12 Great SUVs With The Fewest Recalls (Top Models)

SUV is a popular abbreviation for sport utility vehicle and it is one of the most famous vehicle types right now. While there is no unanimous definition, SUVs are beloved for their impressive combination of off-road capabilities and features of regular passenger cars.  

There are different kinds of SUVs, the most popular ones being compact SUVs, mid-size SUVs, crossover SUVs, and large SUVs.

To determine a vehicle’s reliability, one of the major things to look at is the number of recalls it has had over a certain period. Below is a compilation of the top SUVs on the market right now with the fewest recalls.

1. Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot falls gracefully in the mid-size crossover segment and it was first launched in 2002. Currently, in its third generation, it is reputed to be Honda’s largest SUV with millions of sales and impressive critical success.

It is rated #2 on U.S. News’ list of mid-size SUVs and holds a 79/100 quality and reliability rating on JD Power.

Number of Recalls

The Honda Pilot has been recalled 123 times according to data from the NHTSA.

The 2005 model has the most recalls with 15 and most of the issues are airbag-related problems. The 2003 Pilot follows with 13 recalls and most of the issues are also airbag-related alongside a couple of lighting problems.

So far, the 2018 and 2020 models of the Honda Pilot have the fewest recalls with 2 each. While the 2018 recalls were due to seats and suspension issues, the 2020 Pilot recalls were about problems with the vehicle structure.

2. Ford Escape

The Ford Escape was launched in 2000 and it is currently in its fourth generation. It has garnered incredible commercial success, with over 4 million units sold and pundits consider it one of the top SUVs in the market.

Number of Recalls

Available data show that models of the Ford Escape have been recalled 113 times since its debut in 2000.

Of the 113 recalls, the 2013 Ford Escape bags 19 and the issues range from airbags to seatbelts and body structure amongst others. The 2014 Ford Escape comes right behind with 17 and the issues include seat belt problems, wiring issues, and airbag issues.

The 2016 Escape has been recalled the least with just 1 recall due to problems with the knee bolster of the airbags. Meanwhile, the 2020 Ford Escape has been recalled twice for seat-related issues.

3. Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander is one of the most popular SUVs out there. Introduced in the year 2000, the Highlander became a household name in no time and has sold millions of units alongside rave reviews from critics.

It also has a stellar 82/100 reliability rating from JD Power, making it one of the most reliable vehicles in its class.

Number of Recalls

Data from the NHTSA show that the Toyota Highlander has been recalled 93 times so far.

The 2008 Toyota Highlander has the most recalls with 12 and the common problems are airbag issues and power window faults. The 2010 model has the second most recalls with 11 issues, many of which are about seats, speed control, and airbags.

Data also reveals that the 2015 Highlander has been recalled just once for an issue with its electric power-assist system. This makes it the Highlander model with the fewest recalls so far, fewer than the recent 2020 model (2).

Read more: 11 Toyota Highlander Statistics You Should Know (Facts & Numbers)

4. Audi Q5

The Audi Q5 is part of German auto manufacturer, Audi’s impressive lineup. Production of the vehicle began in 2008 and the SUV is currently in its second generation with at least 200,000 units sold every year since 2012.

It also enjoys warm reception from critics with excellent safety and reliability ratings across the board.

Number of Recalls

With 71 recalls, the Audi Q5 has one of the fewest recalls among SUVs on the market right now.

The 2018 model has the most recalls with 8 and issues range from service brakes to airbags. The 2009, 2012, and 2015 models have 7 recalls each.

Model years with the fewest recalls are 2008 and 2020, with 2 and 1 respectively. Audi recalled the 2020 model for body structure issues and the 2008 model for airbag defects.

5. Kia Sportage

South Korean auto manufacturer, Kia launched the Kia Sportage in 1993 and reclassified it as a compact crossover in 2004.

It entered its fifth generation in 2021 and has sold over a million units since its debut. The Sportage also overtook the Kia Rio as the best-selling Kia model worldwide in 2016.

The Kia Sportage boasts excellent critic ratings from reputable auto platforms, including an impressive reliability rating of 88/100 on JD Power.

Number of Recalls

NHTSA data reveals that the Kia Sportage has been recalled 59 times.

7 of the 59 recalls were issued for the 2011 Kia Sportage. Most of the issues stated in the announcements were about the vehicle’s engine and service brakes.

The 2012 and 2017 models are close behind, with 4 recalls each.

The 2002 and 2006 Kia Sportage models have been recalled just once-the former for engine cooling issues and the latter for lighting problems.

Related: How Long Do Kia Sportages Last? (9 Questions Answered)

6. Hyundai Santa Fe

South Korean auto giant, Hyundai, launched the Hyundai Santa Fe in the year 2000. As you can probably tell, it is named after Santa Fe, the capital city of New Mexico. The Santa Fe is in its fourth generation and has sold millions of units whilst garnering favorable reviews from critics.

Number of Recalls

Hyundai has issued 58 recalls for the Hyundai Santa Fe.

