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Lexus tops in vehicle dependability study again

Porsche, Lincoln, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz complete top five in that order

Published: February 14, 2013, 1:00 AM

Lexus Logo

For the second consecutive year, Lexus was the top-ranking brand in J.D. Power and Associates' 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study. The study, now in its 24th year, monitors problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of three-year-old vehicles (2010 model year in this case).

Porsche, Lincoln, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz completed the top five rankings, in that order.

Land Rover was the lowest ranking brand, behind Dodge, Mitsubishi, Jeep and Volkswagen, in ascending order.

Toyota and Lexus models claimed the top spot in seven individual categories, while GM models were first in four.

Overall industry performance improved from an average of 132 problems per 1000 vehicles (PP100) last year, for 2009 models, to 126 PP100 for 2010 vehicles – the lowest problem count since the inception of the study in 1989. A lower score indicates greater dependability.

"The continuous improvement in long-term dependability means consumers should have more confidence in (buying) three-year-old vehicles," said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates. "This means there are a lot of dependable off-lease vehicles in the used-vehicle market."

For the first time since 2009, there were fewer reported problems for vehicles that were all-new or redesigned for the model year monitored than for carryover models with minor changes. New vehicles had a rating of just 111 PP100.

"There is a perception that all-new models, or models that undergo a major redesign, are more problematic than carryover models," said Sargent.

"Data from the 2013 VDS suggests that this is not the case. The rapid improvement in fundamental vehicle dependability each year is more than offsetting any initial glitches that all-new or redesigned models may have."

Among the brands included in the study, 21 improved in dependability relative to last year's scores.

North-American nameplates improved at a slightly greater rate than import brands, narrowing gap between the two from 13 to 10 PP100. Overall, North-American nameplates averaged 133 PP100, compared to 123 PP100 for import brands.

The 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from more than 37,000 original owners of 2010 model-year vehicles (in the U.S.) after three years of ownership. The study was fielded between October and December 2012.

The complete lists of brand rankings, from best to worst, and category leaders, follows:

Make

PP100

Lexus

71

Porsche

94

Lincoln

112

Toyota

112

Mercedes-Benz

115

Buick

118

Honda

119

Acura

120

Ram

122

Suzuki

122

Mazda

124

Chevrolet

125

Industry

Average

126

Ford

127

Cadillac

128

Subaru

132

BMW

133

GMC

134

Scion

135

Nissan

137

Infiniti

138

Kia

140

Hyundai

141

Audi

147

Volvo

149

MINI

150

Chrysler

153

Jaguar

164

Volkswagen

174

Jeep

178

Mitsubishi

178

Dodge

190

Land Rover

220

Top Three Models per Segment
Car Segments

Sub-Compact Car

Highest Ranked: Scion xD
Toyota Yaris
Hyundai Accent

Compact Car

Ford Focus
Mazda MAZDA3

Compact Sporty Car

MINI Cooper
Scion tC

Compact Premium Sporty Car

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe
Volvo C70

Midsize Sporty*

Ford Mustang

Midsize Car

Ford Fusion
Buick LaCrosse

Large Car

Toyota Avalon
Chevrolet Impala

Entry Premium Car

Lincoln MKZ
Cadillac CTS

Midsize Premium Car

Volvo S80
Lexus GS 350/GS 460

2013 VDS
Top Three Models per Segment
Truck/Multi-Purpose Vehicle/Crossover/SUV Segments

Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle


Chevrolet HHR
Kia Soul

Compact Crossover/SUV

Honda CR-V
Toyota FJ Cruiser

Midsize Crossover/SUV

Toyota Venza
Toyota 4Runner

Large Crossover/SUV

GMC Yukon
Toyota Sequoia

Entry Premium Crossover/SUV*

Audi Q5

Midsize Premium Crossover/SUV*

Volvo XC70

Minivan*

Honda Odyssey

Midsize Pickup

Ram Dakota
Honda Ridgeline

Large Pickup

GMC Sierra LD
Chevrolet Avalanche

*

No other model in this segment performed above the segment average.

Highest Ranked: GMC Sierra HD
Highest Ranked: Ford Ranger
Highest Ranked: Toyota Sienna
Highest Ranked: Lexus RX
Highest Ranked: Acura RDX
Highest Ranked: Chevrolet Tahoe
Highest Ranked: Honda Crosstour
Highest Ranked: Toyota RAV4
Highest Ranked: Scion xB

Highest Ranked: Audi A6
Highest Ranked: Lexus ES 350
Highest Ranked: Buick Lucerne
Highest Ranked: Hyundai Sonata
Highest Ranked: Chevrolet Camaro
Highest Ranked: Nissan Z
Highest Ranked: Mazda MX-5 Miata
Highest Ranked: Toyota Prius