Buick and Lexus Predictably Top J.D. Power's Dependability Survey

buick and lexus predictably top j d powers dependability survey

J.D. Power and Associates continued their now routine praise of Buick, Lexus, and Porsche by giving the brands top honors in the company’s latest annual dependability study.

The survey, which assesses the number of reported problems per 100 vehicles during the first three years of vehicle ownership, resulted in Lexus achieving top marks with only 99 claimed issues. Toyota’s premium brand (which has won seven years running) was followed closely by Porsche with 100 reported problems, whereas Buick was the “mass market” brand with the fewest faults at 116.

Issues pertaining to audio, communications, navigation, or entertainment systems continued to yield the highest number of complaints from consumers in 2018. However, the gap between luxury and mainstream brands appears to be closing, as most of last year’s top performers lost a little ground to mid-level mainstream competitors. Infiniti saw the most improvement overall, coming from the bottom of the pack in 2017 to take 4th overall this year. It was followed by Kia, with 122 problems per 100 vehicles — proving that premium levels of quality are not exclusive to premium brands.

Speaking of which, suspiciously absent from J.D. Power’s listings was Tesla Motors. The study made no mention of the electric brand whatsoever. When questioned, Power explained that the automaker had not provided access to owner information, adding that a sufficiently large sample was unavailable for Tesla models to be included in the study.

Chevrolet, Hyundai, BMW, Toyota, Lincoln, Nissan, Honda, and Audi all managed to stay above the industry average of 142 problems per 100 vehicles. Mazda and Mercedes-Benz fell just short with 145 and 147 issues, respectively.

No longer positioned exclusively at the bottom of J.D. Power’s dependability list, Fiat Chrysler brands were spread throughout the bottom third for 2018. Dodge fared the best with 166 reported problems within the first three years of ownership, while Chrysler scored the worst with a lackluster 211 — giving it the dubious honor of being the worst-performing brand in the survey.

Land Rover garnered the second-most reported incidents with 204, followed by Fiat and Jeep. Admittedly, FCA still didn’t do particularly well in 2018. But its overall performance did show notable improvements against last year’s standings.

A complete breakdown of all North American brands is available at J.D. Power’s website. Even a cursory examination reveals marked improvement in overall powertrain dependability — at least within the first three years of ownership — and an industry that’s still coming to grips with how to help customers understand in-car technologies. Either that, or new tech has become a quagmire for service centers.

“For the most part, automotive manufacturers continue to meet consumers’ vehicle dependability expectations,” explained Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. “A 9-percent improvement is extremely impressive, and vehicle dependability is, without question, at its best level ever.”

[Image: Lexus]

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  • Thornmark Thornmark on Feb 15, 2018

    JD Power - I'd like to see how their "ratings" stack ag/ their client billings. I'd rate JD Power near the bottom of "research" firms. " J.D. Power obtains the majority of its revenue from corporations that seek the data collected from J.D. Power surveys for internal use.[1] Companies which have used J.D. Power surveys range from automotive, cellphone, and computer manufacturers to home builders and utility companies. To be able to use the J.D. Power logo and to quote the survey results in advertising, companies must pay a licensing fee to J.D. Power. These advertisement licensing fees form a small part of J.D. Power's revenues but a substantial portion of earnings.[1]" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J.D._Power_and_Associates

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    • El scotto El scotto on Feb 17, 2018

      @NormSV650 All sorts of data is being collected for free. Every keystroke you've inputted on the 'net and every time your cell phone stopped moving was collected data. Finding a market for my comments, and anyone who really cares, written on TTAC and the fact I stopped at Arby's at approximately 1230 is whole other thing. J.D. Power and whoever hires them are widely considered to be in an act of mutual masturbation. The print rags proudly turn into self-licking ice cream cones for whoever buys the most ad space. Consumer Reports (CR) has its flaws, discussed on here many times, but it is considered an "Honest Broker" by many. CR does technically collect their data for free. Yes, people subscribe to their snooze-fest of a magazine. CR runs test and collects data on various objects and hopes the consumer wants to buy their results. Their annual Car Review usually sells well. Report this year's best mullet trimmer? Not so much.

  • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Feb 18, 2018

    The Buicks do have higher-quality interior materials, at least that’s what I took away from the auto show last week. In particular, the cheap membrane steering-wheel controls in the Chevvies are replaced by actual buttons in the Buicks. (There was a Regal liftback on the floor, but I couldn’t find the hatch release switch! Pawed around the door, in the glovebox, and center console looking for it.) Is the Regal GS liftback only available in red over black? (The one with a V6?) I do like the adoption of LED interior lighting across the GM lineup — classy! Didn’t get to see Caddys or HyundKias, as that dealer group didn’t show anything. (No Rincolns either.)

  • Faith Shoot my 2015 Ecodiesel with 170k miles just went out. I'm bummed big time
  • Marky S. To: article author: My Pleasure! I just don't want to be seen as a "know-it-all". There is a good detailed article on Wikipedia about the poor Edsel. Many believe that Ford gave up on it too soon, although there are a variety of reasons why Edsel was not popular. It actually sold respectable well, considering that this NEW nameplate was introduced during a Recession.
  • EBFlex "I've only filled the gas tank three times in 2500 miles"Assuming you went from 0 gallons to full (17.2), you have averaged almost 50MPG over those 2500 miles. 50 MPG in a Jeep Wrangler. To all of you EV nut jobs, tell me again how PHEVs are not the absolute best thing to happen to automobiles since the wheel. And tell me how they don't make EVs look like the awful play toys that they are.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird The Buick 215/3.5-liter aluminum V8 was one of GMs great engines. Unfortunately GM being GM in one of their greatest mistakes was selling off the tooling to BL. If they kept it around and improved upon it it would have been a fine motor for their compacts and midsize models through the OPEC oil crisis.
  • Chris P Bacon Not sure why a '21 is getting reviewed, because there have been improvements to the 4xe. I've got a '22 4xe Sahara. May 2022 build in High-Velocity yellow with a soft top. As soon as it was announced I knew I wanted to try it, not for the fuel mileage, but for the technology. I don't have a Level 2 charger, it charges fully overnight on the included Level 1. I see an indicated range of 27 miles regularly. Today it indicated 29 when I unplugged. I've only filled the gas tank three times in 2500 miles, a full charge costs me about $3 based on my current electricity supplier. I don't experience the rough transitions between electric and gas, so maybe Jeep figured it out? It's stupid fast when using all the power off the line. So much so that it will break the rear wheels loose when you stomp on it. I agree that plugin hybrids are the future. I see no need for a pure electric. This is the way to go.