J.D. Power’s 2012 Car Dependability Study

Overall, dependability went up for 25 out of the 32 brands from 2011. The best brands were Lexus, Porsche, Cadillac, Toyota and Scion — note that Toyota owns Lexus and Scion. The worst brands were Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Jaguar — note that Chrysler owns all of those except Jaguar. The average brands: Acura, Honda, Chevy and Volvo.

But, these ratings should be taken with a grain of salt because they’re averages of all the cars a brand makes: so for Chevrolet, they include the Impala, Corvette, Malibu, Suburban, etc. If you’re using the study (PDF) to buy a car, the brand rating gives you just a general idea of how the brand is, not how good a particular model is.


Fortunately, they also provided the most dependable cars in each class:

  • Sub-compact: Toyota Yaris, Scion xD, and Honda Fit
  • Compact: Toyota Prius, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra and Scion tC
  • Midsize: Ford Fusion, Mitsubishi Gallant, and Toyota Camry
  • Large: Buick Lucerne, Toyota Avalon, and Ford Taurus
  • Entry Premium: Lexus ES350 and Lincoln MKZ (tied), and Acura TL
  • Premium: Hyundai Genesis, Mercedes E-class, and Volvo S80
  • Compact SUV: Chevy Equinox, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Scion xB
  • Midsize SUV: Ford Explorer and Nissan Murano (tie), and Toyota Highlander
  • Premium SUV: Lexus RX350 and Lincoln MKX
  • Midsize Pickup: Nissan Frontier, Ford Ranger, Honda Ridgeline
  • Large Pickup: Toyota Tundra, GMC Sierra HD, Chevy Silverado LD
  • Minivan: Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey

Even though Chevy and Honda are average brands, they make some of the best SUVs, trucks, tiny cars and minivans. Overall though, the Toyota family and Ford seem to have their act together most.

The study measures problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of three-year-old (2009 model-year) vehicles. Overall dependability is determined by the level of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.

2011 Hyundai Genesis

From JD Power, via NPR

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