Hybrid Vehicles Get High Marks in Reliability

Although common sense might suggest that a gas-electric hybrid, with its two powertrains and complicated electronic components, might be less reliable than its gas powered counterpart, this is not the case.

Polling research from car information sharing website TrueDelta.com, confirms that hybrids tend to be just as reliable, if not more reliable, than gas-powered cars.

TrueDelta’s findings are supported by polling research from Consumer Reports and JD Power, both of which have concluded that, on the whole, hybrids experience fewer issues than gas-powered vehicles.

“Hybrids are doing very well compared to traditional gasoline powered vehicles. On average, a hybrid sees about 99 problems per 100 vehicles, compared to gas vehicles’ which have a rating of 133 problems per 100 vehicles,” Vice President of Automotive Quality Research at J.D. Power Renee Stephens told AutoGuide.com.

Of course, Anita Lam from Consumer Reports’ Automotive Data team also points out that hybrid reliability varies significantly depending on the vehicle’s year, make, and model. Lam told AutoGuide.com that certain hybrids are known for being unusually unreliable. The 2006-2011 Honda Civic hybrids, for example, were very unreliable because of battery issues—although the issues seem to have been resolved in newer models of the vehicle. Other hybrids with high unreliability include the Ford C-Max Hybrid, which is 80 percent less reliable than the average new vehicle, and the Ford Fusion, which has the same gas-electric powertrain as the Ford C-Max Hybrid (a factor which likely contributes to its unreliability).

On the other side of the reliability spectrum are Toyota and Lexus model hybrids, which top Consumer Reports’ reliability ratings. Both the Lexus CT200h and the Lexus ES 300h, for example, are estimated to be over 70 percent more reliable than the average car according to Consumer Reports.

Toyota models, although not as reliable as Lexus hybrids, are still significantly more reliable than the average vehicle; the Prius c and Toyota Camry Hybrid are estimated as 66 percent more reliable and the Toyota Prius as 46 percent more reliable. Other reliability rating standouts include the Honda Accord Hybrid, the Subaru XV Crosstrek, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, and the eAssist equipped Buick LaCrosse.