8 Most Dependable Cars of 2012
In releasing the results of its 2012 vehicle dependability study, which considered 2009 vehicles, J.D. Power said dependability improved 13% from a year earlier, leading to the lowest problem rate since the inception of the study in 1990, when 1987 vehicles were measured.
|The Buick Lucerne got the nod as best large car in J.D. Powers' latest reliability rankings.|
The improvements in 2009 models came even though the year was, financially, one of the toughest in auto industry history.
J.D. Power said Lexus ranks highest in vehicle dependability among all nameplates in 2012. Rounding out the top five are Porsche, Cadillac, Toyota and Scion, respectively. Mini and Scion posted the greatest year-over-year improvements.
Overall, Toyota, along with its Lexus and Scion nameplates, won eight segment awards, while Ford, along with its Lincoln, won three. GM(GM) , with its Buick and Chevy, won two awards, as did Nissan(NSANY) . Additionally, the Hyundai Genesis won its segment. Ties were recorded in two segments, bringing the total number of winners to 16.
The study, conducted between October and December, is based on responses from more than 31,000 original owners of 2009 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership. It measures problems experienced during the past 12 months. Overall dependability is determined by the level of problems experienced per 100 vehicles, with a lower score reflecting higher quality.
The overall dependability average in 2012 was 132 problems per 100 vehicles. This compares with last year's average of 151 problems per 100 vehicles.
These are the top eight cars. Next week, we will list the top eight crossovers and trucks.
Best subcompact: Toyota Yaris
Toyota was the fourth-highest-rated brand, with 104 problems per 100 vehicles. The Yaris had 97 problems per 100 vehicles, according to Toyota, which provided the number of problems per 100 vehicles for its cars.
Runners-up for best subcompact were the Scion xD, which had 113 problems per 100 vehicles, and the Honda(HMC) Fit.
"We are extremely pleased that not only did we win awards in eight of the 14 model segments, but that in two segments we finished one-two and made the podium in 12 segments overall," said Jim Lentz, president and chief operating officer for Toyota USA, in a statement.
The subcompact Yaris is offered in three-door hatchback, five-door hatchback and sedan styles. All models share the same 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine with a choice of transmissions. The Yaris is rated at 29 mpg city and 35 mpg highway -- fuel economy numbers that approach hybrid territory.
Best compact: Toyota Prius
The Prius had 80 problems per 100 vehicles.