Lexus, Porsche, and Buick are the three most dependable automotive brands according to the latest J.D. Power 2018 Vehicle Dependability Study. It’s Lexus’ 7th consecutive year at the top.
J.D. Power 2018 Dependability Study
The annual study, now in its 29th year, ranks carmakers based on the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) during the past 12 months by original owners of three-year-old vehicles. So the latest study involves 2015 models. The lower the score the better because it indicates fewer problems, thus higher quality.
The good news for drivers is that dependability is at its highest ever. J.D. Power researchers say overall dependability is up nine percent, improving for the first time since 2013.
“For the most part, automotive manufacturers continue to meet consumers’ vehicle dependability expectations,” said Dave Sargent, Vice President, Global Automotive at J.D. Power. “A 9% improvement is extremely impressive, and vehicle dependability is, without question, at its best level ever. For people looking for a new or used model, now is a good time to find that special vehicle.”
The overall industry average improves to 142 PP100 from 156 PP100 in 2017.
Other Study Findings:
While dependability is improving, in-car technology continues to frustrate drivers. The two most common driver complaints involve voice recognition and Bluetooth connectivity.
Non-premium brands are also closing the gap with luxury nameplates. Researchers say it’s a result of many high-volume vehicles rewarding their owners with excellent long-term dependability.
As you’d expect, J.D. Power also finds that vehicle residual values can be significantly affected by better long-term quality.
“Strong dependability scores not only improve demand for used vehicles but also are a contributor to higher residual values,” said Jonathan Banks, Vice President of Vehicle Analysis and Analytics at J.D. Power. “Improving dependability ultimately supports new vehicle sales and provides a better perception of the brand.”
Lexus led the pack for the seventh straight year with a score of 99 PP100. Porsche came in second followed by Buick. Buick is also the non-premium brand leader with a score of 116 PP100.
Fiat improved the most with owners indicating 106 fewer PP100 than in 2017. Infiniti has the largest improvement in rank, moving from 29th to 4th. Other brands with strong improvements include Nissan (37 fewer PP100 than in 2017) and Ford (31 fewer PP100 than in 2017). Kia’s fifth-place ranking is the brand’s best ever VDS performance. Dodge and Nissan also post their best-ever rankings.
Toyota received six of the 19 segment awards, the most for an individual corporation. These awardees are Lexus CT, Lexus ES, Lexus GS, Lexus RX, Toyota Prius and Toyota Tacoma. General Motors models received five awards for the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Traverse and Chevrolet Silverado.
The Audi Q3 is the only model in the 2018 study to receive an award in its introduction year. Other models receiving segment awards are the Dodge Challenger, Ford Super Duty, Ford Expedition, Honda Odyssey, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Rio and Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class.
About the Study
The 2018 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from 36,896 original owners of 2015 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership. The study was fielded in October-December 2017.
Photo Credit: LexusTags: J.D. Power