2009 HYUNDAI SANTA FE $226.06
96. 2006 CHEVROLET COBALT $226.50
97. 1999 FORD WINDSTAR $227.47
98. 2010 DODGE CHALLENGER $228.78
99. 2011 TOYOTA CAMRY $229.94
100. 2006 TOYOTA CAMRY SOLARA $230.29
hoa2017 CarMD Make & Model Rankings