Porsche, Lincoln, Buick Claim Top Spots in J.D. Power Dependability

Porsche claimed the top ranking in J.D. Power and Associates' 2010 Vehicle Dependability Study, with Lincoln, Buick, Lexus and Mercury rounding out the top five.

Buick fell from the top spot in the 2009 study (as did Jaguar and Lexus, which were ranked second and third in 2009, respectively), while Porsche came from 10th place to take the top honor. Ford had a particularly good showing, with all three of its brands in the top 10.

Toyota, Honda and Ford were the top three non-luxury nameplates on the list, respectively.

Perhaps the biggest story, according to J.D. Power, is the gap between a brand’s dependability — as measured by problems per 100 vehicles — and consumer perception. Cadillac, Ford, Hyundai, Lincoln and Mercury all have decent reliability ratings that are not reflected by consumers' opinions about those brands. This makes for an unfortunate predicament when you’re trying to sell cars.

The Vehicle Dependability Study works by counting problems experienced by original owners of 3-year-old vehicles (from the 2007 model year). For the 2010 study, 52,000 vehicle owners were surveyed between October and December of 2009.

Complete rankings of the study are after the jump.

By Stephen Markley | March 18, 2010 | Comments (18)



Yay so Buick tied (not beat) Lexus in JDP. Now look where the rest of the Government Motors rental cars are in the list.



Why wasn't I surveyed?


Just further evidence that sweeping generalizations like "the Japanese build better cars than Americans", or vice versa are completely uninformed and inaccurate.


I love how some brands are good or bad depending on which survey you look at, but some are just consistently bad (Land Rover, Jeep, etc). Definitely keep staying away from those ...

Danny O.

The Japanese do build better cars and this survey proves it. Compare how many Japanese brands are above Average vs how many American brands. The Japanese are better at building cars.

Derrick G

Both US-based and Japan-based brands have 5 nameplates above average, which is among 11 Japanese brands and 13 US ones. The US average is 160, the Japanese is 151. But we don't buy countries; we buy a company's brand. Here are the corporate averages, with foreign brands temporarily held by US companies separated:

1. Ford: 125.33
2. Honda: 137.50
3. M-B: 142.00*
4. Toyota: 148.00
5. Subaru: 155.00
6. Hyundai-Kia: 157.50
7. Saab: 158.00
8. Nissan: 165.00
9. Volvo: 167.00
10.Volkswagen: 172.00**
11.BMW: 184.00
12.GM: 188.50
13.Chrysler: 192.67
14.Mitsubishi: 202.00
15.Jag-LR: 215.00
16.Suzuki: 253.00

*-No smart data
**-Includes Porsche.

As you can see, the top company is American; the bottom is Japanese. Making sweeping generalizations based on country of origin no longer makes any sense. And to look at this survey, you can say that the best American company makes better cars than the best Japanese. And the 2 worst Japanese are worse than the 2 worst American.


Porsche better be number 1 for the outrageous price they charge and the low volume of cars they produce. It's good that they are making them right before selling them. The big surprise to me is Mercedes Benz, a true volume producer scoring above average. What an improvement, at a time when they actually cut the price of the new e-class compared to the last generation. Good for them - that's what I'm talking about. Meanwhile, BMW is below average, confirming the fact that they're high priced junk.


Danny O

Ford in now the leader in dependability. All 3 major brands Ford, Lincoln, Mercury in the top 10. That is not the case with Toyota's top 3 brands Toyota, Lexus, Scion. FORD builds better cars than the Japanese.

Just thought you should know!!!


Good for Porsche and Lincoln for doing so well. Same for MB

And Zack should do us all a favor and remove himself from the gene pool. Moron



Did you mix up by their commercial's saying of "quality"?


I've owned American and Japanese brands enough times to know the Japs cars are more durable, reliable, better engineered, have higher resale value, and sell quicker. Poor people who are generally not very intelligent will continue to buy GM and Chrysler cars.


Derrick G, interesting analysis. Too bad we can attribute Suzukis poor showing to the fact that half their lineup are rebadged Daewoos under the Government Motors umbrella.

Glad to see Fords showing tho!


It's always funny to see lemmings like Derick post their own made-up study. The JD Power study proves that both Honda and Toyota are still superior to Ford and Chevy. No one ever said the truth was going to be easy to swallow. Enjoy.


How do people decide what an "American" car is? Many Toyotas, Nissans, Hondas, Hyundais etc are made in the US, many "American" cars are made in Canada etc.

How do you decide how much does site of assembly, parts' origin, etc. each counts in the "American-ness" or "Japanese-ness" of a car?

Check out the new safety and reliability ratings from Consumer Reports in the new April Autos Issue. It contains a host of great information for buyers, including best/worst lists, top picks from 2010, how to prevent unexpected problems with your car and more. A free online version of the article is available here: www.2010AnnualAutoIssue.com

Derrick G

I almost went there, but don't have any way to know what the Daewoo/Suzuki spread is. CR has very little data on the Suzuki stuff and none on the Daewoo-made. The SX4 has done well. We'll see I guess in a few years when all the Daewoo stuff is out of the survey.

MM, your contention that I made anything up is an abject lie. And I was comparing companies, fully based on the Powers data, not nameplates. As a company, FoMoCo does better than Honda Motor Co. or Toyota Motor Co. and that's a fact, not anything made up. Whether you want to swallow it or not. Also, I'd note that the Toyota nameplate to Ford spread is the same as the FoMoCo to HMC spread. The FoMoCo to TMC spread is even wider than the Ford to Toyota nameplate spread. So there's no basis from this data at least for you or anyone else to be claiming superiority. Statistically in this survey, there's no big difference among the three to be seen by anyone looking objectively. For the record, I personally do not now nor have I ever owned anything by any of the three.

Brian Greenberg

Honda cars are WAY better made than Ford. Now get back to your artificial info guzzling.


It's great that Porsche has made the original VW beetle into such a reliable car. Of course they charge $130,000 for it - I guess that's how much it takes to expand the VW four cylinder into a Porsche 6 cylinder. My V8 doesn't have much trouble embarrasing those reliable pieces of junk. LOL

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