Most Dependable Vehicles
Buick and Jaguar rank highest in the annual J.D. Power and Associates dependability study.
For the first time in more than a decade, Lexus is no longer at the top of the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study, having been bested by both Buick and Jaguar.
With many consumers experiencing economic hardships, vehicle dependability has become even more important to car buyers. “In the current economic climate, consumers are delaying new-vehicle purchases and keeping their vehicles longer. The average age of a vehicle at trade-in has increased to 73 months in 2009 from 65 months in 2006,” says David Sargent, vice president of automotive research at J.D. Power and Associates. “This makes vehicle dependability even more critical.”
The 2009 study has Buick and Jaguar tied for the top spot. This is a considerable improvement for both brands — Buick moved up from sixth place in 2008 while Jaguar jumped from the 10th spot. Lexus follows in third place, with Toyota and Mercury rounding out the top five.
“Buick has ranked among the top 10 nameplates each year since the study was last redesigned in 2003, while Jaguar has moved rapidly up the rankings,” says Sargent. “Lexus remains a very strong competitor in long-term quality. In particular, the Lexus LS 460 sets the industry standard for dependability, with fewer problems reported than any other model in the study.”
The study’s rankings are based on the number of problems experienced by original owners of three-year-old (2006 model year) vehicles. For 2009, J.D. Power has redesigned the study to include 202 different problem symptoms across all areas of the vehicle. Overall dependability is ranked by the level of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100); a lower score reflects better reliability.
While the changes in the study for 2009 make it impossible to compare actual numbers from previous years, dependability on average has increased between 8 and 10 percent, according to Neal Oddes, director of product research and analysis at J.D. Power and Associates. Oddes told MSN Autos that J.D. Power has seen this sort of improvement every year since 2003.
J.D. Power also found that vehicles with a lower instance of problems or need for component replacement garner stronger loyalty. According to the study, just 11 percent of customers who had to replace engine components intend to purchase or lease another vehicle of the same make, compared with nearly 40 percent among owners who report replacing no components.
Breakdown by Vehicle Segment
Buick may have led the list of most dependable brands overall, but it only topped one category in the individual vehicle segment rankings, with the Buick LaCrosse capturing most dependable midsize car. Sadly, it is also the only model from General Motors to receive top honors.
Ford (including Lincoln and Mercury) led four of the segments with the Mercury Grand Marquis (large car), Lincoln Zephyr (entry premium vehicle), Ford Ranger (midsize pickup) and Lincoln Mark LT (large premium multi-activity vehicle).
For years, Toyota has dominated the individual segment rankings. This year is no different, as the Japanese automaker holds the top spot in 10 of the 19 segments. Of those 10, Toyota-branded vehicles led five segments with the Toyota Prius (compact car), Toyota Camry Solara (midsize sporty car), Toyota Highlander (midsize multi-activity vehicle), Toyota Sequoia (large multi-activity vehicle) and Toyota Tundra (large pickup). Toyota’s premium marque, Lexus, led an additional four segments while the Scion xA ranked the highest in the subcompact car segment.
Top Vehicles by Segment
Compact Sporty Car
Midsize Sporty Car
Toyota Camry Solara
Mercury Grand Marquis
Compact Premium Sporty Car
Entry Premium Car
Large Premium Car
Lexus LS 430*
Premium Sporty Car
Lexus SC 430*
Compact Multi-Activity Vehicle
Midsize Multi-Activity Vehicle
Large Multi-Activity Vehicle
Midsize Premium Multi-Activity Vehicle
Lexus GX 470*
Large Premium Multi-Activity Vehicle
Lincoln Mark LT
The 2009 Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from more than 46,000 original owners of 2006 model-year vehicles. The study was fielded in October 2008.
|Top 10 Nameplates (by PP100)|
Source: J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Vehicle Dependability Study
Perry Stern's automotive career began 18 years ago as an advisor at a vehicle consulting firm. One of the original staff members of CarPoint, Microsoft's automotive Web site that launched in 1995, he became editor of the site in 2002, which is now known as MSN Autos. Stern has also contributed to MSNBC and various MSN properties in Canada, Japan and Europe.
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JDPower ? lol..Ask me, the guy who actually owns and owned these cars, not some jack of "give me money and I'll rate your car" guys (same goes for politicians and FDA).
The worlds most dependable car should be the 2003-2011 model Lincoln Town Car (used by limo companies for a reason). I own 17 of them. Some of them have over 400,000 miles.I've seen a 2004 Town Car with 680,000 miles (in San Francisco) They never brake down. You just keep the maint. in place and drive forever. Oil change every 10 to 12,000 miles, brakes and rotors change every 150,000 miles, tires 90,000 miles, battery every 4 years, air filter - just clean it and stick it back But do replace every 2 years,,, transmission oil change - never, That's pretty much it. All of our cars are all original including the black paint (polished once a year).
We've had Cadillacs, Lexuses, Chryslers, BMW's, Mercedeses, Range Rovers, Jaguars, and so on. ALL of the above is junk especially the BMW 750LI, Mercedes S550, and the worst car ever is the Jaguar XJ8 and the Range Rover HSE...With an average brake down repairs at about $800 A MONTH.
Personal car - I have to give it to Toyota Camry. We bought one for my father in law in 1998, he used it till June of 2010. had over 220,000 miles still runned like a champ. Never had any brakedowns, the car was all original. In 2010 when the Toyota was bombarded by "paid by Chrysler Ford and GM" bad news I took advantage and bought a brand new 2011 Toyota Camry LE for my father in law. Out The Door price - $18,000. Then I took his old camry and sold it for $4,500.
Curently he has about 32,000 miles on the new one (almost 2 years used at this point) and have never spend a penny on repairs. Just regular maint. and I told him to take the car for maintenance every 10,000 miles.
Your mechanic will tell you to maintain your car every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Duhhh, he needs to make money, that's why. Believe me,,, I don't take that. My personal car is a 2008 Cadillac Escalade ESV.. It's an OK car, the old ones were better.
if you are buying an American car go for Ford - Lincoln - Mercury. If you are buying GM - good luck!!! Chrysler - Do they know how to build a car? don't think so.
My cousin owns a repair shop. for every 10 cars he repairs 7 are German and British, 2 are American (mostly GM or Chrysler), and 1 Asian
Good Luck with the list on top...
Toyota Camry Solara has to be the uglyiest car on the market!!!
Get off the list Toyota, this is America, lets stick with American Cars!
Toyota in top 10? Are you kidding?
Reliabability and dependability? NO WAY!!!
Mabe the Camry but it's exterior design is gross!
Lets stick with American Cars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!