Best & Worst Years | 16 Car Brands Checked

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When it comes to buying a car, the specific year of the model can make a significant difference. You could pick a brand known for reliability and still end up with a lemon if you choose the wrong year.

To help you avoid this, we’ve analyzed data for 233 different car models across 16 brands to pinpoint the best and worst years for each one.

Our analysis is based on solid data, including recall reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), consumer complaints, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, and reviews from auto experts on platforms like Edmunds. We also consulted specialist forums to gauge real-world experiences. All this data gives us a comprehensive view, allowing us to provide you with reliable insights.

Recalls are an obvious red flag; they usually mean there’s a safety or functionality issue. But remember that recalls can be fixed, so a recalled car isn’t necessarily a bad buy if the issue has been resolved.

Consumer complaints give you a good idea of common problems you might encounter. J.D. Power ratings often show the quality of different aspects of the car, like the engine or interior. Reviews offer another perspective, providing insights on how the car performs in real-world conditions.

Importantly, cars evolve.

An issue that plagued a particular model one year could be completely resolved the next year. Manufacturers take customer feedback seriously and invest heavily in R&D to improve their products. For instance, if a car had a transmission problem in 2019, the manufacturer might fix it in the 2020 model.

So, don’t write off an entire model just because one year had issues.

In summary, a lot goes into determining the reliability of a car model. By taking a multi-faceted approach and using multiple sources of data, we aim to guide you toward making an informed decision. Whether you’re interested in a sedan, an SUV, or a pickup truck, our goal is to help you find a vehicle that’s both reliable and enjoyable to drive.