Every year, J.D. Power and Associates surveys tens of thousands of vehicle owners to find out how happy they are with their car, truck, or SUV. One of the studies they release every year from that data is the Vehicle Dependability Study. Now running for 31 years, the study measures problems experienced in the past 12 months from owners of three-year-old vehicles. So this year, the 2020 survey is monitoring 2018 model year vehicles.
This year's findings show that vehicles have fewer problems than they did before, now down to 134 problems per hundred vehicles. Crossovers and SUVs are also getting closer to cars for reliability, at 134 PP100 vs 127, but the data shows that audio, communications, entertainment and navigation, known as infotainment, is still the largest problem area.
More than 36,000 original owners answered the questionnaire about their three-year-old vehicle, and it puts a brand at the top of the list that's never before been part of the study. These are the top 10 brands on the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study
At 126 problems reported per 100 vehicles (PP100), Ford is 8 better than the industry average. Like golf, fewer problems is better. It's also a big improvement for the brand, which scored 146 last year, 10 points above that year's industry average. The company's best-selling pickup, the Ford F-150, was named the highest-ranked in the Large Light Duty Pickup category.
Just ahead of Ford was Big Three rival Chevrolet, scoring 123 PP100. Unlike Ford, though, this was a slide for the bow tie brand, which had placed fourth last year with just 115 PP100. Still, the company's vehicles scored well, with the Sonic, Bolt, Cruze, and Impala all ranking in the top three in their respective segments, with the Chevrolet Tahoe and Silverado HD the highest-ranked in the Large SUV and Large Heavy Duty Pickup categories, respectively.
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German luxury brand BMW finished in eighth place, the first of three German brands in the top 10. It's a one-spot slide for the automaker, which also dropped from 122 PP100 in 2019 to 123 in 2020. BMW's X1 and X3 crossovers and the 4 Series coupe were in the top three in their segments, and the 2 Series and i3 were the only two top-ranked for Small Premium Car.
With many of its models sharing bits with Ford, it's not much of a surprise that the luxury brand finished high on the list. It's also a big jump for the company, moving from 147 PP100 in 2019, one worse than Ford, all the way up to just 119 for 2020. The top brands for dependability shows a high percentage of luxury brands, with several more to come. Despite the overall good score, Lincoln had no models in the top three for their classes.
Volkswagen made it into the top 10 from 12th last year. The brand saw its score improve from exactly the industry average, 136 PP100, to just 116. The Passat sedan and the Tiguan crossover both ranked top three in their classes.
The Toyota brand got the highest number of segment awards in the study this year, though its score of 113 PP100 was slightly higher than last year's 108. Toyota is perpetually near the top of the J.D. Power Dependability Studies, and this year is no different. The Camry and Corolla sedans as well as the Tacoma and RAV4 all finished top three in their segments, with the 4Runner, Sienna, and Tundra taking top spots in their class.
Next up is Porsche, with the high-performance brand often at the top of reliability lists too. Who says you need to compromise to have a sports car or fast crossover? At just 104 PP100, Porsche beat last year's score by four, but stronger competition moved it two spots down the list. The Porsche Macan took the top spot for Compact Premium SUV.
Buick is a brand you may not have expected to see this high on the list, but it has actually been in the top 10 for some time. Finishing fifth last year with 118 PP100, the brand managed just 103 for 2020. The company's LaCrosse sedan finished top three in class, and the Encore was highest ranked in the Small SUV category.
Like Lincoln to Ford, Toyota's luxury brand Lexus has beaten the parent on the list. It's also gotten the most reliable vehicle in the study, with the ES taking home those bragging rights. At 52 PP100, it's the best score ever in the 31 years of the study and an impressive achievement. The Lexus IS, NX, and RX also finished top three in segment with the GX as the highest-ranked Midsize Premium SUV.
It's the first year for Hyundai's luxury brand Genesis to be in the study because it launched its first car in 2017. And what a start for the automaker, taking the top spot with just 89 PP100. That's 11 fewer than number two Lexus, and it will be interesting to see how Genesis fares going forward as the company continues to introduce new models like the GV80 crossover into new segments.
As ranked by J.D. Power. 2/12/2020 7:23:47 PM 2/12/2020 7:23:47 PM