Though luxury brands Lexus and Porsche yield high vehicle dependability, plenty of mainstream vehicle owners are also satisfied with excellent long-term quality, according to the J.D. Power 2017 Vehicle Dependability Study, released Wednesday.
Now in its 28th year, the study examines problems experienced within the past 12 months by original owners of 2014 model-year vehicles.
Ranked highest in vehicle dependability among all brands are tied brands Lexus and Porsche.
This is the sixth consecutive year that Lexus topped the rankings in the study.
"We find buyers are increasingly avoiding models with poor reputations for dependability, so manufacturers can't afford to let quality slip, particularly on their best sellers," Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power, said in a news release. "While many expensive and niche vehicles do have excellent quality, the fact is that most consumers are shopping in the high-volume mainstream segments. The good news is that consumers don't have to spend a lot of money to get a very dependable vehicle."
J.D. Power explained that it determines overall dependability by measuring the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles. Lexus and Porsche received a score of 110 PP100.
J.D. Power U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study 2017 Nameplate Ranking graph. Photo credit: J.D. Power
“While Lexus and Porsche nameplates lead the industry in vehicle dependability, owners of many high-volume vehicles are also rewarded with excellent long-term quality,” J.D. Power explained.
With a score of 123 PP100, Toyota follows in the rankings, one rank move up in position since 2016.
Toyota models received 10 of the 18 segment awards. The brand now has the highest number of awards ever received by an individual automaker in the study.
The awardees include the Lexus ES, Lexus GS, Lexus RX, Toyota Avalon, Toyota Camry, Toyota FJ Cruiser, Toyota Prius, Toyota Prius v, Toyota Sienna and Toyota Venza.
After Toyota is Buick with a score of 126 PP100 and Mercedes-Benz which received 131 PP100.
At the sixth position — up from 19th in 2016 — is Hyundai, which received a score of 133 PP100. It is recognized for being the most improved brand in the study, improving by 25 PP100 from 2016.
The average score for the industry is 156 PP100, a 4 PP100 increase from 2016.
"In the current industry environment of record levels of leasing and long-term loans, higher residual values allow automakers to provide more competitive deals to buyers," J.D. Power vice president of vehicle analysis and analytics Jonathan Banks said. "This creates the opportunity to achieve higher market share and/or elevated profit margins."
Additionally, J.D. Power found that sustained increases in owner’s technology-related problems have led to dependability weakening in the industry for a second consecutive year.
The 2017 Vehicle Dependability Study was fielded from October to December and based on responses from 35,186 original owners of 2014 model-year vehicles.