Start with a definition:
"Reliability means to me......"
--term of ownership
--frequency of being stranded
--frequency of CEL
--frequency of frame a/o suspension issues
--freuncy of body integrity issues
--frequency of HVAC issues
--frequency of entertainment system issues
--ease of use
--cost to perform sustaining maintenance
--cost to fix "x" type of problems, x shown above.
--mean, median and 2 standard deviations of engine a/o transmission failure.
--mean, median and 2 standard deviations (of each) of miles to total powertrain failure/scrap.
--total cost per mile.
--total cost per PERSON mile.
--total cost of ownership.
"Reliability" is NOT "Longevity"
Define your terms.
Find the data.
For me: my W123 MBZ 300D was the most reliable vehicle, as in ever.
Never broke down, ate brakes and tires, cruise control and HVAC controls pooped out twice...but for $10,000 for 170,000 miles over 6 years, simply unbeatable. Stop and go LA and NJ/NYC traffic. That is longevity, and TCO. My mechanic bought it and drove another 100k. Drove from LA to Yellowstone and back with 120K on it, through Death Valley and over the continental divide and it didn't blink.
Same with my 21 year old truck with 170K miles.
That paragon of "quality", the LX570?
The entertainment system turnsi off and on whenever you go over a big bump
The radiator, THE PLASTIC RADIATOR!, splits at the top tank seam--common problem--and had to be replaced.
The water pump crapped the bed.
The seat heater stopped working.
The last three were fixed with the extended warranty--you know, the one that the pundits here say not to buy.
Total bill to fix...Over $6,000.
The thing has 90,000 miles!
I have never put a radiator nor water pump in my 300D nor the Dodge, or the Crown Vic, or ...Grand Caravan, or Suburban.
So spare me the Toyota fan boi talk, ok?
Ok, let's talk about TACO frame rust.
No? How about first gen 5.7's being replaced because of rod/bearing failure.
No? Steering rack failures on the mid 2000 RX.
You know what pays the entire operating costs for the entire dealership for Toyota and Lexus dealers?
The service department.
Sales are all profit, by design.
It's all about your definition of reliability.
The problem that I have with all of the ratings people is that they do not show you the raw data.
Consumer Reports hates FCA.
Seems to love Toyota and Honda, some MBZ and until recently Mini (as in, AYKM?!).
Their hatred of Ford because of the entertainment system caused me to cancel my subscription.
I buy trucks to drive and haul stuff and (formerly) tow race cars--they need to give give me the lowest TCO.
Can't play you iPod?
Too bad, get back to work.
Die going over Vail Pass? Yup, that's a problem.