J.D. Power’s latest Vehicle Dependability Study indicates owners still cherish and love their three-year-old vehicles, as dependability increased by nine percent from last year, marking the first time since 2013 that industry scores have improved year over year.

"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 J.D. Power Study

The J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study is in its 29th year. For the 2018 study, J.D. Power surveyed owners of 2015 model year vehicles to measure how many problems they encountered during the previous 12 months. To measure this, researchers use the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with lower scores reflecting higher quality.

J.D. Power found through this year’s research that in-vehicle technology was the issue that received the highest amount of complaints, and that mass market auto brands are catching up to luxury brands in overall vehicle quality.

The Most and Least Dependable Car Brands

Out of 31 car brands, 13 scored above the industry average of 142 PP100, which leaves 18 that scored below average. Lexus leads the field in overall vehicle dependability for the seventh year in a row with a score of 99 PP100, while Buick is the highest ranked mass market brand.

happy woman in carTop Five:

  1. Lexus – 99 PP100
  2. Porsche – 100 PP100
  3. Buick – 116 PP100
  4. Infiniti –120 PP100
  5. Kia – 122 PP100

Bottom Five:

  1. Chrysler – 211 PP100
  2. Land Rover – 204 PP100
  3. Fiat – 192 PP100
  4. Jeep – 188 PP100
  5. Cadillac – 186 PP100

The Bottom Line

When buying a used car, it’s important to choose a brand that's dependable beyond its first couple of years on the road. Looking at the results of J.D. Power's Vehicle Dependability Study lets you see how many problems actual owners have experienced with their vehicles, making it a valuable resource.

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