2018

Make & Model Rankings

Published by CarMD, December 2018

The 2018 CarMD® Vehicle Health IndexTM Make and Model Reliability Rankings studies and ranks in-use vehicles and brands based on frequency of check engine light (CEL) problems and then separately on average cost of repairs. In this report you will find the following:

  • 10 brands with the lowest repair incidents/lowest average car repair costs
  • 10 vehicles by year, make and model with the fewest repair incidents/lowest average repair costs
  • Top three vehicles by category

This Index report summary also provides insight on the most common repairs for the top 10 vehicles in each category. This can be useful to vehicle owners, used car buyers and repair professionals.

Published annually since 2011, the CarMD Vehicle Health Index Make and Model Reliability Rankings is the only ranking that statistically measures check engine failures and repair costs. While other industry reports often rely on subjective survey data, we base our figures on statistical analyses reported directly from model year 1996 to current vehicles on the road in the U.S. over the past year, which is more comprehensive than many first-year owner surveys and studies. To achieve this unmatched level of accuracy, we have analyzed the vehicle data and health of more than 5.6 million in-use vehicles manufactured from 1996 to 2018 reporting check engine health between Oct. 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2018.

Highlights


The vehicle brand with the lowest average repair cost for CHECK ENGINE problems in 2018? Mazda, which had an average recommended parts & labor estimate of $286.


The 2017 Hyundai Tucson has the lowest average car repair cost.


CarMD found that over the past year, Toyota ranked no. 1 as the brand least likely to have a check engine light on. Toyota is followed by Acura (no. 2) and Hyundai (no. 3).


The 2016 Audi Q5 is the vehicle least likely to have a check engine light on among the 9,130 different model year 1996 to 2018 vehicles analyzed by CarMD in 2018.


The CarMD Vehicle Health Index also lists the top vehicle by category:


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, and a pilot test of the new CarMD® PRO SCANTM repair shop solution found that as many as 25 percent of vehicles brought to the repair shop have a check engine light on. Because it is likely that every vehicle owner will eventually have to address a check engine light, CarMD studied data from more than 5.6 million vehicles from many sources to help identify the makes least likely to need check engine repairs. To rank these makes, 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 Toyota ranks no. 1, with a 0.58 CarMD Index frequency score. Toyota is followed by Acura, which ranks no. 2 on the list – down from its top ranking last year. Hyundai ranks no. 3 this year. Rounding out the top five brands least likely to need check engine light repairs are Honda and Mitsubishi.


Top 10 Vehicles Least Likely to Have a Check Engine Light On

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. Four Hondas, two Subarus, one Audi, one GMC, one Toyota and one Volvo comprise this list of 10 vehicles with the lowest check engine light-related repair frequency among the 9,130 different model year 1996 to 2018 vehicles on the road over the past year.


Top 10 Brands with Lowest Average Repair Cost

Of the 5.6 million vehicles analyzed by CarMD as needing repairs this past year, which makes cost their owners the least? CarMD found that the brand with the lowest average check engine-related repair cost this year was Mazda ($286). Last year, Mazda ranked second with an average repair cost of just under $311. Kia ($320) moved up from third to second this year. Dodge ($326) moved up from fifth to third. Hyundai dropped from first to fourth with an average cost of $328 – up 6.8 percent from $307 last year. Rounding out the top five is Chrysler, which dropped one spot. Joining this year’s list of the 10 vehicle makes with the lowest average repair costs are Honda and Toyota, debuting at no. 9 and no. 10 respectively.


Top 10 Vehicles with Lowest Average Repair Cost

When the check engine light comes on, here are the 10 vehicles with the lowest average repair cost among the 9,130 different year, make and model vehicles on the road today.


Top Three Vehicles by Category – 2018 CarMD® Vehicle Health Index Make & Vehicle Rankings & Lists

The following is a list of the top three vehicles by category using data reported from Oct. 1, 2017 through Sept. 30, 2018, 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 1996-2018) with the fewest “check engine”-related problems reported from Oct. 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2018)

