In study after study, consumers say that reliability is a top three consideration for new car buyers. But reliability isn't everything.
Case in point: the Scion xB. Here we have the compact car you can count on most, according to the latest Consumer Reports reliability study released yesterday – No. 1 for reliability. Yet xB sales are down more than 20 per cent this year, and through the end of August, Scion moved just 588 xB hatchbacks out of dealer showrooms. So the xB doesn't sell and doesn't break.
On the other hand, the Honda Civic is a monster seller and darn near bullet-proof, too. The Civic remained Canada's best-selling car through the end of September; Honda Canada had moved 48,098 Civics, reports DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.
The Civic is No. 4 for reliability, says CR, bested only by the xB, the Dodge Dart and Subaru's Impreza. Alas, the Dart and the Impreza are not among Canada's top 10 best-selling cars.
Other top 10 best-selling cars that also rank above average for reliability: Hyundai Elantra, Volkswagen Jetta, Hyundai Accent and Toyota Camry.
Reliability data is not available yet for the 2014 versions of the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3, which were both reinvented for 2013. The Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus and Ford Fusion, while being top 10 best-sellers, are rated below average for reliability.
On the light truck side, certain versions of the Ford F-150, Chrysler's Ram pickup, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra all rate above average for reliability.
Other top 10 light trucks rated above average for reliability: Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Santa Fe. Top 10 light trucks rated below average: Ford Escape, Dodge Journey and Dodge Caravan.
Five of Canada's top 10 best-selling passenger cars are ranked above average for reliability, though the Camry is not a "recommended" model by CR. The Camry did not perform well enough in crash tests done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Two cars are not rated and three are ranked below average.
Among light trucks, seven rank above average for reliability and three rank below average. Conclusion: reliable vehicles sell in big numbers, for the most part. See, Canadians are smart consumers.
Here's a look at Canada's top 10 cars and light trucks through September 2013:
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
Source: DesRosiers Automotive Consultants