With most households being pressed for money these days, when choosing a car, people want to make sure they choose a reliable brand so there are less trips to the mechanic. So, when choosing a car brand, which ones are the best to buy? Which are the worst? Which are on the rise and on the decline? This article will go into detail on the car dependability rankings as given by J.D. Power and Associates. The 2011 study was based on results from the 2008 car class, and the 2010 study was based on results from 2007.
Most Reliable.To the surprise of some, an American auto brand tops the lists. Ranking at #1 is Lincoln, reporting 101 problems per 100 vehicles. While this may seem like a high figure, the average among all auto brands is 151. Lincoln improved their problems per 100 vehicles figure by 13 this year, as last year they posted 114. Rounding out the top 5, in order from second to fifth, are Lexus, Jaguar, Porsche, and Toyota. Second place Lexus reported 109 problems per 100 vehicles, 8 more problems than Lincoln. Toyota and Jaguar replaced Buick and Mercury in the top 5. Jaguar made the most notable jump, moving up from 23rd overall to 3rd.
Least Reliable. The worst 5 car brands are also the only ones to have over 200 problems per 100 vehicles. The bottom 5, from 30th-34th, are Chrysler, Dodge, Land Rover, Jeep, and MINI. MINI was the worst of the group, posting 221 problems per 100 vehicles. Jeep was not far behind posting 214. Dodge and Chrysler replaced Volkswagen and Suzuki on the list. While Land Rover may be the 3rd worst, they did post 43 less problems per 100 vehicles than in last year’s study. Chrysler made the biggest drop, falling from 19th to 30th in the overall rankings.
On the Rise. This part will be broken down into 2 sections. For the first part, I will consider brands to be “on the rise” if they were considered below average in reliability in 2010, but are now considered to be above average. The second part will consider “on the rise” to be brands that moved up the most spots in the overall rankings.
In terms of jumping from below average reliability to above average reliability, the only 2 brands to make the jump were Jaguar and Saab. As stated before, not only did Jaguar make that jump, but they were able to advance 20 spots to the 3rd overall position.
In terms of moving up the rankings among the brands, Jaguar obviously was number one. Other brands that made a high jump are Chevrolet and Scion, moving up 8 spots, Suzuki, moving up 7 spots, Audi, moving up 6 spots, and Mazda and Volkswagen, moving up 5 spots.
On the Decline. Like the previous category, this part will be broken down into 2 sections. For the first part, I will consider brands to be “on the decline” if they were considered above average in reliability in 2010, but are now considered to be below average in 2011. The second part will consider “on the decline” to be brands that moved down the most spots in the overall rankings.
In this year’s survey, the only brand to fall from a reliable company to an unreliable one was Subaru. As stated before, Chrysler made the biggest drop in the overall rankings dropping 11 spots. GMC dropped down by the 2nd most spots at 8 positions down.
“J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Vehicle Dependability Study”, J.D. Power and Associates
“J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Vehicle Dependability Study”, J.D. Power and Associates