By on February 13, 2013

Toyota swept J.D. Power and Associates 2013 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study  with its Lexus brand on top and by earning seven segment awards—more than any other automaker in 2013. General Motors received four segment awards and had Buick in place 6 and Chevrolet barely above average, while Volkswagen is an also-ran.

The study measures long-term dependability of three-year-old models. The dependability of models that were new or substantially redesigned for the 2010 model year averages 116 problems per 100, compared with 133 PP100 for models that were unchanged from the 2009 model-year.

“There is a perception that all-new models, or models that undergo a major redesign, are more problematic than carryover models,” said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates. “Data from the 2013 VDS suggests that this is not the case. The rapid improvement in fundamental vehicle dependability each year is more than offsetting any initial glitches that all-new or redesigned models may have.”

2013 VDS Nameplate Ranking 
Problems per 100 Vehicles
Make             PP100 
Lexus 71
Porsche 94
Lincoln 112
Toyota 112
Mercedes-Benz 115
Buick 118
Honda 119
Acura 120
Ram 122
Suzuki 122
Mazda 124
Chevrolet 125
Industry Average  126
Ford 127
Cadillac 128
Subaru 132
BMW 133
GMC 134
Scion 135
Nissan 137
Infiniti 138
Kia 140
Hyundai 141
Audi 147
Volvo 149
MINI 150
Chrysler 153
Jaguar 164
Volkswagen 174
Jeep 178
Mitsubishi 178
Dodge 190
Land Rover 220

Among the top three automakers, the study will cause sever finger pointing at Volkswagen that finds itself on rank 28 of 32. Even after Volkswagen’s former head of quality assurance, Martin Winterkorn, advanced to CEO, the brand languishes at the bottom of the scale, outclassed by “da scheppert nix” Hyundai and Kia.

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93 Comments on “Toyota Beats GM 7:4 In J.D.Power Dependability Study, Volkswagen Decimated...”


  • avatar
    APaGttH

    …General Motors received four segment awards and had Buick in place 7 and Chevrolet barely above average…

    Keep the popcorn coming.

    No where does it say Ford is below average, barely…

    Oh, and VW better do something about those severed fingers – or someone just might sever all their toes too.

    ;-)

    Oh heavens no, we wouldn’t want to say that. Curse you Chevrolet and you’re gentlemen B- grade – CURSE YOU!!!

    And unless I’m missing something – when I count down the chart, Buick is in 6th place not 7th – but possible a make is missing off the chart?

    =======================

    Ram looks darn good.

    Mazda has made a huge improvement.

    Scion remains below average.

    Buick appears to be past its new model line up cutting of teeth and has climbed back up the chart. I seem to remember they were well below average last year.

    Chrysler – oh Chrysler. Dodge – whoa? Maybe the Fiat derived products aren’t helping those ratings? Heck other than Ram, the whole Chrysler line up is ugly.

    Kia and Hyundai have appeared to have dropped.

    All of GM, except Chevrolet which I seem to remember was just above, at, or just below average last year, has crept up the chart a little bit. No cellar dwellers.

    With the bottom score being 220 and the top score being 74 – it appears the gap has widened on quality.

    • 0 avatar
      cdakost

      The reason they don’t mention Ford is because Ford isn’t coming out of bankruptcy. Also there is a minor flaw in these tests that has been well documented in that a problem is anything from complete engine failure to infotainment system glitches. That’s what Ford gets nailed on. They were on top just after Sync came out but before MyFord Touch was available. If my memory is correct, they keep moving up, so evidently the system updates are working.

      • 0 avatar
        dave504

        The same system is in Lincoln, which is at #3. I also have to question any dependability survey that puts Porsche at #2. You can depend on the fact that it will fail in the most expensive way possible, but that’s about it. Does a typical Porsche owner even rack up enough miles to count?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I’m reasonably sure that these aren’t mileage adjusted, which would help to explain both Porsche and Buick.

        It really makes no sense that Buicks are consistently substantially better than the rest of the GM lineup, but for the demographics of the buyers. (The elderly don’t drive very much.)

