Automotive

When reviewers look at car reliability, what are they actually reviewing?

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[OP]
Sr. Member
May 13, 2014
686 posts
345 upvotes
Vancouver

When reviewers look at car reliability, what are they actually reviewing?

Most people are interested in how a new car will hold up 10 years/200k miles down the road, but that's obviously not what's being reviewed. So what does reliability actually mean in the context of a car review?
26 replies
Member
Mar 27, 2021
385 posts
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Engineering, design, potential design flaws, cost cutting problems, build quality, simplicity or overengineering.
Long Time RFDer / restarting life
Deal Addict
Sep 28, 2006
1157 posts
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Toronto
The history of the model mostly
Deal Expert
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Jan 27, 2006
19285 posts
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Woodbridge
This is why I really don't pay attention nor let it decide whether I should purchase it or not.

My money.

I'm also not worried about first year production. I want the latest. be the first to own it.
"I'll put up color bars before I'll put you in front of our cameras."

- MacKenzie
THE NEWSROOM (HBO)
Deal Expert
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Jul 30, 2007
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They are simply speculating with no real parameters to work with. Only with real / live data for a couple of years into the model’s production, then they should make any claims of the reliability , imo.

Also, those real automotive journalists cannot bad mouth the car manufacturers in their reviews anyway, for the fear they will never ever be invited to another test drives of any future vehicles.
Deal Expert
Jan 15, 2006
19109 posts
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Richmond Hill
booblehead wrote: They are simply speculating with no real parameters to work with. Only with real / live data for a couple of years into the model’s production, then they should make any claims of the reliability , imo.

Also, those real automotive journalists cannot bad mouth the car manufacturers in their reviews anyway, for the fear they will never ever be invited to another test drives of any future vehicles.
So true. Look at the Koreans with the shitty exploding engines. Yet they are rated high for "reliability" LOL
Deal Fanatic
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Jan 25, 2004
6692 posts
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Ottawa
EP32k2 wrote: So true. Look at the Koreans with the shitty exploding engines. Yet they are rated high for "reliability" LOL
My parents Santa Fe just went in for another recall. Think they are up to 5 or 6 now. Ridic.
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Aug 30, 2020
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YEG/YYZ
EP32k2 wrote: So true. Look at the Koreans with the shitty exploding engines. Yet they are rated high for "reliability" LOL
Yet Korean fans think their cars are reliable like 90s Japanese cars. Yeah, maybe 1890s...
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Jul 30, 2007
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Every manufacturer out there will have problems, big and small. That’s given. In the end, you buy and hope for the best. Winking Face.

Do remember There are lots of reviewers get paid big time from their YT channels, therefore, do take those as entertainment value only
[OP]
Sr. Member
May 13, 2014
686 posts
345 upvotes
Vancouver
booblehead wrote: Every manufacturer out there will have problems, big and small. That’s given. In the end, you buy and hope for the best. Winking Face.

Do remember There are lots of reviewers get paid big time from their YT channels, therefore, do take those as entertainment value only
I was thinking more along the lines of JD Power when I asked the question, but what is YT if not pure entertainment? I can't say I've ever had the urge to blend a garden rake myself Winking Face
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Jan 15, 2017
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Raident wrote: I was thinking more along the lines of JD Power when I asked the question, but what is YT if not pure entertainment? I can't say I've ever had the urge to blend a garden rake myself Winking Face
JD Power's definition:

"...Quality scores are based on initial owner response and feedback of their new purchase whereas Dependability scores focus on longer-term ownership experiences of 3 years."

I have completed its quality survey 3 times now for new purchases and can tell you that it is quite comprehensive.

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/ratings
Deal Expert
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Jul 30, 2007
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Do you suppose jd power really based their findings on a real large samples?

If Toyota sold 250,000 Corollas in a given year, are they basing their results on 5,000 ? 10,000 ? customers (for example) who bothered to do their surveys.

Who do you suppose provide funding to jd power for their surveys ?

