Lexus, Lincoln Win Big with J.D. Power Quality Survey

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If you’re driving a three-year old Lexus RX, statistics would suggest that you’re aren’t having many problems with it. J.D. Power and Associates released its annual U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, and—surprise, surprise—Lexus (and its RX crossover) scored top honors.

Unlike J.D. Power’s initial quality surveys, which ask new owners how many issues they have with their cars during the first 90 days, the Vehicle Dependability Study looks at how many problems owners have had over the past year with cars that are now three years old (the 2010 model year).

Keeping in mind that J.D. Power is rating 2010 model-year cars, it explains why we’re seeing some old names on the winners list. The Ford Ranger, for example, is the highest-rated mid-size pickup, followed by the Ram Dakota. Both trucks didn’t make it to the 2013 model year.

Forgetting about that for a minute, it was a good year for Toyota and Lexus: it placed in the top three in seven segments. Those cars include the Scion xB and xD; Lexus ES350 and RX; and Toyota Prius, Sienna, and RAV4. The Lexus RX, meanwhile, earned the title of most reliable vehicle on the market: owners reported just 57 problems per 100 cars in their third year of ownership. Lexus cars averaged 71 problems per 100 vehicles, making Lexus the most reliable brand for the second year in a row.

The Lexus brand was followed by Porsche, which averaged 94 problems per 100 vehicles. Third place went to a surprising nameplate: it’s Lincoln, whose 112 problems per 100 vehicles tied it with Toyota and earned it the title of most-dependable domestic brand. (Ford, for reference, averaged 127 problems per 100 vehicles, just over the industry average of 126)

Elsewhere around the study, Ram earned a most improved title for reducing its score by an impressive 52 problems per 100 vehicles. Ram now scores a 122, putting it just behind Honda and Acura (119 and 120 problems, respectively), and ahead of the national average.

Further down the rankings are some recognizable names: Jaguar scored a 164, while Volkswagen vehicles turned in 174 problems per 100 vehicles. Dodge vehicles earned a disappointing 190 problems per 100 vehicles, but the dubious title of least-dependable brand went to Land Rover, whose utility vehicles average 220 problems per 100 vehicles. Perhaps that pre-owned 2010 Range Rover might not be a great investment.

Source: J.D. Power

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