A new study by Consumer Reports (CR) looks at which brands have turbocharged engines with reliability better than the average reliable of non-turbo engines. And which have worse reliability. The study found that six brands have only turbocharged engines with better reliability than the average non-turbo engine. These brands were Honda, Lexus, BMW, Porsche, Audi, and Subaru. A longer list of brands offers turbocharged engines that fall on both sides of the average for reliability when compared to non-turbo engines.
“Small turbo engines can save gas while delivering the power people want, but only if the engines are reliable,” says Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for Consumer Reports. “Sometimes the added complexity means trouble arises down the road.” Interestingly, according to CR's report, sometimes it doesn't.
Among the brands which have turbo engines with the worst comparison to non-turbo engines in terms of reliability are Mini, Lincoln, Hyundai, and Chevrolet. Buick and Ford have multiple different turbo engines that are both better than and worse than non-turbo engines in terms of reliability.
The study looked at vehicles from 2016, 2017, and 2018 model years. The data was taken from CR's comprehensive annual Auto Reliability Survey. Consumer Reports is a subscription-only publication so we do not reproduce its graphs and images. You can see the report in its entirety in the December issue of Consumer Reports magazine or via a digital subscription. It is titled "Troubles With Turbo Engine Reliability."