J.D Power just released its 2019 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study findings, and Lexus tops the list. Toyota’s luxury brand ranking the highest in dependability shouldn’t come as a surprise — this is the eighth year in a row Lexus earned top honors. What should raise a few red flags are a few industry firsts the study uncovered.
Now, 30-years running, J.D power’s study tallies up the number of problems experienced per 100 cars over the last 12 months by original owners of three-year-old vehicles. So 2019’s study is shining a light on 2016’s cars. The study scrutinizes 177 possible problems across the eight major categories: mid-size sedans, full-sized pickups, all the sizes of SUVs, etc. Then, each vehicle gets a score, using golf rules: the lower, the better.
With all the numbers crunched and Lexus in the number one spot, Toyota and Porsche tied for second. The Porsche 911 won the inaugural “Most Dependable Model” award. But, for the first time, mass-market brands like Toyota and GM outperformed luxury brands. J.D Power’s study also revealed Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen are better than the industry average for the first time in 30 years. If that doesn’t dismantle the urban legend of German cars being historically reliable, nothing will.
“Vehicle dependability continues to improve, but I wouldn’t say that everything is rosy,” said Dave Sargent, Vice President of Global Automotive at J.D. Power. “Vehicles are more reliable than ever, but automakers are wrestling with problems such as voice recognition, transmission shifts, and battery failures.” So it would seem manufacturers have the most mechanical kinks worked out, but the more technology we pack into our cars, the more we’re leaving up to a chance of failure. At least now you know the best bet is a Lexus.