      • 0 avatar
        Russycle

        “It really makes no sense that Buicks are consistently substantially better than the rest of the GM lineup”

        If you assume Buicks are just rebadged Chevy’s, sure. But I don’t believe that’s the case anymore, although there are obviously shared components. One also wonders why Scion does so much worse than Toyota.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “If you assume Buicks are just rebadged Chevy’s, sure.”

        No, I would presume that the management of the various brands is the same, and that it is management’s attitude toward engineering and design that determines the quality of the product. Buick is a brand, not a separate business.

      • 0 avatar
        segfault

        “The elderly don’t drive very much.”

        I’ve known more than a few elderly people who bought a brand new vehicle just in time to stop driving. It then becomes a garage queen, as caregivers usually prefer to drive their own vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        roverv8i

        The Chevrolet number is skewed because they sell cars and trucks. GMC scored lower than average. I believe most Chevy’s and GMC’s are still made on the same line. So, my expectation would be that if you removed the trucks from the Chevy score then the cars would be closer to the Buick score.

        Conversely, If you combined Ram and Dodge as they use to be then then Dodge would come out better.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “It really makes no sense that Buicks are consistently substantially better than the rest of the GM lineup, but for the demographics of the buyers.”

        Buick’s lineup for years consisted of the W, H, C, and A bodies powered by some type of OHV V6. That setup generally earns good dependability ratings especially under a 3-year window.

        When you start adding in the N-body, F-body, the Greek platforms, and early DOHC mis-adventures then the ratings start to drop. Plus Chevy never sold an H-body.

        Once the Lucerne loses eligibility, Buick will almost certainly fall a bit. (Same with Chevy once the W-Impala fades away.)

        Even under your “the eldery don’t drive much” idea, the Lucerne has still consistently beat the Impala, Avalon, and Azera. And those three aren’t exactly driven by young folks.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Does J.D. Powers make their methodology for tabulating “reliability” available, or is it proprietary?

        I realize that the credibility (or lack thereof, as the case may be) of J.D. Power data has been a source of debate on TTAC many times before, but as JD Power claims to have significantly adjusted its methodology for tabulating reliability in the last several years (at least partially in response to overwhelming criticism), it would seem that they would need to make their methodology available in order to try and claim any degree of credibility.

        I, for one, extend very little credibility to the results that J.D. Power reports.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I suspect the high standing of Ram are due to the big improvements first taking place with the redesign for the 2009 model year.

      Expect Chrysler to jump quite a bit in next years survey when the 2011 models are counted instead of the 2010s. The big changes for Chrysler and Dodge took place between those model years. The improvements in quality have been drastic.

    • 0 avatar
      ithiel

      I calculated the relevant statistics for this survey. Interestingly, I show the average number of PP100 to be 137 based on the data in the table above, rather than 126, so perhaps there are some marquees left off the chart. Also, the median score is 133 PP100. The sample has a rather large standard deviation of 28 PP100, suggesting (as others have pointed out) a large spread in quality.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I would presume that you need to use weighted averages in order to calculate the industry average. The high volume brands would contribute more to the industry totals than the low volume brands, given the difference in unit sales.

        On a related note, I’ve never quite figured why the VDS ratings for the brand-level reporting often greatly diverge from the results of individual nameplates. There can be a lot of inconsistencies within brands, and as far as I can tell, they don’t correspond to either weighted or unweighted averages.

    • 0 avatar
      spw

      too bad for Cadillac being 2x less dependable than Lexus, right?

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      p.s. – Consumer Reports literally has Lincoln & Porsche opposite (or nearly so) from J.D. Power reliability survey does, as just two examples of how these two entities have come to vastly different conclusions.

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    My doubts about the supposed “improved” VW quality have been confirmed and this is after only 3 years. From my experience it is after year 3 that the issues really start to pile up for VWs.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      The narrow spread in the data doesn’t really confirm this. The industry average is 126 problems per 100 vehicles, which means an average vehicle experiences 1.3 problems in the third year. VW is 1.7, Toyota is 1.1. That is both a low occurrence and a narrow spread.

      What JD isn’t showing is whether that 1.7 is a dash rattle or a transmission failure. That’s what I would be more interested in.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Indeed. Especially since my VW *did* have transmission failures. Plural.

        I ditched my Jetta for a Toyota, and that was a Good Life Decision.

      • 0 avatar
        340-4

        Exactly.

        The transmission in my Passat croaked at 11k miles.

