Top reliable Lexus, Toyota, Mazda, Honda, Audi have most reliable infotainment & better Bluetooth

reliableconsumerreportsIn-car infotainment systems are a pain in the Bluetooth for both car owners and car makers, according to Consumer Reports 2014 Annual Reliability Survey.

The common issues are:

  • Unresponsive touchscreens.
  • Problems pairing Bluetooth.
  • New problems this year  multi-use controllers that don’t function properly.

Infiniti, Jeep, Fiat, Ram, Cadillac, Ford, and Honda first year models had infotainment bugs and glitches. Of the 17 categories in-car electronics generated the most complaints.

Consumer Reports 2015 ranked Lexus as the most reliable brand in the U.S. market. Buick showed the most improvement in reliability. Buick was the only US car brand to finish in the top 10, at #6 up from #16 last year.

Predicted most reliable for 2015

  1. Lexus
  2. Toyota
  3. Mazda
  4. Honda
  5. Audi
  6. Buick
  7. Subaru
  8. Scion
  9. Porsche
  10. Kia
  11. Acura
  12. Volvo
  13. Hyundai
  14. BMW
  15. Lincoln
  16. Nissan
  17. Volkswagen
  18. Cadillac
  19. GMC
  20. Infiniti
  21. Chevrolet
  22. Chrysler
  23. Ford
  24. Mercedes -Benz
  25. Dodge
  26. Ram
  27. Jeep
  28. Fiat

Consumer Reports noted that cars with a lot of in-car electronic issues usually have plenty of other troubles, too.

The worst first-year infotainment offender in this year’s survey was the Intouch system in the new Infiniti Q50 sedan. More than one in five owners reported a problem with it.  It helped drop Infiniti’s reliability rank 14 points to 20th overall.

Updates and changes to Ford systems are improving, after problems with early models,  the 2014 Explorer’s revised system improved greatly.

Honda seems to have fixed a glitch with its HondaLink that contributed to Consumer Reports not recommending the redesigned Accord V6 last year. Chrysler’s UConnect touchscreen system was buggy in its first iteration but recent software revisions seem to be improving.

Toyota, Mazda and Honda, were ranked after Lexus in Consumer Reports’ overall brand rankings in that order.  Subaru, Scion and Kia placed Asian brands in seven of the top 10 spots.

With the exception of Infiniti, most Japanese and Korean brands improved their reliability average score. Nissan continues to lag behind other Japanese brands with core models like the Altima, Pathfinder, and Sentra all scoring below average reliability.

Lincoln moved up 12 spots, finishing #15, with four models including the reliable MKZ sedan scoring average and only two models below average. Hyundai moved up eight places, finishing #13. Kia moved up to #10.

The Chevrolet Sonic and Cruze, Ford Fiesta and Focus, and the turbo version of the Dodge Dart are all below average.  The recently redesigned Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500 is showing a lot of teething pains. The GMC brand dropped 10 places at #19 in the rankings largely because of the Sierra 1500 pickup. The Ram 1500 has also faltered, contributing to RAM’s seven place slide to 26th.

Tesla Motors  is not ranked but received an average rating and will remain a CR Recommended vehicle.

Audi, landed in the top five for the second straight year.  In addition, Porsche, Volvo and BMW brands also finished in the top half of the rankings.

Mercedes-Benz was the only European brand to decline significantly.  Fiat Chrysler were rated worst in the rankings, with its Dodge, Ram, Jeep and Fiat brands in the bottom four spots