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The Most (and Least) Dependable Car Brands

Steven Peters

Whether it is a dead car battery discovered at the beginning of a commute to work or broken air conditioning in the middle of summer, unreliable vehicles can create unpleasant experiences for owners. Prospective buyers are increasingly avoiding unreliable vehicles, adding pressure to the brands that consistently underperform in dependability.

24/7 Wall St. listed the most and least dependable car brands, reviewing J.D. Power’s 2017 Vehicle Dependability Study. The study gives long-term dependability scores to 31 vehicle brands based on problems reported by the original owners of 2014 model-year vehicles. A brand’s final score is the total problems experienced per 100 vehicles in the past 12 months.

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The industry averages 156 problems per 100 vehicles. Lexus and Porsche tie for the best score with only 110 problems per 100 vehicles. By contrast, Fiat owners reported 298 problems per 100 vehicles, the worst score of any measured brand. Among individual models, the Toyota Camry is the most dependable vehicle.

Within the dependability score, 177 different types of problems are measured, comprising eight major categories. As with past years of the study, the audio/communication/entertainment/navigation category accounts for the most reported problems. Of all problems, 22% were in this category. The top two problems reported in the study were bluetooth pairing and connectivity, as well as subpar voice recognition.

To identify the most and least dependable car brands, 24/7 Wall St. listed the problems per 100 vehicles score for each of the 31 nameplates measured in J.D. Power’s 2017 Vehicle Dependability Study. 2014 vehicle sales figures for each brand were obtained from GoodCarBadCar.net.

These are the most and least dependable car brands.

1. Lexus
> Problems per 100 cars: 110
> 2014 unit sales: 311,389
> Parent company: Toyota Motor Company

2. Porsche
> Problems per 100 cars: 110
> 2014 unit sales: 47,007
> Parent company: Volkswagen Group

3. Toyota
> Problems per 100 cars: 123
> 2014 unit sales: 2,004,373
> Parent company: Toyota Motor Company

4. Buick
> Problems per 100 cars: 126
> 2014 unit sales: 228,963
> Parent company: General Motors

5. Mercedes-Benz
> Problems per 100 cars: 131
> 2014 unit sales: 356,136
> Parent company: Daimler AG

6. Hyundai
> Problems per 100 cars: 133
> 2014 unit sales: 725,718
> Parent company: Hyundai Motor Group

7. BMW
> Problems per 100 cars: 139
> 2014 unit sales: 339,738
> Parent company: BMW

8. Chevrolet
> Problems per 100 cars: 142
> 2014 unit sales: 2,033,442
> Parent company: General Motors

9. Honda
> Problems per 100 cars: 143
> 2014 unit sales: 1,373,029
> Parent company: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

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10. Jaguar
> Problems per 100 cars: 144
> 2014 unit sales: 15,773
> Parent company: Tata Motors

11. Kia
> Problems per 100 cars: 148
> 2014 unit sales: 580,234
> Parent company: Hyundai Motor Group

12. Lincoln
> Problems per 100 cars: 150
> 2014 unit sales: 94,474
> Parent company: Ford Motor Company

13. MINI
> Problems per 100 cars: 150
> 2014 unit sales: 56,112
> Parent company: BMW

14. GMC
> Problems per 100 cars: 151
> 2014 unit sales: 501,853
> Parent company: General Motors

15. Cadillac
> Problems per 100 cars: 152
> 2014 unit sales: 170,750
> Parent company: General Motors

16. Audi
> Problems per 100 cars: 153
> 2014 unit sales: 182,011
> Parent company: Volkswagen Group

17. Volvo
> Problems per 100 cars: 154
> 2014 unit sales: 56,366
> Parent company: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group

18. Chrysler
> Problems per 100 cars: 159
> 2014 unit sales: 308,785
> Parent company: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV

19. Subaru
> Problems per 100 cars: 164
> 2014 unit sales: 513,693
> Parent company: Fuji Heavy Industries

20. Volkswagen
> Problems per 100 cars: 164
> 2014 unit sales: 366,970
> Parent company: Volkswagen Group

21. Mazda
> Problems per 100 cars: 166
> 2014 unit sales: 305,801
> Parent company: Mazda Motor Corporation

22. Acura
> Problems per 100 cars: 167
> 2014 unit sales: 167,843
> Parent company: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

23. Nissan
> Problems per 100 cars: 170
> 2014 unit sales: 1,269,565
> Parent company: Groupe Renault

24. Land Rover
> Problems per 100 cars: 178
> 2014 unit sales: 51,465
> Parent company: Tata Motors

25. Mitsubishi
> Problems per 100 cars: 182
> 2014 unit sales: 77,643
> Parent company: Renault-Nissan Alliance

26. Ford
> Problems per 100 cars: 183
> 2014 unit sales: 2,376,841
> Parent company: Ford Motor Company

27. Ram
> Problems per 100 cars: 183
> 2014 unit sales: 469,139
> Parent company: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV

28. Dodge
> Problems per 100 cars: 187
> 2014 unit sales: 574,155
> Parent company: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV

29. Infiniti
> Problems per 100 cars: 203
> 2014 unit sales: 117,330
> Parent company: Groupe Renault

30. Jeep
> Problems per 100 cars: 209
> 2014 unit sales: 692,348
> Parent company: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV

 

31. Fiat
> Problems per 100 cars: 298
> 2014 unit sales: 46,121
> Parent company: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV

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