Which Do You Prefer Ford or Chevy?
Ford and Chevrolet are two popular brands in America and Europe. There are many reasons behind their popularity. Is reliability one of them? In this Ford vs Chevy comparison we take a close look at both brands and tell you which one is a better choice if reliability is your greatest concern.
Ford is one of the oldest car brands in the world. It was founded in 1903 and has been making cars ever since. It has not always been known as a reliable brand.
In the seventies and early eighties, Ford endured the mocking acronym ‘Fix or Repair Daily’. Needless to say many owners complained about constant repair needs.
Chevrolet or Chevy as it is colloquially referred to, is not young either. It was founded in 1911 and has been at it ever since. Chevy is now one of the most popular car brands in America especially for trucks. Ford now emerges as a more reliable brand.
Here we look at the two brands and compare them to find out which one is a more reliable option. We compare them using reliability index, customer surveys and warranty coverage.
Reliability index is a rating done on car brands and models based on manufacturer information. It is computed based on two main factors that is the frequency of breakdowns and average costs incurred to repair problems behind these breakdowns.
Some vehicles have frequent breakdowns but the problems behind these are not serious so costs of repair are not particularly high. In other vehicles, breakdowns are rare but when they do happen, the failures are serious so you have to dig deep into your pocket for replacements and repairs.
When reading reliability indexes, remember that the lower the number the more reliable the car is. The higher the number the less reliable the car is.
How do Ford and Chevy compare in Reliability according to Reliability Index?
Ford vs Chevy Reliability: Reliability Index Table
|Reliability Index||Average cost of repair|
Ford is quite well ranked taking position 7 out of a list of 40 brands. It is given a reliability index of 77. Chevy is ranked as the 15th most reliable car in the same list and is given a reliability index of 98.
For this listing, the average index for all brands is 100. This means cars with a reliability index of less than 100 are considered to be more reliable than average.
Cars with a reliability index of more than 100 are considered to be less reliable than average. This makes Ford well above average in reliability and Chevy just barely above the same mark.
Cost of repairs are considered part of overall reliability because it determines how fast or easily you are able to get your car back on the road after a breakdown. Here the tables turn.
Ford is ranked 14th place (1st place being the lowest repair cost) while Chevy takes an impressive 5th place. It will cost you an average of £338 to repair a Ford and an average of £287 to repair a Chevy.
The average cost of repair for brands on this list is £370. This places both Ford and Chevy above average.
Our conclusion here is that Ford is more reliable than Chevy but more expensive to repair.
One of the most reliable sources of information on a car brand or model is current and past owners of the brand. Wouldn’t you be more inclined to believe what an acquaintance says about his Ford than what the Ford advert on television says? This is why customer surveys, for all products including vehicles are so highly valued.
Let’s look at what different surveys with varying respondents say about Ford and Chevy. We compare survey results from 2 American companies and one UK based one. These are New York based Consumer Reports, California based J.D Power and UK based Daily Express. This gives us a feel of opinions in different parts of the world.
How do Ford and Chevy compare in Reliability according to Customer Surveys?
Ford vs Chevy Reliability: Customer Survey Table
|Consumer Reports Survey 2020||16/30||25/30|
|J.D Power vehicle dependability study 2020||10/32
|Daily Express Overall Brand Reliability 2019||4.1/5||3.5/5|
Consumer Reports ranks Ford higher than Chevy, placing it in position 16 in a list of 30 car brands. Chevy is at position 25 in the same list.
J.D Power is a firm well known for its work in customer satisfaction research especially new-car quality and dependability. They place Ford at position 10 out of a list of 32 brands. Also included in this ranking is an average number of problems encountered in every 100 cars. Ford records 126 problems per 100 cars.
Chevy is close by taking position 9 in the same list and recording an average of 12 problems per 100 cars.
Lastly we look at results from a survey published by London-based Daily Express. Data published is obtained from News data which used information from 47,000 policies in a period of two and a half years. It considers 33 different car manufacturers and takes into consideration repairs and costs incurred to do them. Vehicles analyzed were between 3 and 15 years old so this gives you a wide scope in terms of age.
In this analysis Ford scores 4.1 out of a possible 5 in reliability. Chevy scores less with 3.5 out of a possible 5.
All large vehicle manufacturers offer warranties to cater for repairs of their vehicles in the first few years of the car’s life. Warranties are no doubt an important detail to check before you settle on a specific brand. Make sure you are clear on what is included, what is excluded and how long you have to enjoy that coverage.
How do Ford and Chevy compare in Reliability according to warranty coverage?
