Porsche, Lincoln, and Buick hold the top three spots on J.D. Power and Associates' annual Vehicle Dependability Study. Meanwhile, Jaguar fell well below its tied-for-first-place performance from last year's study.
The study is based on the responses of about 52,000 owner surveys taken during October to December of 2009. Owners are asked to identify any "problem symptoms" (J.D. Power has 198 different ones) with their vehicles, though it's unclear whether each problem carries the same weight.
The 2010 study attempts to predict the reliability of 2007 model year vehicles. Overall, J.D. Power says dependability has improved by 7 percent from last year's study, which documented 2006 model-year vehicles. The industry's vehicles had an average of 155 problems experienced per 100 vehicles, down from an adjusted 167 from last year.
The top four brands on the study are Porsche, Lincoln, Buick, and Lexus. The next four brands on the list are the highest-ranking non-premium brands: Mercury, Toyota, Honda, and Ford. Surveyed owners of 2007 Jaguars reported an average of 175 problems, up from 122 last year.
Like the 2009 study, Volkswagen, Suzuki, and Land Rover hold the bottom positions, though 25 of the 36 nameplates have improved this year. That includes Cadillac, Ford, Hyundai, Lincoln, and Mercury, all brands that J.D. Power says have the greatest lag between perception of dependability and the reality.
Lincoln, for example, shot up to second place in part because the Navigator SUV improved by 61 problems experienced per 100 vehicles. The current-generation Navigator was in its first model year in 2007.
Toyota earned the most number of vehicle segment awards; Honda got three; Lincoln two; and a number of other brands took home one each.
Source: J.D. Power