In addition to its yearly offering of best values in different price classes and fuel efficiency, Consumer Reports’ recent lists of best and worst cars included the category of most reliable vehicle by segments.
The list makes sense for car buyers not shopping by social status or brand loyalty but in more general terms — the reliability of vehicle segments.
It’s not true in every instance, but in many cases the vehicles among the country’s most fuel efficient segment is the same segment that’s the most reliable — hatchbacks.
And how ironic? Consumer Reports in general terms reports the more expensive the vehicle segment, the less reliable the segment.
In the new Consumer Reports listing, fuel efficient hatchbacks were overwhelmingly the most reliable car segment. In 2012, U.S. News & World Report, which aggregates the reviews of many sites, listed the top-10 hatchbacks as follows:
1. Honda Fit; 2. Ford Fiesta, 3. Mazda 3; 4. Volkswagen GTI; 5. Volkswagen Golf; 6. Ford Focus; 7. Mazda 8. Nissan Versa; 9. Scion xB; 10. Audi A3.
Consumer Reports list of most reliable car segments included 18 categories, with some crossover, fuel efficient hatchbacks and small hatchbacks for example. Only half of the segments receive positive scores:
Most Reliable Vehicle Segments:
Fuel-efficient hatchbacks, 50; Wagons, 37; Compact sports sedans, 25; Compact pickups, 25; Small SUVs, 24; Small hatchbacks, 24; Family cars, 14; Coupes & convertibles, 4; Small cars, 2; Upscale compact SUVs, -1; Full-sized pickups, -7; Luxury cars, -7; Large SUVs, -10; Midsized SUVs, -11; Sporty cars, -13; Luxury SUVs, -16; Minivans, -21; Upscale cars, -26.
Article Last Updated: November 8, 2012.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.