        Were it out of warranty, it would have been an 11k repair according to the dealer.

        I traded it for a Nissan that had one $70 repair (MAF) in over ten years of driving.

        Just bought another Nissan. I, like everyone else I have ever known who has owned a VW, will never buy another.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      That would make a continual running value (like CR does) more valuable.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Agreed. I don’t find a 3 year survey to be very enlightening for “long term” reliability. All this tells you is what your last year on a lease will be like.

        CR is one of the few sources that provides information for those of us wondering what an 8-year old example of the car they are shopping for is holding up.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        I totally agree. A “dependability” study really should start AFTER 3 years.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “I don’t find a 3 year survey to be very enlightening for “long term” reliability”

        You’re not the one paying for the results.

        JD Power sells its data (at a high price) to the automakers. (What we’re seeing here is just a fraction of the information developed by the survey.) And the automakers are looking at this in the context of the typical warranty period.

  • avatar
    lowsodium

    Still dont trust these quality surveys. People complain about stuff that really isnt a problem with vehicle reliability.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      This is one of the key problems with JD Power’s methodology.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I don’t know their methods, but if it is similar to the initial quality survey, they don’t measure “dependability” just like they don’t measure “quality.” They measure how a car performs against the expectations of the buyer, which is a very pertinant thing.

      Basically, if your customers don’t expect the dash to rattle, and it does, you have a problem even if you don’t think you do.

  • avatar

    Isn’t it the survey that counted brake dust as a problem? I am not sure if I can trust this report at all. In particular Mercs were really trashy recently and yet they are above average. Obviosuly something is up.

    Also LOL Jeep.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      They modified the survey a couple of years back (TTAC did a story) to take out those kind of what I would call “so what” items and focused on more real “quality” issues by changing the questionnaire.

      None of these surveys are perfect.

      By human nature, you’re more likely to report if you’re unhappy versus happy for starters.

      TTAC has run stories on the problem with CR annual reports (Porsche quality for example was based on the sample reported by one customer – that is not statistically valid in this or any other galaxy in the known universe). JDP has their own issues, and I get this is the “long term” ownership report, which has more weight than the pretty useless initial quality 90 day report.

      Our resident survey done my MK has its own issues too.

      I’ve said for years, when evaluating buying a car, these reports are a single point of data (no that doesn’t mean if you’re pedantic that they are based on ONE point of data, I get that many makes/models have hundreds if not thousands of responses) – but it is a single point of data from a single source and should be considered as such.

      The reality is, beyond the outliers of Lexus at the top and Land Rover, which owns the bottom of this report year after year – any new car, truck, SUV, CUV, van you buy today is going to go 150K to 200K miles, 7 to 10 years without any really big issues. You can just about bet the farm on it. Yes crap happens. Yes the Lexus will likely even go longer. Yes the Land Rover is probably going to be more problematic. The stuff in between, even the Dodge with its 190 problems versus say Honda with 118 – the reality is neither is likely to break over the term of the first owner.

      Kind of makes these reports even a touch more…useless.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m glad J.D.Power listen to the critique about the noise in the data.

        For the record, my Jeep had a significant warranty work done (e.g. significant enough that I was unable to fix it: it required dropping the t-case). But when I look at TrueDelta, my Jeep model only suffers 2x visits relative to the equivalent Toyota. Both visit numbers are fairly low. Hard to imagine that this kind of gap would divorce them this much in rankings.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Jeep is trying its best to hold down quality, but proud to see Land Rover jealously protecting its position, with room to spare. A true world vehicle, with full 7-continent all-terrain break down capability. New and improved with more al-you-min-ee-um. You cannot find a more spacious and luxurious environment in which to wait for complimentary roadside assistance.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Oh please. Even for Land Rover, the problems are highly unlikely to leave you stranded. When was the last time you saw an even REMOTELY recent car on the side of the road with the hood up? It’s stupid stuff like the infotainment system freezing, or erroneous warning lights, or in the case of my BMW, its one fault in nearly 2yrs and 20K a failed electric seat controller. BFD, life is too short to drive an appliance.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        You are probably right krhodes1, but that is no reason to overlook a solid last-place finish. My buddy’s father-in-law had a Range Rover that was less than three months old when it stalled, caught fire and burned to a crisp on the side of the road. Admittedly, this was about 8 years ago, when Land Rover was at the bottom of the quality surveys…

        Anyway, my next vehicle is probably a Jeep Wrangler, and I don’t look at quality surveys for any car I lust after, so I pretty much agree with you.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Still looks like brands with the oldest model cars are top of the class.

