Lexus and Porsche have emerged the most dependable brands after three years of vehicle ownership, while Toyota leads non-premium labels, according to a J.D. Power study.
It is the sixth consecutive year that Lexus topped J.D. Power’s annual U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, released Wednesday. The streak puts Lexus halfway to tying its record of 12 consecutive titles for most dependable brand from 1997 to 2008.
Toyota, Buick and Mercedes-Benz rounded out the top five brands overall (see table below or click here). Mercedes, Hyundai (No. 6), BMW (No. 7) and Jaguar (No. 10) were newcomers to the Top 10 this year, while GMC, Acura, Ram and Lincoln dropped out
The industry averaged 156 problems per 100 vehicles in the latest dependability study, up by four problems per 100 vehicles from 2016. The increase in problems, the second in as many years, was driven in large part by audio, communication, entertainment and navigation systems, which combined to account for 22 percent of all reported problems, J.D. Power said.
The industry is getting “better and better” at preventing problems in traditional areas, such as suspension problems or mechanical issues, said Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power.
“These things are getting better, but it’s being offset by all the technology that’s being stuffed into our cars now,” he said.
Six of the 10 most dependable brands had an increase in reported problems from last year. That includes the top-rated Lexus and Porsche brands, which tied at the top with 110 problems per 100. Lexus saw a rise of 15 problems per 100 and Porsche gained 13 problems.
The model with the lowest score had 305 problems per 100 vehicles surveyed, while the best model had 76 problems, Sargent said. He did not disclose those models.
J.D. Power surveyed 35,186 original owners of 2014 model-year vehicles between October and December of last year.
Fiat finished last by a significant margin, with 298 problems per 100 vehicles, up 74 percent from 2016 for the largest year-over-year dip of any brand, Automotive News reports.