Rank Year Make Model Index Frequency Score
1. 2016 AUDI Q5 0.009
2. 2017 HONDA CIVIC 0.009
3. 2017 SUBARU CROSSTREK 0.01
4. 2017 HONDA CR-V 0.011
5. 2017 HONDA HR-V 0.012
6. 2017 GMC ACADIA 0.012
7. 2015 SUBARU FORESTER 0.013
8. 2017 TOYOTA SIENNA 0.013
9. 2016 HONDA CIVIC 0.015
10. 2016 VOLVO XC90 0.015
11. 2017 FORD EXPLORER 0.016
12. 2016 HONDA CR-V 0.016
13. 2015 LINCOLN MKC 0.017
14. 2017 GMC YUKON 0.017
15. 2015 LEXUS RX 0.017
16. 2017 HONDA PILOT 0.017
17. 2017 FORD EXPEDITION 0.018
18. 2015 MERCEDES-BENZ CLA 0.018
19. 2016 HONDA HR-V 0.018
20. 2017 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER 0.018
21. 2017 GMC TERRAIN 0.018
22. 2016 TOYOTA RAV4 HV 0.018
23. 2017 HONDA ACCORD 0.019
24. 2017 HYUNDAI SONATA 0.019
25. 2017 MERCEDES-BENZ GLC 0.019
26. 2017 TOYOTA RAV4 0.019
27. 2016 SUBARU OUTBACK 0.02
28. 2017 NISSAN MURANO 0.02
29. 2015 BMW X5 0.021
30. 2016 MERCEDES-BENZ C 0.021
31. 2015 LEXUS ES 0.021
32. 2017 MAZDA CX-5 0.021
33. 2017 CHEVROLET EQUINOX 0.022
34. 2015 ACURA MDX 0.022
35. 2016 CADILLAC ESCALADE 0.022
36. 2015 MERCEDES-BENZ C 0.022
37. 2016 BMW X3 0.022
38. 2017 FORD F150 0.022
39. 2014 ACURA MDX 0.022
40. 2016 AUDI A3 0.023
41. 2014 MERCEDES-BENZ E 0.023
42. 2017 HONDA FIT 0.023
43. 2014 LEXUS RX 0.023
44. 2016 HONDA ODYSSEY 0.023
45. 2016 GMC YUKON 0.024
46. 2017 HYUNDAI SANTA FE 0.024
47. 2015 HONDA CR-V 0.024
48. 2016 GMC YUKON XL 0.025
49. 2016 LEXUS GX 0.025
50. 2016 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER 0.025
51. 2014 ACURA RDX 0.026
52. 2017 TOYOTA PRIUS 0.027
53. 2017 HONDA RIDGELINE 0.027
54. 2017 FORD TRANSIT 0.027
55. 2016 MERCEDES-BENZ GLC 0.028
56. 2017 GMC ACADIA LIMITED 0.028
57. 2015 MERCEDES-BENZ GLA 0.028
58. 2017 FORD EDGE 0.028
59. 2017 NISSAN ROGUE 0.028
60. 2016 SUBARU CROSSTREK 0.029
61. 2017 KIA SORENTO 0.03
62. 2016 FORD TAURUS 0.03
63. 2014 BMW X5 0.03
64. 2017 TOYOTA TACOMA 0.031
65. 2016 HONDA ACCORD 0.031
66. 2016 TOYOTA RAV4 0.031
67. 2016 BMW 328 0.032
68. 2015 INFINITI QX60 0.032
69. 2017 MAZDA 3 0.033
70. 2015 AUDI Q5 0.033
71. 2017 HYUNDAI SANTA FE SPORT 0.034
72. 2016 NISSAN MURANO 0.034
73. 2016 CHEVROLET TAHOE 0.035
74. 2016 LEXUS IS 0.035
75. 2017 KIA OPTIMA 0.035
76. 2017 TOYOTA 4RUNNER 0.036
77. 2017 KIA SEDONA 0.036
78. 2013 ACURA MDX 0.036
79. 2017 SUBARU IMPREZA 0.037
80. 2017 TOYOTA CAMRY 0.038
81. 2015 HYUNDAI GENESIS 0.038
82. 2013 LEXUS RX 0.038
83. 2016 TOYOTA SIENNA 0.039
84. 2017 BUICK ENCLAVE 0.039
85. 2017 CHEVROLET SUBURBAN 0.039
86. 2014 LEXUS ES 0.04
87. 2017 NISSAN ARMADA 0.04
88. 2016 TOYOTA AVALON 0.04
89. 2016 TOYOTA TACOMA 0.041
90. 2017 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE 0.042
91. 2016 TOYOTA 4RUNNER 0.042
92. 2016 MAZDA CX-5 0.043
93. 2016 LINCOLN MKZ 0.043
94. 2016 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 0.043
95. 2017 CHEVROLET TAHOE 0.043
96. 2015 LEXUS GS 0.044
97. 2016 BUICK VERANO 0.044
98. 2018 CHEVROLET EQUINOX 0.045
99. 2013 MERCEDES-BENZ E 0.046
100. 2016 LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER SPORT 0.046

(The Top 100 Vehicles in the U.S. (MY 1996-2018) with the lowest average “check engine”-related repair costs reported from Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018)