Those jd power rankings are sometimes laughable

Just for the record, I change car every 3 yrs or less and I have yet to receive a jd power or any kinds of customers satisfaction type of surveys. My most recent purchase was just 4 months ago. Actually, I have not even received an email survey from the brand I bought since delivery. Lol.
Member
Oct 25, 2020
460 posts
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Can't say which Kia model exactly but the local kia dealer near me always has at least four blown 4 cylinder engines sitting on the ground at all times.
Deal Addict
Nov 12, 2004
2569 posts
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Hometown
It used to mean a car that would be reliable enough to go 100,000 MILES with minimal maintenance. Last without rusting out in 8 to 10 years if you NEVER washed or waxed it.

Now if a vehicle can do all that, is still ranked as complete crap if ONE pixel on the infotainment system screen is bad. And heaven help the manufacturer if it drops one call or does not do seamless text by voice, 50 miles from the nearest cellphone tower. LOL
Penalty Box
Jun 26, 2009
5138 posts
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GTA
Star rating of the hotels they are staying in during press events, friendliness and looks of hostesses present at those events, number and quality of freebies they receive from car manufacturer's reps ( dinners, golf tournaments, brand merchandise, sport event tickets, air fare - you name it).
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
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Raident wrote: Most people are interested in how a new car will hold up 10 years/200k miles down the road, but that's obviously not what's being reviewed. So what does reliability actually mean in the context of a car review?
Actually next to nobody is interested in that these days. Not many people keep cars that long and very few take care of them such that they're in good shape that long.

When reviewing new cars you can't really talk about reliability, at least not to the length of more than a few years. Some cars you might be able to like those that have had relatively few changes over the course of a decade :cough: Nissan Z, Subaru STi :cough: but otherwise trying to talk about 10yr reliability when reviewing new cars is not really possible...at all.

With all-new cars being "demanded" or expected by consumers every few years these days and manufacturers being more than willing to oblige (because it boosts their sales to bring something "fresh and new" just the same)? Good luck with predicting reliability--that's all it will be, a prediction.
Deal Addict
Apr 22, 2013
2954 posts
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Markham
ES_Revenge wrote: Actually next to nobody is interested in that these days. Not many people keep cars that long and very few take care of them such that they're in good shape that long.

When reviewing new cars you can't really talk about reliability, at least not to the length of more than a few years. Some cars you might be able to like those that have had relatively few changes over the course of a decade :cough: Nissan Z, Subaru STi :cough: but otherwise trying to talk about 10yr reliability when reviewing new cars is not really possible...at all.

With all-new cars being "demanded" or expected by consumers every few years these days and manufacturers being more than willing to oblige (because it boosts their sales to bring something "fresh and new" just the same)? Good luck with predicting reliability--that's all it will be, a prediction.
I have to agree, an automaker genuinely can get away these days with making a vehicle that only lasts 5 years now. Even if you prove to them that a BMW X5 is an unreliable piece of junk...the future action only changes from buying one to leasing one. Both automaker and original lessor don't care how long the car lasts post lease period and the dealer is more than happy to sell a poor sap that bad X5 for a "great deal".

Even the mainstream stuff. Put some new technology into a mainstream car, now suddenly that 8 year old Corolla that might've lasted another 10 years...who cares, get rid of it and its time to dump significantly more money into a RAV4 AWD just to get Apple Carplay or Android Auto.
Deal Addict
Oct 21, 2006
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for me I just look at the make/model of older cars that are on the road...
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Mar 17, 2016
1731 posts
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ES_Revenge wrote: Actually next to nobody is interested in that these days. Not many people keep cars that long and very few take care of them such that they're in good shape that long.

When reviewing new cars you can't really talk about reliability, at least not to the length of more than a few years. Some cars you might be able to like those that have had relatively few changes over the course of a decade :cough: Nissan Z, Subaru STi :cough: but otherwise trying to talk about 10yr reliability when reviewing new cars is not really possible...at all.

With all-new cars being "demanded" or expected by consumers every few years these days and manufacturers being more than willing to oblige (because it boosts their sales to bring something "fresh and new" just the same)? Good luck with predicting reliability--that's all it will be, a prediction.
Not true. Average age of vehicles in US is 11.8 years and 9.7 in Canada. Plenty of people keep their vehicles that long or longer.

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