Volvo suffered mightily in the latest Consumer Reports reliability survey, coming in dead last of all the brands included in the survey.

The non-profit announced its results earlier this week and relies on data compiled from 500,000 Consumer Reports members who bought or leased a new vehicle between 2000 and 2018.

And while Volvo's results are nothing to boast about, they're hardly surprising to Consumer Report's Director of Auto Testing, Jake Fisher.



"It's somewhat of an easy story," he said. "So, Volvo, until they got the new ownership, had a very old fleet, some very old product." According to Fisher, these cars may not have been flying off dealer lots, but their lack of new technology meant they were reliable.

When Geely came in and started pumping money into the brand, "they just wound up getting just everything they wanted," explains Fisher. And that's been the case across all brands.



American brands, who are also in the midsts of updating their portfolios, slid in the rankings and wound up last, while brands with older fleets rose up the charts.

In fact, of the 10 least reliable cars on the survey, five were new for 2018. Of the 10 most reliable vehicles, meanwhile, seven had launched in 2015 or earlier.

"The moral of the story is… the early adopters get penalized in terms of reliability," said Fisher. "I feel like a broken record, [but if you want reliability] don't buy a car in its first year."