  • avatar
    Piston Slap Yo Momma

    Decimated eh? So VW is only down 10% from the average?
    Wiki: “To reduce anything by one in ten, or ten percent.”
    /pedantry

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      I forgive you because it’s one of my pet peeves as well. I hope teachers and editors/producers start prohibiting use.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      VW’s 174 vs. the average 126. It’s not 10%. Call your high school teacher to find out what it is.

      In terms of brands, VW ranked 28 out of 32, it’s essentially worse than 84% of all brands here.

      Since Toyota/GM etc sold much more than VW did. In terms of actually cars on the road, VW cars are worse than a guesstimated 95% of all cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Funny you should use “DECIMATED” to refer to 10%.

      The origin of the term was punishing roman army units by forcing them to kill 10% of their own men:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimation_(Roman_army)

      Romans soldiers were a bunch of tough m-fers who volunteered this, but this kind of $#!t just makes me sad on a human level.

      I’m not going to claim that owning a VW was as bad as being in the Roman army, but I’m saying this almost 5 years after I sold the car….

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    This metric isn’t useless, but it’s not, IMO, that important. What it tells you is that the best brand keeps you out of the shop three times better than the worst. That meant a lot when the best was likely to send you to the shop every year.

    There is at best a loose correlation with truly long term durability – 7 to ten years or 150 to 300k miles.

  • avatar
    pgcooldad

    I’ve read that the quality problem with Jeep Wranglers is that their ride is too truck-like. And yet, Chrysler can’t make enough of them.

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      Exactly. These “dependability” studies are pure garbage. Trusting the general public not to nitpick things they don’t like about a car they bought because either that’s all they could afford or they stretched themselves beyond their limits to get the image they crave is a horrible idea. The public is ADD and petty. I would bet that the actual number of problems per 100 vehicles is less than 100 for most makes, once you weed out the retarded complaints like “my offroad biased SUV is awful on the highway”.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “I’ve read that the quality problem with Jeep Wranglers is that their ride is too truck-like.”

      The Initial Quality Survey is taken at the 90 day mark, and the score is based upon a combination of dependability and perceived quality.

      But this is not that survey. The Vehicle Dependability Survey is focused only on reliability.

      I know that domestic fans don’t like surveys because their cars don’t do very well in them. But the problem is with the cars, not with the surveys.

  • avatar
    carguy

    The only surprise on this list list is that Mercedes has improved significantly.

    I still trust Michael’s TrueDelta site more than JD Power.

  • avatar
    Tosh

    “The study measures long-term dependability of three-year-old models.”
    ERROR. does not compute. ERROR…

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    Interesting to see how well Buick is doing. The new ones look pretty nice as well. It would be nice to have model breakdowns as well, just to show which the good models and outright clunkers really are.

    The Mazda thing is also reassuring, but I’m still terrified about Hiroshima-based rust after seeing so many Mazda 3′s with brown tails around Ottawa.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      JD Power reports nameplates separately using a scoring system of 2-5, with 5 being best. (The 2 is not a typo — the bottom ranking isn’t a 1.)

      For the 2010 model year, the Enclave was a 3, the Lacrosse was a 4, and the Lucerne was a 5. Guesstimating based upon CY 2010 deliveries, I would estimate that GM sold about half as many Lucernes as it did the other two models.

      I’m not sure whether the brand-level rating is weighted to reflect the difference in sales, but in Buick’s case, its best performer was the one with the fewest sales.

      • 0 avatar
        Tosh

        They’re going to need the ’1′ score when Fiat reaches the three year mark…?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “They’re going to need the ’1′ score when Fiat reaches the three year mark…?”

        All jokes aside, what JD Power is effectively doing is scoring the 1′s as 2′s. They’re turning the F students into D students, which overstates how well the worst ones are doing.

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      “The Mazda thing is also reassuring, but I’m still terrified about Hiroshima-based rust after seeing so many Mazda 3′s with brown tails around Ottawa.”

