Jaguar, the recently purchased offering of Tata Motors, Ltd., and Buick, the longstanding General Motors nameplate, have unseated Lexus as the most dependable automotive brands, according to J.D. Power & Associates.
For the past 15 years, Lexus had been the most reliable brand in the Vehicle Dependability Study. The study measures problems experienced by original owners of three-year-old (2006 model year) vehicles. The study was redesigned this to include 202 different problem symptoms across all areas of the vehicle.
Buick was ranked sixth last year; Jaguar placed 10th in 2008. Lexus followed the Jaguar-Buick tie, with Toyota and Mercury following closely.
Lexus can, however, still lay claim to the most reliable vehicle, the LS430, with the fewest problems reported – just 61 for every 100 vehicles.
The survey company reported the slumping economy has resulted in car owners keeping their vehicles longer. The average length of car ownerships is now 73 minutes (6 years, 1 month), and increased from 66 months (5 years, 6 months) in 2006.
The survey also reported Mazda, Isuzu, Land Rover and Volkswagen with Suzuki (last position) are the least reliable brands.
Toyota garnered five segment awards—more than any other nameplate in 2009—for the Highlander, Prius, Sequoia, Solara and Tundra. Lexus follows with four segment awards for the ES 330 (in a tie with the Acura RL), GX 470, LS 430 and SC 430. Lincoln captures two awards for the Mark LT and Zephyr. Models by Acura, Buick, Dodge, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Mercury, Nissan and Scion each rank highest in one segment.
Here’s the list of the high-ranked and runners-up cars in each category:
Subcompact Car — (Highest ranked) Scion xA; (Runners-up) Suzuki Aerio, Chevrolet Aveo; Compact Car — (Highest ranked) Toyota Prius; (Runners-up) Toyota Matrix, Pontiac Vibe; Compact Sporty Car — (Highest ranked) Mazda MX-5 Miata; (Runners-up) Subaru Impreza, Pontiac Solstice Convertible; Midsize Sporty Car — (Highest ranked) Toyota Solara; (Runners-up) Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Ford Mustang; Midsize Car — (Highest ranked) Buick LaCrosse; (Runners-up) Toyota Camry, Mercury Milan; Large Car — (Highest ranked) Mercury Grand Marquis; (Runners-up) Buick Lucerne, Mercury Montego; Compact Premium Sporty Car — (Highest ranked) Nissan 350Z; (Runners-up) — Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class, Acura RSX; Entry Premium Vehicle — (Highest ranked) Lincoln Zephyr (Runners-up) —Cadillac CTS, Infiniti G-Series
Midsize Premium Car — (Highest ranked) Acura RL, Lexus ES330 (tie); (Runner-up) — Infiniti M-Series; Large Premium Car — (Highest ranked) Lexus LS430; (Runners-up) — Lincoln Town Car, Cadillac DTS; Premium Sporty Car (Highest ranked) — Lexus SC 430; (Runners-up) — Porsche 911, Chevrolet Corvette; Compact MAV — (Highest ranked) Honda Element; (Runners-up) — Honda CR-V, Mitsubishi Outlander; Midsize MAV — (Highest ranked) Toyota Highlander; (Runners-up) Toyota 4Runner, Buick Rainier; Large MAV — (Highest ranked) Toyota Sequoia; (Runners-up) Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition; Large Pickup — (Highest ranked) Toyota Tundra; (Runners-up) Ford F-150 LD, GMC Sierra LD; Midsize Pickup — (Highest ranked) Ford Ranger; (Runners-up) Honda Ridgeline, Toyota Tacoma; Van (Highest ranked) — Dodge Caravan (Runners-up) Ford Freestar, Toyota Sienna; Midsize Premium MAV — (Highest ranked) Lexus GX 470; (Runners-up) Acura MDX, Lexus RX 330/RX400h; Large Premium MAV — (Highest ranked) Lincoln Mark LT; (Runners-up) Land Rover Range Rover Sport, Lincoln Navigator.