Ford vs Chevy Reliability: warranty coverage Table
|3 years or 36,000 miles||Bumper-to-bumper||3 years or 36,000 miles|
|5 years or 60,000 miles||Powertrain||5 years or 60,000 miles|
|5 years / unlimited mileage||Corrosion warranty||3 years or 36,000 miles|
|2 years or 24,000 miles or 5 years / 50,000 miles
8 years or 80,000 miles
|2 years or 24,000 miles
8 years or 80,000 miles
|5 years or 60,000 miles||Safety restraint system||————————–|
|5 years or 60,000 miles||Roadside Assistance||————————–|
|5 years / 100,000 miles||Power Stroke Diesel Engine||————————–|
|————————–||Accessory warranty||12 months / unlimited mileage|
Bumper – to – bumper warranty: It covers repairs which may be required as a result of material or workmanship defects. Both Ford and Chevy’s last 3 years. All costs, including those for parts and labor are covered. Chevy takes care of towing costs in case you get stranded somewhere. It is not clear if Ford caters for towing.
Powertrain warranty: The car’s drivetrain is the powerhouse which gets power to the wheels. Its components are the engine, drive train and transmission. Any problems in the drivetrain and you are in for some trouble. This warranty takes care of any repairs of any of these components.
For both Ford and Chevy, the powertrain warranty lasts 5 years.
Corrosion warranty: This covers perforation or rust on the metallic parts of the car’s body. Such seemingly minor problems cannot be ignored. When ignored, they have been known to eat at the metal body and cause damage to inner mechanical parts of the car.
Ford’s corrosion warranty is longer than Chevy’s. For Ford it lasts 5 years. For Chevy is lasts 3 years.
Emissions warranty: It covers costs for repair of emission control or related parts which fail as a result of poor workmanship. These parts include the catalytic converter, PCV valve, charcoal canister, air pump and EGR valve.
In compliance with federal law, Ford’s emissions control warranty follows these terms:
- For light duty trucks and passenger trucks it last 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first.
- For heavy duty vehicles it lasts 5 years.
Certain emission control system parts are covered for up to 8 years or 80,000 miles.
Chevy allows for both Federal and California Emissions Control warranties.
- For light duty trucks and cars it lasts 24 months or 24,000 miles.
- Chevy vehicles which weigh more than 8,500 pounds are covered for 5 years or 50,000 miles.
- For the catalytic converter and other system components it last 8 years or 80,000 miles.
Warranty covers which are specific to Ford are for safety restraint systems and roadside assistance which both last 5 years or 60,000 miles. Another Ford specific is the Power Stroke Diesel Engine warranty which covers the special kind of engine in Ford trucks. It lasts 5 years or 100,000 miles.
Most GM vehicles have their accessories covered under the powertrain or bumper-to-bumper warranty. If yours is not included then accessories are covered under a separate one which lasts 12 months with no limit on mileage.
As far as warranties go, both brands have more or less the same offerings. The few differences like the corrosion warranty in which Ford’s ‘lasts two years longer than Chevy are what puts Ford in a narrow lead. Safety restraint system cover and roadside assistance also give Ford an edge.
Common Repair Problems
Every car will develop some problem or other which requires fixing. However, some problems tend to be more common in certain brands or certain models of these brands. These are details you should always have before you settle on a new or pre-owned car.
Braking system failure
L.A Times reported that brake system failures were experienced by owners of Ford F150 models manufactured in 2013 and 2014. These problems resulted in a recall of about 27,000 vehicles of this model due to potential braking system failures in the future.
Spark plug injection
This issue was reported in the Ford Explorer V8. At first you hear a tapping noise in the engine, sometimes along with other knocking sounds. Soon after this the engine begins to misfire and the check-engine light comes on.
In this case owners complain of excessive corrosion on the front part of the car’s body. It is dangerous because this is the part which houses the engine, steering gear, transmission and brakes.
This issue was predominant in Ford Escape models manufactured between 2001 and 2004. It saw close to 400,000 vehicles in Sow Belt states recalled.
They could manifest in a variety of ways. Some owners reported that their gears couldn’t shift after starting the ignition. Others say gears would not shift to a higher level when the car is in motion.
These transmission issues have been reported in models like Tahoe, Silverado and Malibu.
Coolant works to do just as its name suggest… cool your engine. When you have a coolant leak the first symptom is overheating. Leaks could be caused by one of 3 reason: a leaking radiator cap, an internal leak or an external leak.
These leaks were reported in the Blazer, Malibu and Avalanche models.
You turn the ignition off on arrival at your destination but when you try to pull the key out, it just doesn’t come out. This problem got a severity rating of 8.3 though many affected drivers somehow learned to dance the key enough to get it out.
This was most common in the2005 Cobalt.
Ford has not always been known as a reliable brand. It has made drastic improvements over the years and is now a top brand especially in Europe. Chevy on the other hand is a top brand in America known for family cars and trucks.
After a thorough analysis of the two grandpa brands, Ford emerges as a better option for buyers looking for a reliable car. According to reliability indexes, Ford is more reliable than Chevy but is more expensive to repair. Customer opinions indicate a preference for Ford and longer warranty periods on some aspects give it an edge over Chevy.
How can I get details of my Ford warranty status?
How can I find out if I qualify for an emissions warranty?
Contact your local dealer. They will check warranty details including information which may have been added by the manufacturer recently.