Consumer Reports just released its exclusive new car reliability ratings covering car models from 27 different brands. The brands to top the list this year were Toyota, Lexus and Kia. And the bottom: Ram, GMC and Cadillac.
Consumer Reports' data finds that newly redesigned models are more likely to have wonky engines, jerky transmissions or high-tech features that fail outright.
"Problems often arise when new technologies are added to today's cars. Owners have reported problems ranging from poor shifting to complete transmission failure," said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports' auto expert.
Redesigns with the biggest growing pains included the Buick Lacrosse, GMC Acadia and Subaru Impreza. Another trouble spot in updated models: vehicle infotainment systems.
"People actually reported twice as many problems on Infotainment systems on vehicles that were new or redesigned, as opposed to vehicles that were largely carry-over from the previous year," noted Consumer Reports' Jake Fisher.
A stark example is the 2017 Subaru Impreza. A "very reliable" model in 2016, owners are reporting problems with the rear-view camera freezing, poor radio reception and problems pairing their smart phones.
The all-electric Tesla Model X SUV ranks last in reliability for all models due to problems with its falcon-wing doors, body hardware, paint and trim and climate system.
The 2017 models that scored highest in reliability are the Kia Niro, Subaru BRZ, Toyota 86 and Lexus ES.
The category scoring highest for 2018 models was compact hybrids and electric cars, with four of the top five cars being different Toyota Prius models.
SUVs surpassed traditional sedans in sales for the first time. Two million of those were small SUVs. In CR's popular Compact SUV category, the Toyota RAV4 topped the list for the second year in a row. At the bottom of the list was the Hyundai Tucson.