J.D. Power, a provider of consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics, published its 2018 US Vehicle Dependability Study on Wednesday, with Lexus topping the survey for the seventh consecutive year.
The study measures the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) during the past 12 months by original owners of 2015 model-year vehicles. A lower score reflects higher quality, and the study covers 177 specific problems grouped into eight major vehicle categories.
The overall industry average improves by 14 PP100 to 142 PP100 from 156 PP100 in 2017.
Mass Market brands continued to close the gap with luxury brands, according to the survey. The Mass Market average (143 PP100) is now just 7 PP100 behind the Luxury average (136 PP100). This is a result of many high-volume vehicles rewarding their owners with excellent long-term dependability, J.D Power said.
Lexus ranks highest in overall vehicle dependability among all brands, with a score of 99 PP100. Buick ranked highest in overall vehicle dependability among Mass Market brands with a score of 116 PP100.
Fiat is the most improved brand, with owners indicating 106 fewer PP100 than in 2017. Infiniti has the largest improvement in rank, moving from 29th to 4th.
Other brands with strong improvements include Nissan (37 fewer PP100 than in 2017) and Ford (31 fewer PP100 than in 2017). Kia’s fifth-place ranking is the brand’s best-ever VDS performance. Dodge and Nissan also post their best-ever rankings.
Toyota Motor Corporation models receive six of the 19 segment awards, the most for an individual corporation in the study. These awardees are Lexus CT, Lexus ES, Lexus GS, Lexus RX, Toyota Prius and Toyota Tacoma.
Audi Q3 is the only model in the 2018 study to receive an award in its introduction year. Other models receiving segment awards are the Dodge Challenger, Ford Super Duty, Ford Expedition, Honda Odyssey, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Rio and Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class.
The 2018 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from 36,896 original owners of 2015 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership.