Lexus, Porsche, Toyota tops for long-term dependability in latest study

February 13, 2019

Three-year-old cars are more reliable than they used to be, J.D. Power found in its latest study of long-term reliability released Wednesday. The study named Lexus the most reliable brand, with 106 problems per 100 cars reported, while Porsche and Toyota tied for second place with 108 problems. 

Fiat, Land Rover, and Volvo took home the bottom three spots, with 249, 221, and 204 problems per 100 vehicles, respectively. On average, car owners reported 136 problems per 100 vehicles over the first three years of ownership. 

MORE: American brands take 11 of bottom 12 spots in Consumer Reports reliability survey

Lexus took home the top award for the eighth year in a row, although its score slid from 99 problems per 100 vehicles last year to 106 this year. 

The highest-ranked car for its reliability was the Porsche 911. Porsche and all other German brands—Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen—performed above the industry average for the first time in the 30-year history of the study. 

Overall, J.D. Power said that 3-year-old vehicle reliability improved 4 percent over last year's study. The most common problems reported by owners were with voice-recognition systems, transmission shift quality issues, and battery failures, J.D. Power said in its report. 

J.D. Power surveyed about 33,000 original owners of 2016 model-year cars and trucks and grouped 177 potential problems experienced over the last year into eight categories. 

2016 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS

2016 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS

Here's a look at the top and bottom 10 vehicles and the number of problems reported:

10 best-performing brands for reliability:

- Lexus 106

- Porsche 108

- Toyota 108

- Chevrolet 115

- Buick 118

- Mini 119

- BMW 122

- Audi 124

- Hyundai 124

- Kia 126

10 worst-performing brands for reliability:

- Fiat 249

- Land Rover 221

- Volvo 204

- Dodge 178

- Ram 171

- Acura 171

- Jaguar 168

- Jeep 167

- Cadillac 166

- GMC 161

The study also broke out 20 different vehicle segments and named the most reliable vehicle in each class. Some of the highlights included the Toyota Camry (mid-size car), Volkswagen Tiguan (small SUV), Chevrolet Equinox (compact SUV), BMW X3 (compact premium SUV), Hyundai Santa Fe (mid-size SUV), Lexus GX (mid-size premium SUV), Ford Expedition (large SUV), and Toyota Tundra (large light-duty pickup truck). 

A few of the segment winners are models that have been dropped or are scheduled to be discontinued, namely the Chevrolet Sonic, Buick Verano, and Chrysler Town & Country. 

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