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How All 24 Generations Rank

Sorting models by their generation gives us a clearer picture of common problems across a group of similar vehicles. From there, we can assign scores to each generation to give you a basic picture of which to consider and those to avoid. The higher the score, the faster you should run away.

Rank Model Gen Years PainRank
24th Zephyr Gen 1 2006—2006 18.89
23rd MKZ Gen 1 2007—2012 9.87
22nd Aviator Gen 1 2003—2005 9.55
21st MKX Gen 2 2016—2017 7.78
20th MKC Gen 1 2015—2016 7.72
19th LS Gen 1 2000—2006 6.43
18th MKX Gen 1 2007—2015 6.35
17th Navigator Gen 2 2003—2006 4.54
16th MKZ Hybrid Gen 2 2013—2015 2.61
15th MKZ Gen 2 2013—2017 2.3
14th Town Car Gen 3 1998—2011 2.2
13th MKS Gen 1 2009—2016 2.0
12th MKT Gen 1 2010—2016 1.9
11th Continental Gen 9 1995—2002 1.78
10th MKZ Hybrid Gen 1 2011—2012 1.57
9th Navigator Gen 1 1999—2002 1.51
8th Town Car Gen 2 1990—1997 1.11
7th Mark LT Gen 1 2006—2008 1.07
6th Navigator Gen 3 2007—2016 1.02
5th Mark VIII Gen 1 1994—1998 0.46
4th Town Car Gen 1 1981—1989 0.45
3rd Continental Gen 8 1990—1994 0.33
2nd Continental Gen 10 2017—2017 0.0
1st Mark LT Gen 2 2010—2014 0.0

Answers to the most frequently asked questions

What Are Vehicle Generations?

Generations are groups of model years where the vehicles are continuously produced, use similar engineering, and share features. Generational data is not always cut-and-dry – manufacturers might not always release generation information, some generations might last longer in different countries, and various trim levels and model variants can make the whole thing confusing. We do our best but make no guarantees about our generation data. When in doubt, we stick with data about US models.

Why Are Some Vehicles Missing a 1st / 2nd / 3rd Generation?

You might notice that some of our data starts at generation 5, 6, etc. So what happened to the older generations? One of two things. 1. some models have been around a long time and we don’t have any complaint or NHTSA data about them. 2. some new models share the same platform as existing models, so we typically tie them together. For instance, a new hybrid vehicle might be introduced during the 5th generation of its non-hybrid counterpart. We’ll typically start the hybrid’s generation at 5, unless it’s otherwise noted.

What is PainRank™? Where Does it Come From?

PainRank™ is a CarComplaints.com algorithm that uses complaint data from owners (the average mileage of failures, the cost to make repairs, etc), relative complaints analysis, sales numbers, NHTSA data, & owners’ own vehicle rankings to come up with a number representing how much pain a car inflicts on its owners. The higher the PainRank™ score, the more painful a car is to own (typically).