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12 Car Brands That Will Break Down Twice as Fast as the Average Vehicle

audioundwerbung / Getty Images/iStockphoto
audioundwerbung / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Having an open mind about brand reputation, space, performance, looks and even price is a great thing to carry when you’re on the prowl for a used car, but having detailed reliability data from thousands of actual car owners is even better and might be the most crucial bit of information at your disposal when buying a vehicle.

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There are few things worse for your wallet and your sanity than regularly repairing your ride. But it’s a fact of life that some brands are less reliable than others, and some by a quite a large margin.

Every year, Consumer Reports gives reliability ratings to every major vehicle model by asking members about problems they’ve had over the past 12 months.

Last year’s least reliable company, Mercedes-Benz (M-B), stayed unreliable and was ranked the second least trustworthy behind Chrysler, which was given a woeful average predicted reliability score of 18 out of 100. M-B (23), Rivian (24; not included in last year’s list ranking due to a lack of models available to rank), Volkswagen (26) and Jeep (26) round out the five least reliable brands, based on owner satisfaction surveys.

To put these rankings in context, CR’s top five brands ranked on average predicted reliability — Lexus, Toyota, Mini, Acura and Honda — all scored in the 70s, making them twice as dependable as many of the brands listed below, according to CR’s methodology. CR rates brands and models based on 20 weighted minor and major trouble areas from its members.

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Here are the 12 least reliable car brands, based on CR’s new data gathered on over 330,000 vehicles from the 2000 to 2023 model years (plus a few rare 2024 models). Also included below are the average annual maintenance costs, courtesy of RepairPal’s latest info.

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12. Audi

  • Predicted Reliability Score: 43

  • Average Yearly Maintenance Costs: $987

11. Chevrolet

  • Predicted Reliability Score: 43

  • Average Yearly Maintenance Costs: $649

10. Dodge

  • Predicted Reliability Score: 42

  • Average Yearly Maintenance Costs: $634

9. Ford

  • Predicted Reliability Score: 40

  • Average Yearly Maintenance Costs: $775

8. Lincoln

  • Predicted Reliability Score: 38

  • Average Yearly Maintenance Costs: $879

7. GMC

  • Predicted Reliability Score: 36

  • Average Yearly Maintenance Costs: $744

6. Volvo

  • Predicted Reliability Score: 28

  • Average Yearly Maintenance Costs: $769

5. Jeep

  • Predicted Reliability Score: 26

  • Average Yearly Maintenance Costs: $634

4. Volkswagen

  • Predicted Reliability Score: 26

  • Average Yearly Maintenance Costs: $676

3. Rivian

  • Predicted Reliability Score: 24

  • Average Yearly Maintenance Costs: Not available

2. Mercedes-Benz

  • Predicted Reliability Score: 23

  • Average Yearly Maintenance Costs: $908

1. Chrysler

  • Predicted Reliability Score: 18

  • Average Yearly Maintenance Costs: $608

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 12 Car Brands That Will Break Down Twice as Fast as the Average Vehicle