Want a car that will last a long, long time? Buy a Porsche.
According to Consumer Reports' latest reliability survey, all cars and SUVs made by the Stuttgart, Germany-based automaker are rated average or better when it comes to longevity. One car in particular — Porsche's $47,600 Boxster — stands above the rest. It has the best predicted reliability of any vehicle tested by Consumer Reports this year.
In fact, predicted reliability for 2011 models of the two-seat convertible is expected to be 85% better than average. That's why, along with the Lexus LX and the Toyota Tundra, it makes our list of vehicles you can trust well beyond the 150,000-mile mark.
Behind the numbers
To compile our list of the cars most worthy of trust over a long life on the road, we scoured Consumer Reports data from its October 2010 reliability survey for all new models in the United States. We selected the top-rated model in each of 10 automotive segments, from pick-up trucks and SUVs to tiny coupes and family sedans.
The big result this year? While Japanese brands still dominate our list (Toyota and Honda had five and two entries, respectively), Ford has finally earned a spot among the best. More than 90 percent of the Ford products tested — including those with the Lincoln badge — have at least average reliability.
At the top of its list the $28,240 Ford Fusion Hybrid and $28,850 Ford Flex each received scores of "excellent" on predicted reliability, the highest possible distinction. They are expected to perform 53 percent and 60 percent better than their peers, respectively, according to CR data — numbers that say a lot about the progress Ford has made in the last few years when it comes to competing with the Japanese.
"The Fusion is now rated with better quality than the Accord or the Camry," says John McElroy, the host of Detroit's Autoline Daily show. "And they have a hybrid version of it, which, even though it doesn't sell well, gives it a lot of credibility for the whole Fusion brand."
For reliability, think East
One vehicle on our list that is selling well is the $21,695 Honda CR-V. It was among the top 10 highest-selling vehicles in the nation last month, with 18,263 units sold (up 5 percent over 2009 for the year to date), and the highest-selling crossover or SUV in the nation.
Acura's $46,830 RL sedan, made by Honda, also saw major placement on our list. So did Toyota's $24,460 Sienna, $24,180 FJ Cruiser and the $12,855 Yaris, which received significant praise in the Consumer Reports study for its "extremely reliable" results.
"Toyotas are very reliable, they still perform very well" despite the massive recalls some models suffered earlier this year, says David Champion, the senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports. "They're quiet; they're comfortable. The people who have them generally really like the vehicle."
The same can be said for Porsche's Boxster roadster — but that staunch European reliability doesn't apply across the board. Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are listed among the least-reliable manufacturers this year (the BMW M3 continues to stand out as an exceptionally strong model among these brands). The cars with the worst predicted reliability, according to Consumer Reports data? The Audi A6 3.0T and Jaguar XF. Maybe they should take their next cues from Ford.
© 2012 Forbes.com