Buick, Jaguar Unseat Lexus Atop J.D. Power Reliability Study

2006-buick-lacrosse J.D. Power and Associates’ annual reliability study was just released, and Buick and Jaguar are tied for the top spot, unseating Lexus. The rankings are for three-year-old vehicles, which are rated according to problems per 100 vehicles. J.D. Power mails out surveys to thousands of people, and this year’s field included 46,000 original owners of 2006-model-year vehicles. Four of the top 10 brands were domestic makes, including Mercury, Lincoln and Cadillac.

Buick and Jaguar tallied 122 problems per 100 vehicles, with Lexus close behind at 126. Toyota won five segment awards for best models, including the Toyota Highlander, Prius, Sequoia, Camry Solara and Tundra, which was the most of any automaker. Lexus fielded four winners in the ES 330, GX 470, LS 430 and SC 430. While those scores are impressive, we’re not quite sure how Scion, another Toyota nameplate, ranked near the bottom of the list with 222 problems per 100 vehicles.

While the results may sound surprising on their face, Buick has been in the top 10 since the survey was relaunched in 2003. Jaguar also steadily improved in quality while under Ford ownership. Jaguar was sold last year to Indian carmaker Tata Motors. 

Keep reading for scores of each brand as well as each vehicle segment.


By David Thomas | March 19, 2009 | Comments (24)



this study is flawed.. most of the cars in this study are models that have been around for many years, such as the grand marquis... after a trillion years, u would think the car maker can make it work good, at the expense of a car that has good features. This study is flawed


Jaguar is reliable? Where did they get the data?

Derrick G

Keep in mind that this study doesn't define problem just as something that actually failed, malfunctioned, or broke off. Design issues are included, too.


K wrote:
"Jaguar is reliable? Where did they get the data?"

TrueDelta comments on this in their March 19 blog posting:

Note that TrueDelta is something of a competitor to J.D. Power; however, this blog posting is pretty objectively written IMO.

P.S.: I have no financial interest in TrueDelta.


46,000 out of how many 2006 model year vehicles? Not a very large study panel for a true indicator of how reliable an entire manufacturer actually is.


I tend to never pay any attention to J.D. Power. Their studies always seemed highly flawed

After reading the True Delta post though he's wrong, It was the first year for the Lacrosse. 2006 model year remember. I think the Lucerne came out later in 2006 as still an 06 model.

Lexus had many issues with the GS which has hurt its scores in a number of these studies. One model.

While it is not a perfect study by any means, the broad sampling certainly helps and there aren't many other ways for third parties to gather that much data. CR does this as well.

We try to take into account all sources of reliability information and weigh them accordingly.

There could also be a lot said for customers of these cars, average ages etc. Note the Scions scored very low. Perhaps younger buyers are more critical than older ones? There's more to the study than first year problems.

As for how they rate problems:
The 2009 study covers a total of 202 total problems, broken out into eight major problem categories as follows:

* Exterior
* The Driving Experience
* Features/Controls/Displays
* Audio/Entertainment/Navigation
* Seats
* Interior
* Engine/Transmission


It's surprising to see Audi is slightly above average when the VWs they're based on rank near the bottom in quality.

The LaCrosse came out as a 2005 model, not as a 2006. Just the Lucerne was new as a 2006 model.

double checked and yes the Lacrosse was a 2005 model year. thanks Brady.


Scions are toy cars, they are popular with young people, but they have to be manufactured with the cheapo quality to keep prices low (the manipulated change yen/dollar also helps).


"I tend to never pay any attention to J.D. Power. Their studies always seemed highly flawed"

Care to offer any details?

I don't know why anyone would be surprised that Scions aren't as good as Lexus products. Have you ever SAT in a Scion model? It does not reek of quality. The old age excuse has been used many times whenever an American brand does well in a reliability survey. Apparently older Lexus buyers can be trusted but Buick buyers are so old that they do not know when their car is malfunctioning. It's a lame excuse to say the least. Older people buy luxury cars but when it comes to Buick we are supposed to believe older people are so senile that they can't give accurate information in a survey.



In 2006 the Lucerne was new and the Lacrosse was in its 2nd year. I believe the Rendevous was on sale and it was in its 3rd or 4th year. The Century, Park Ave and Lesabre were out of production.


most cars these days do very well their first 3 years; i don't see how 3-year data mean much. why is Nissan so low? and how did Cadillac get so high? everyone i know who owns one hates how they have to spend so much time and money on the Escalade, DTS, etc

Juan Carlos

wow, with buick still doing great is awesome news for gm. for years buick was high on the list by being on the back of the century (actually won categories) and lesabre even when they were out of production. now there is no century or park avenue and is still top 3.


On one hand they said that Suzuki, Mazda, and Pontiac are below average.
On the other hand they said that the MX-5, Aerio, and Solstice are best in segment.

Which one shall I believe?

Juan Carlos

j, no problem there. the solstice and vibe are good, but the gs and the torrent bring it down enough. is like getting an "a" in the midterm and getting a "c" for the class.


The study that American cars are narrowing the gap is somewhat misleading: While it is true, as a whole, they are making gains -- the real numbers that matter to consumers is the individual cars in a particular class. For example, the top three classes of cars are: Truck, Mid-sized sedan, and SUV. Toyota dominates in these classes. Just because Americans can do cars that few people drive better -- isn't exactly the best accomplishment.

I tell all my friends to buy foreign still. And to use the power of competition to get a good price (ignore clever marketing). This is the best process to use when you are ready for a car:



I've never heard such bull-alibis in my life. Anecdotal, and "I heard through a friend that knows a friend's uncle that knew a Buick or Jaguar owner 15 years ago and he said that . . . . His car had issues", Is in no way scientific.

I hate to use a worn axiom but . . . "It is what it is". The J.D. Powers organization doesn't send out all those questionaires to ask buyers what gossip they've heard but the facts of owner experience. I suspect that most of the complainers have much emotional attachment to their own purchases (which were rated much lower) and their ego's were deflated.


Weirdd to see Jaguar on top. I heard the Jaguar XF had numerous electrical problems...I had a 2001 XJR and that thing was constant issues.

Although you are unlikely to get your dream Jaguar suitcase container, it is still a good idea to get a container that matches with the color of your Jaguar lease vehicle.

As the reliable source indicates it, then it must be a fact. Such companies sometimes has a flaws in their products.

It's really wonderful. Accept my gratitude. It's all really good. Table has really helped our home more attractive. I was amazed at the quality of table. It really saves me time and effort.

This just proves how great and reliable this Jaguar car is. Actually, this has been my dream car for so long.

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