      Must be a Canadian thing. Here is Detroit there’s not a lot of rusted out Mazdas And there’s a fair amount of them, I know at 4 owners personally.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        I suspect it is very regional and depends on what is used to treat ice, e.g., salt = rusted off; sand/gravel = no problems; one of the advanced (non-salt) chemical treatments = ???. How often an owner cleans the car & removes the corrosive chemicals also should make a big difference.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Or they’ve solved the problem, but recently enough that they haven’t lived down their reputation yet.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I wouldn’t be surprised if Mazda made a change in their sheetmetal, stamping/welding procedures, or their galvanic bath process (or maybe all three) sometime around 2005 that improved their corrosion resistance.

  • avatar
    SimRacingDan

    The metric is broken – it should be # of problems over some number of miles on the odometer. Porsche’s #2 because its drivers probably tend to drive them less than other makes on this list.

    • 0 avatar
      SunnyvaleCA

      The Porsche sedan and truck have both been out for more than 3 years and are both (I assume) daily drivers for many owners. Given that the truck is based on a VW and is by far the most popular Porsche in the USA, I’m truly surprised Porsche scored so well.

      As far as the flat-6 based cars, TrueDelta.com shows excellent repair records with ratings based on mileage and age.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    All the Chrysler stuff is near the bottom, I guess it did no good for Sergio Mussolini to put his office next to the engineering dept. According to all reviews I read from the UK, they put VW vehicles in a pedestal of quality and engineering prowess.

  • avatar
    GMis4GoodManners

    Ok, am I the _only_ person whose FIRST reaction as I read down the list was “SUZUKI!?!?!?” In the top ten!?!?! Aren’t they usually near the bottom? Talk about going out on a high note!

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Yep, In fact, you are the first person to even notice them at all. Its not surprising, no one noticed they actually sold cars for years. :)

    • 0 avatar
      devilsadvocate

      Count me as one of the few who wasn’t surprised. My Kizashi was, by far, the best built car I’ve ever owned. I traded it once it became apparent that Suzuki of America was going under…but if by some chance Suzuki managed to come back, I’d be one of the first in line! I now have a Mazda3 hatchback, which is also well built and designed, but I doesn’t come close to the feeling of solidity my Kizashi had. I was not surprised to see Subaru come in below average. I owned four, and while I never had a major problem, there were constant “niggles” that drove me nuts.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    I’m a little surprised Subaru and Scion don’t show better.

    But the #1 observation to me is that Lexus score. I know we all expect them to be #1 in dependability surveys, but these numbers put them in a class by themselves. When you think about all the time their rivals have had to close the gap, it’s stunning.

    • 0 avatar

      I think it’s not a reliability survey, but rather complaints survey. And Lexus is most appliance-like among the “luxury” cars, if I may be permitted such a wild generalization across the model range. The worst thing I can say about my Lexus is that Toyota failed to include 2 sets of TPMS, which they do include into e.g. Land Cruiser. Stingy bastards. Since I do not live in an area where I need to swap wheels for the season, it does not bother me much. Otherwise it’s a completely unremarkable, well-built car. If they had a survey of cars that win accolades, Lexus would probably tumble down the ranks.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        You just provided the reason for Lincoln’s high rating. The people who buy them don’t complain about them, even though they’re not the appliances the Lexuses are.

  • avatar
    gessvt

    So a fire sale Kizashi isn’t that crazy of an idea after all…

  • avatar

    I’m not sure why Ford is so much lower than Lincoln (when they are mechanically identical), but I’m going to chalk it up to the fact that Lincoln has fewer of those new “One Ford”, Europe-derived products (Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, C-Max, Escape…) In fact, the new MKZ is the only such product for Lincoln.

    I’m not surprised at Jaguar/Land Rover’s performance, although I thought they’d improved. But I am disappointed with Nissan and Hyundai/Kia…

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “I’m not sure why Ford is so much lower than Lincoln (when they are mechanically identical)”

      Are they truly mechanically identical these days? Back in the day, my impression is that Lincoln did use better components than a Ford, but is that just anecdotal? Was a Panther Lincoln built to a much higher standard than a Panther Ford?

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        Maybe the few remaining Lincoln buyers are happy to have a car with an electric starter vs. a hand crank.