Rank Year Make Model Average “Check Engine” Light-Related
Repair Cost
1. 2017 HYUNDAI TUCSON $66.67
2. 2017 HYUNDAI ACCENT $69.31
3. 2016 KIA RIO $70.19
4. 2014 TOYOTA PRIUS C $82.77
5. 2017 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE $84.41
6. 2017 KIA SOUL $87.91
7. 2016 KIA FORTE $89.51
8. 2016 HYUNDAI TUCSON $91.13
9. 2017 HYUNDAI SANTA FE SPORT $91.88
10. 2017 TOYOTA 4RUNNER $106.58
11. 2015 TOYOTA PRIUS C $108.62
12. 2015 FIAT 500 $109.76
13. 2016 MERCEDES-BENZ C $111.54
14. 2017 HYUNDAI SONATA $114.89
15. 2017 TOYOTA PRIUS $117.75
16. 2017 JEEP WRANGLER $120.03
17. 2017 VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN $121.00
18. 2017 TOYOTA RAV4 $122.85
19. 2016 BUICK ENCLAVE $124.66
20. 2017 BUICK ENCLAVE $128.51
21. 2016 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE $129.04
22. 2014 FIAT 500L $130.95
23. 2017 TOYOTA YARIS IA $132.53
24. 2015 KIA FORTE $133.22
25. 2016 CHEVROLET MALIBU LIMITED $133.34
26. 2016 GMC ACADIA $136.17
27. 2016 HONDA CR-V $136.30
28. 2013 ACURA RDX $137.71
29. 2017 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE $138.39
30. 2017 KIA FORTE $138.74
31. 2016 HONDA HR-V $139.96
32. 2011 KIA OPTIMA $140.94
33. 2016 LEXUS IS $141.41
34. 2012 MAZDA 5 $143.15
35. 2017 GMC ACADIA LIMITED $143.74
36. 2017 DODGE DURANGO $144.17
37. 2016 HONDA ODYSSEY $147.14
38. 2016 TOYOTA RAV4 HV $147.44
39. 2017 HYUNDAI ELANTRA $147.89
40. 2016 HYUNDAI ELANTRA GT $148.30
41. 2017 JEEP WRANGLER UNLIMITED $148.35
42. 2013 KIA SPORTAGE $149.74
43. 2012 KIA SPORTAGE $154.66
44. 2013 MERCEDES-BENZ ML $154.70
45. 2015 LEXUS ES $154.80
46. 2017 KIA SEDONA $154.96
47. 2011 KIA SPORTAGE $157.37
48. 2015 HONDA PILOT $159.03
49. 2017 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE $159.13
50. 2015 BUICK ENCLAVE $159.37
51. 2017 MAZDA 3 $159.79
52. 2016 CHEVROLET EXPRESS G2500 $160.38
53. 2014 KIA FORTE $161.20
54. 2015 AUDI A3 $163.67
55. 2016 SUBARU OUTBACK $164.25
56. 2013 FORD C-MAX $165.45
57. 2017 DODGE JOURNEY $165.84
58. 2017 CHEVROLET IMPALA $166.40
59. 2017 RAM 2500 $166.46
60. 2018 CHEVROLET EQUINOX $167.54
61. 2017 NISSAN ROGUE $168.74
62. 2012 HYUNDAI TUCSON $169.00
63. 2015 GMC CANYON $171.46
64. 2015 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE $172.09
65. 2017 CHEVROLET SONIC $172.36
66. 2017 FORD EDGE $174.60
67. 2015 GMC ACADIA $175.97
68. 2017 HONDA ACCORD $176.90
69. 2015 CHEVROLET IMPALA $178.73
70. 2013 HYUNDAI ELANTRA GT $179.88
71. 2013 MERCEDES-BENZ GLK $180.26
72. 2015 CHEVROLET COLORADO $182.20
73. 2013 KIA FORTE $182.66
74. 2009 KIA OPTIMA $183.17
75. 2014 HONDA CIVIC $183.84
76. 2015 TOYOTA RAV4 $184.00
77. 2015 SUBARU OUTBACK $184.42
78. 2016 CHEVROLET SONIC $184.42
79. 2016 GMC CANYON $184.48
80. 2016 CHEVROLET IMPALA $185.08
81. 2014 HONDA CR-V $185.94
82. 2017 SUBARU IMPREZA $186.30
83. 2015 MINI COOPER $186.98
84. 2017 JEEP PATRIOT $188.37
85. 2016 HYUNDAI ACCENT $188.80
86. 2013 FIAT 500 $190.57
87. 2014 TOYOTA RAV4 $190.97
88. 2013 MERCEDES-BENZ E $191.74
89. 2011 KIA FORTE $191.96
90. 2015 CADILLAC SRX $194.29
91. 2013 TOYOTA PRIUS C $195.92
92. 2017 HONDA HR-V $195.94
93. 2010 HONDA INSIGHT $196.15
94. 2016 TOYOTA RAV4 $197.32
95. 2015 MERCEDES-BENZ CLA $198.91
96. 2016 RAM 1500 $199.07
97. 2014 ACURA MDX $199.50
98. 2016 FORD FIESTA $199.59
99. 2016 HYUNDAI ELANTRA $199.92
100. 2012 HONDA CIVIC $199.99
derek chenn2018 CarMD Make & Model Rankings