Of the 58 recalls, the 2007 Santa Fe has the most with 8. Issues stated in the recall bulletin include service brake faults, fuel system problems, and airbag issues.

The 2006 and 2015 models of the Hyundai Santa Fe have been recalled just once for hood latch and coil spring issues, respectively.

Issues relating to door latches, service brakes, and airbags are among the most recurrent issues across model years.

7. Ford Expedition

The Ford Expedition is a full-size SUV introduced in 1996 for the 1997 model year. Being the Ford Bronco’s successor, the Expedition stepped into rather large shoes and it appears to have lived up to expectations.

Currently in its fourth generation, the Ford Expedition has enjoyed massive commercial and critical success.

Number of Recalls

The Expedition has only been recalled 57 times, making it one of the top SUVs with the fewest recalls.

The 1997, 2000, and 2018 models have the most recalls with 7 each. Issues with the 1997 Expedition include vehicle speed control problems, rear suspension problems, and exterior lighting issues, amongst others.

For the 2000 Ford Expedition, the issues stated in the recall include windshield problems, faulty structure, and speed control hitches. The recalls issued for the 2018 mostly involved the vehicle’s automatic transmission and defective fuel pumps, amongst others.

The 2003 and 2009 models of the Ford Expedition have the fewest recalls with 1 each.

Read more: How Long Do Ford Expeditions Last? (8 Important Facts)

8. Kia Sorento

The Kia Sorento has assumed a place amongst Kia’s growing lineup of SUVs since 2002. It is classified as a mid-size crossover SUV and entered its fourth generation in 2020. It also boasts sales of over one million units and is often regarded as one of the best SUVs in the market.

Number of Recalls

Kia has recalled the Sorento 55 times since it was first introduced in 2002.

The 2016 Kia Sorento has the most recalls with 8 so far. It was mostly recalled for issues related to the engine, seatbelt, accelerator pedal, and rear suspension, amongst others.

The 2003 and 2006 models have the fewest recalls with just one.

9. Nissan Rogue

The Nissan Rogue is the top-selling Nissan vehicle in the United States. It debuted in 2007 as a compact crossover SUV and entered its third generation in 2020, with millions of units sold within a relatively short period.

It also boasts excellent critic ratings, splendid safety features, and a quality and reliability rating of 82/100 on JD Power.

Number of Recalls

42 recalls have been issued for the Nissan Rogue since 2008.

The 2014 Rogue received 8 recalls for issues relating to its fuel system, electric system, service brakes, and front passenger airbags. The 2013, 2018, and 2019 models have the fewest recalls with 1 each.

The most recurrent issues across recalled models include seat/seat belt problems, airbag problems, and electrical system faults.

10. Chevrolet Traverse

The Chevrolet Traverse is a mid-size crossover SUV manufactured by General Motors since 2008. A successor to the famous Chevy Trailblazer, the Traverse has become a giant in its own right selling at least 100,000 units every year since 2014.

It also boasts a reliability rating of 82 out of 100, making it one of the most reliable Chevrolet vehicles.

Number of Recalls

Since its debut in 2008, Chevrolet has recalled the Chevy Traverse 34 times. Its first model, 2009 Chevy Traverse, has the most recalls with 8. Common issues listed include seatbelt problems, parking brake issues, and airbag issues.

The 2015 and 2020 Chevy Traverse have the fewest recalls with 1 each. In this case, the 2015 Traverse has the upper hand, given its age.

Recurrent issues listed across the 42 recalls include problems with the airbags, seatbelts, and the electrical system.

Related: Chevrolet Traverse In Snow & Winter Driving? (Explained)

11. Chevrolet Equinox

Chevrolet introduced the Chevy Equinox in 2004 and classified it as a mid-size crossover until 2017. In 2018, it was reclassified as a compact crossover and entered its third generation in the same year.

The Equinox has sold over 3 million units since 2004 and holds a praise-worthy reliability rating of 85/100 on JD Power.

Number of Recalls

Chevrolet issued the first recall for the Equinox in 2004 and followed it up with another 33, which adds up to 34 so far. The 2018 Equinox has been recalled 5 times, making it the year with the most recalls. Major problems listed include weak driveshaft, fuel pump issues, and service brake issues.

The 2005 and 2015 Equinox models have the fewest recalls with 1 each for automatic transmission defects and airbag problems, respectively.

Common issues across the recalled models include automatic transmission defects, ignition issues, and airbag problems.

12. Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 has been in production since 2012 and has achieved a consistent surge in sales from 2012 to 2019. The streak was cut short during the pandemic-stricken 2020, though it remains a very impressive feat.

It adds another feather to its cap with enviable critic ratings across the board and a reliability rating of 81/100 on JD Power.

Number of Recalls

The CX-5 has one of the fewest recalls amongst SUVs in its class with just 18 so far. 2016 model year CX-5 stays atop the recall charts with 4 and its issues range from loose steering knuckles to weak lighting. The 2013 model has, however, been recalled just once for a liftgate-related problem.

Commonly stated issues across the CX-5 model years include hatchback/liftgate problems and steering defects.

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