Chevrolet, Buick Score High in Consumer Reports SUV Reliability Study

May 27, 2020 by Jerry Hirsch, @Jerryhirsch

Consumer Reports examined the reliability of 3-year-old large SUVs and discovered that General Motors’ Chevrolet, GMC and Buick brands ranked among the highest.

The consumer magazine collected data from owners of more than 420,000 vehicles as part of the study. It picked the 2017 model year because important safety features such as automatic emergency braking and blind-spot warning were at least options on the vehicles. Additionally, looking at 3-year-old vehicles rather than new SUVs makes a good measure of reliability.

The report also provides guidance for consumers looking for large people haulers but want to save some money by purchasing a used vehicle.

Here’s is Consumer Reports’ list of the most reliable large used SUVs.


“Redesigned in 2015, the Tahoe gets top marks for reliability in the 2017 model year and is a good blend of practicality and refinement. It coddles occupants with a quiet, spacious interior, comfortable second-row captain’s chairs, and plenty of soft-padded surfaces. But, being truck-based, it can also tow up to 8,300 pounds if properly equipped.”

The magazine tested a Tahoe with a 355-horsepower, 5.3-liter V8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission that got 19 mpg in combined city and highway driving. It noted that it has a “cramped third-row” that is best for children. Moreover, “there’s barely any room for cargo when all three rows are in use.”

It suggested buying a used Tahoe with the LTZ trim package and GM’s Magnetic Ride Control, which improves emergency handling and ride quality. Consumer Reports noted that for the 2017 model year, important features including Apple CarPlay, automatic emergency braking and blind-spot warning all were options.


This is essentially the same vehicle as Tahoe but typically with a nicer interior and more options. The top-level Denali has a near-luxury vehicle level trim. But Consumer Reports doesn’t think the Yukon makes sense for most consumers who should opt to “buy a more affordable Tahoe LTZ instead.”


This is a departure from the other vehicles on the list because it is not based on a truck architecture. The Enclave is a car-based SUV with standard front-wheel drive. Consumer Reports said it shares much of “its underlying design with the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook. They all use the same 3.6-liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, which the magazine notes can feel a bit hesitant to downshift.”

“We found the Enclave’s ride to be comfortable and quiet, and its handling felt secure and agile—especially for such a big vehicle. The third-row seat is roomy enough for adults. Fit and finish is excellent,” Consumer Reports said. The Enclave’s reliability measured slightly lower than the other SUVs on this list. Buyers can get forward collision alert and blind-spot warning as options but automatic emergency braking wasn’t available for the 2017 Enclave.


This also is a roomy seven-passenger SUV. It offers a variety of engines all mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Mercedes-Benz GLS has an upgraded air suspension. Consumer Reports didn’t like the infotainment system, which it said is complicated to use. One plus is that automatic emergency braking is a standard feature. Blind-spot warning is an option. “The 2017 model year gets top marks for reliability,” Consumer Reports said. It can tow up to 7,500 pounds.


Consumer Reports said the Lexus LX is largely unchanged since a 2008 redesign but gets a high score for reliability. Like is Toyota Land Cruiser sibling, it is capable off-road. The Lexus has more features than the Land Cruiser including a height-adjustable air suspension and a power-adjustable steering wheel. Fuel economy is low at 14 mpg in combined driving. It has a towing capacity of 7,000 pounds. Automatic emergency braking and blind-spot warning come standard.

Jerry Hirsch March 17, 2020
The redesigned 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup truck is decent, will work fine if you are a dedicated Chevy fan, but needs some improvement.

One Response

  1. Bruce

    Starting in 2018 the Chevy Traverse was increased in size and the third row seat folds down to be completely flat. As a result there is 48×48 inches of floor space behind the second row seats. The second row of seats also fold down and then the available cargo space is 48 x 80 inches which is far more than that provided with the Tahoe and the Suburban SUV’s for that year. Actually the Subaru Outback provides a larger cargo area than the Tahoe or the Suburban vehicles.

    GM fixed most of the defects in 2020 but these SUV’s have the truck frame and truck suspension and provide a poorer ride and poorer real world fuel economy in daily driving. The Traverse by comparison rides like a Mercedes S class sedan.


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