        The elderly often have a different standard for reliablity; they remember when a car had a manual choke, rusted thru in 4 years, and consumed oil by the gallon.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Toad, you’re now describing the survey as a Rorschach test of the owners. Well, you might be right, but watch the “elderly” appellation. In a baby-boomer dominated survey, it was decided that middle age begins at 55, and elderly doesn’t begin until 70 – and a significant minority tagged elderly at 75 and up. Lincoln buyers are early 60s, still working, and likely to be your loan approval officer, human resources job interviewer, or the manager of your boss.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    “Look at that new Toyota!”

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    In the top 3 individual model rankings, Toyota and GM dominated, with over half. Third place Honda grabbed just 2 first place rankings. No other company got more than one.

    #1 #2 #3 Total
    Toyota 7 4 4 15
    GM 4 3 4 11
    Honda 2 2 1 5
    Ford 1 4 0 5
    Mazda 1 0 1 2
    Nissan 1 0 0 1
    VW 1 1 0 2
    Hyundai-Kia 1 0 2 3
    Chrysler 0 1 0 1
    Volvo 0 2 1 3
    Mercedes-Benz0 1 0 1
    BMW 0 0 1 1
    In 4 of the 18 categories, there was no 3rd place ranked vehicle because none but the top 2 ranked above segment average.
    Sorry, the table looks fine on the the edit screen anyway!

  • avatar
    Nick

    I am surprised Audi isn’t lower. I haven’t seen an Audi, no matter how new, driving around without at least one light cluster not working. And at Christmas, I saw a new A7 driving along, and every single exterior light was flashing on and off at random, like the whole car was a giant Christmas ornament. They make the worst overpriced junk I’ve ever seen.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      For some strange reason the LCD clusters turn off when blinkers are on. So, if you signal a left turn, the left clusters turn off. The impression it gives is that the LCDs are out, and the damn Germans still can’t use electricity in a car. I can’t believe they haven’t changed it.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “I haven’t seen an Audi, no matter how new, driving around without at least one light cluster not working.”

      We must drive in different areas. I haven’t seen one with a light cluster out.

      Btw, as Landcrusher said, the LEDs do turn off when you signal a turn. Someone suggested it has something to do with federal standards for lighting, but lots of people disable certain “features” like that.

    • 0 avatar
      mpresley

      Nick, I don’t believe that story at all. Are you sure you weren’t up on the egg nog? Now, if the driver had his emergency flashers on I could understand it. Also, the others here are correct, when your turn signal is on the corresponding front LED running lights shut off. Lastly, can you tell us who makes the “best” overpriced junk you’ve ever seen?

    • 0 avatar
      ZekeToronto

      Audis like mine are obviously helping them. My four-year warranty just expired, without a single claim. The car has had exactly zero problems or issues, no unscheduled visits to the shop and maintenance costs for four years have totaled less than $750. But my LED DRLs do turn off with the turn signal (supposedly so as to ensure the turn signal is seen), so others may not think my car is as reliable as it is.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        “My warranty just expired…”

        A nightmare phrase to veteran owners of Teutonic makes all across the U.S.

      • 0 avatar
        ZekeToronto

        “A nightmare phrase to veteran owners of Teutonic makes … ”

        Well I count myself among those veterans, but don’t share the fear. Growing up in the car business (domestic) and then becoming a new car dealer myself for more than a decade (four brands, including a European and three Asians) I’ve developed a bit of a sixth sense concerning reliability. This Audi is what we would have called a “Wednesday” car back in the day–i.e. not a Monday morning or Friday afternoon build. I’ve owned–or had as demonstrators–over a hundred new cars and this is hands down the best built one of the entire bunch. Its only non-thoroughly vetted tech is the twin-clutch gearbox, but even that’s not a concern, as Audi Canada threw in a 10-year, 100,000 mile (160,000 km) warranty on the transmission. The odds I’ll keep the car to that mileage are slim; most likely I’ll replace it with another Audi next year.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    But honey we need a more dependable car so let’s trade in the Infiniti for oh I don’t know let me think oh year a Porsche

  • avatar
    mkirk

    My wife’s Hyundai went 5 years before the blower motor started acting up (will be repaired free as there is a TSB out on it), and a wheel bearing that is becoming quite obnoxious on the interstate. Am I alone in expecting zero issues over the first 3 years?

