2009 Lexus LX 570Enlarge Photo
Lexus took the top spot this year, displacing Porsche, which has held first place for the past two years. The strong performance of the LX 570 helped it reach the top, rating an industry-best of just 52 problems per 100 vehicles (or PP100, as J.D. Power terms it).
Other notables include Cadillac, which rose from 10th in 2008 to 3rd this year, and Suzuki, the most ipmroved brand of all, up from 32nd in 2008 to 9th in 2009.
Domestic carmakers on the whole saw a significant up-swing, improving from an average of 124 PP100 in 2008 to 112 PP100, beating the industry average by a solid margin. Nevertheless, import manufacturers managed to nab 15 of the 22 segment awards.
“Even in the face of unprecedented challenges, the Detroit automakers are keeping their focus on designing and building high-quality vehicles, which is a precondition for long-term success,” said David Sargent, vice president of automotive research at J.D. Power and Associates.
Hyundai and Honda also made their presence known, finishing fourth and fifth overall respectively and putting several models in or near the top position for their segment. The Honda Ridgeline and CR-V took their respective segments, while the Hyundai Accent finished second in the 'subcompact and compact cars' category.
Surprise class winners included the 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser (tied with the Honda CR-V for tops in the 'multi-activity vehicle' segment), and the Scion tC, which beat out the Volkswagen GTI and Eos for the top spot in the 'compact sporty car' segment.
Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Ford, Chevrolet, Suzuki and Infiniti rounded out the top 10. Infiniti's fall to 10th from 2nd in 2008 marks one of the more dramatic reversals in this year's tally. For the full details, check out the official study results at the link below.