    Also, I think the articles on what shows up at auction that appear on here regularly are the best indication of long term durability. For the cars that don’t routinely haul my wife and kids around, life begins at around 175-200k. Anyone can build a 100k car nowadays we all say, so why not test problems after 100k?

    Anyway, I really want the Hyundai to become a new Mazda 6 in a few years so I like what I see there. My Mazda has been very dependable except for the battle with rust, but it is a 24 year old car that was daily driven in upstate NY so it is what it is.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    Ram truck on the march!

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’d just like to point out that the Lucerne beat the Impala (again) and the H-body has been kicking sand in the W-body’s face since 1988.

    • 0 avatar
      RatherhaveaBuick

      If you’re saying that W-Bodies were never as popular as the H’s, I’m not so sure about that. During the first years maybe, especially with the Bonneville. But as the years went on, even the Lacrosse was selling more than the Lucerne at the end of the W’s life. It is true though that the Lesabre always outsold the Regal in the 90s…

      But I’m also pretty damn sure more Grand Prixs were sold than Bonnevilles during the 2001-2005 generation, the final years of the Bonnie’s existence. As for the Oldsmobiles, I would wager that more Cutlass Supremes were sold than Royale 88s during the 90s.

  • avatar
    spyked

    I never know what to make of these “studies”. What does it mean that Toyota is at the top and VW is at the bottom and GM in the middle? They are the top three sellers on the planet. Does it go like this?

    -Toyota cars are bought by people that want cheap and tough cars.
    -GM cars are bought by red-state or union state buyers.
    -VW’s are bought by enthusiasts (or people who think they are enthusiasts)

    This is obviously only in the U.S. The tables are probably turned in Europe where VW is number 1.

    I guess it’s all really crap. For how many years have we heard that Euro brands are terrible, and yet there are Porsche and MB right there at the top. Look at Consumer Reports, Euro cars are all “recommended” in part by reliability.

    I’ve never even seen a broken down Land Rover. The ones I see look like they’ve been used up and spit out, but in a good way. Like the owners aren’t afraid to drive them. How many MINIs are tracked every weekend, yet this study says they are bad?

    I say life is too short. IF you like cars, buy the car you want. Again, that is IF you even like cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      VW is #1 in Europe because the Japaneses brands have little to no penetration in that market. Europeans also don’t drive as many miles and their roads are in better condition. CR does not recommend all Euro cars, in fact quite the contrary.

  • avatar
    Marko

    Every car sold in the US today (or at least other than exotics) has at least a three-year warranty, provided you stay within the mileage range. Could part of this study have to do with dealer service (i.e. they fix the problem swiftly and without hassle at the scheduled oil change)?

    I’ve never liked JD Power; it seems too easy to “fudge” the results, since it isn’t broken into categories.

    That said, I do believe that Toyonda reliability is still the gold standard, but others are catching up. That’s a good thing: if you really like a certain model, being a spot or two below Toyota shouldn’t affect your decision much.

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    But I thought Toyotas were unreliable junk bought by sheep because CR and the media were in on the conspiracy to make this myth that Toyotas are reliable?

  • avatar
    340-4

    Know what I’d like to see?

    A comprehensive survey that shows you the average and mean warranty repair costs for a particular vehicle over time. And repair costs out of warranty, say over 5 years.

    That would paint a picture, wouldn’t it?

    VW would do even worse than this.

    Ten cheap problems on a Dodge are better than two hideously expensive failures on a VW, but not according to JD Power.

    New metrics are needed.

  • avatar
    laserwizard

    Toyota quality? The most recalled brand of vehicle over the past several years. If that isn’t an indication of quality, I don’t know what is!

  • avatar
    ZekeToronto

    My years as a new car dealer taught me that what people really resent is unscheduled repair visits–I.e. problems that can’t wait until the next service to be dealt with. True or not, people value their time highly. They don’t necessarily care how much a warranty repair costs the manufacturer (especially if they’re the kind of buyer who trades when the warranty’s up) but they sure care about being inconvenienced. A smart dealer can sell the worst-performing brand and still achieve high CSI if they find creative ways to minimize/eliminate inconvenience for their customers.


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