Top 10 Most Reliable Car Brands

Top 10 Most Reliable Car Brands

J.D. Power just released its annual Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS). This closely monitored report gives automakers and consumers a good idea of how well the industry is doing when it comes to quality.

JD Power 2015 VDS RankingsVDS focuses on long-term reliability by monitoring defects, malfunctions and design-related issues with three-year old vehicles still being driven by their original owners. Dependability is scored in problems per 100 vehicles. In other words, its a look at the most reliable car brands.

The latest installment of this survey covers issues with cars and trucks from the 2012 model year. It dovetails neatly with the firm’s Initial Quality Study, which monitors problems reported during the first three months of ownership.

SEE ALSO: Five Worst Cars According to Consumer Reports

For 2015 the folks at J.D. Power have published a number of interesting findings. Not surprisingly the most problem-prone areas of today’s vehicles are related to Bluetooth connectivity and voice recognition. Exterior concerns also popped up as did powertrain issues, namely automatic transmission shift quality. Overall 177 specific problems are monitored in this report.

So, how did car companies do overall? Well, here are the 10 highest-ranked automakers in the 2015 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study based on how they fared over a three-year period.

JD Power 2015 VDS Chevrolet

10. Chevrolet

Making it in the top 10 is Chevrolet. The bow-tie brand ended up with a score of 123 problems per 100 vehicles (tying with GMC), quite a bit better than the industry average of 147; remember, lower is better, just like LDL cholesterol. The Camaro, Malibu and Silverado nameplates each won an award in their respective segments.

JD Power 2015 VDS Scion

9. Scion

Toyota’s youth-oriented Scion brand may be in the doldrums from a sales standpoint but it’s going places in the quality department. It improved to 121 problems per 100 vehicles, dropping by 13 compared to last year’s VDS. Mitsubishi and Ram posted similar improvements, though they didn’t quite crack the top 10. Scion’s tC, xB and xD each won an award.

JD Power 2015 VDS Mercedes-Benz

8. Mercedes-Benz

Luxury means complexity, which often translates into cantankerousness and extra maintenance costs. But the folks in Stuttgart have figured out how to avoid having issues with their feature-laden cars and trucks. Mercedes-Benz drove away with a score of just 119 problems per 100 vehicles. Their E-Class was the highest-ranked midsize premium car topping the Lincoln MKS and Infiniti M. The GLK also won top honors among compact premium SUVs.

JD Power 2015 VDS Lincoln

7. Lincoln

Speaking of Ford’s pseudo-luxury division, Lincoln topped Mercedes by one point, ending up with a score of 118. And while it didn’t win any specific awards its MKS and MKZ sedans performed admirably.

JD Power 2015 VDS Porsche

6. Porsche

Arguably Porsche is the quintessential builder of thoroughbred sports cars. Zuffenhausen knows a thing or two about putting smiles on drivers’ faces, they’ve been doing it for decades. According to J.D. Power they’re also champions of sound engineering, posting a score of just 116 problems per 100 vehicles. Like you needed another reason to buy a 911.

JD Power 2015 VDS Honda

5. Honda

Honda tied Porsche by posting a score of 116. Its boxy Ridgeline was the highest-rated midsize pickup while the Fit and Civic also performed very well. The Capital H has a reputation for quality and they consistently impress day in and day out, year after year.

JD Power2015VDS Cadillac

4. Cadillac

Way to go, Caddy! GM’s luxury brand topped the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and even Honda with just 114 problems per 100 vehicles, a score that netted the wreath-less crest brand a fourth-place finish. Making this performance even more impressive is that none of its models won any specific awards, meaning its entire lineup should be performing extremely well.

JD Power2015VDS Toyota

3. Toyota

Toyota is always a surefire bet when it comes to quality and 2015 is no exception. This mainstream brand finished in the No. 3 spot with a stellar score of just 111 problems per 100 vehicles. Additionally its Corolla compact car and Sienna minivan won their respective categories and plenty of other segments had Toyota models on the podium.

JD Power 2015 VDS Buick

2. Buick

That’s not a Buick! Well actually, it is. The tri-shield brand performed admirably, coming in second place with a score of 110. This is three positions better than it did last year. Underscoring this performance, the LaCrosse was the top-rated large car, beating Toyota’s Avalon and the Ford Taurus, which finished in second and third, respectively.

JD Power 2015 VDS Lexus

1. Lexus

Lexus topped all rivals with a jaw-dropping score of just 89 problems per 100 vehicles. That’s an industry-leading performance, but what do you expect from Toyota’s luxury division? Their ES was the top-rated compact premium car while the GX was the No. 1 midsize premium SUV. Their CT and RX were both strong competitor as well. This is the fourth consecutive year Lexus has been the best in J.D. Power’s Vehicle Dependability Study.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Best Car Dealership Brands

One other thing worth noting is GM’s overall performance. The Detroit-based automaker won seven segment awards, the same number as Toyota. Additionally the results of this study are based on the responses of more than 34,000 vehicle owners.

  • Wow, Buick beat Toyota in reliability and Chevy made the list.

  • Rickers

    Chevy is definitely a shocker.

  • John Davenport

    I’ve had my Regal three years, and so far not a single problem!

  • Clark

    I’d say Lincoln is the shocker. (or Buick)

  • Adam

    Buick doesn’t surprise me, their new vehicles are exceptionally well made. Porsche is the biggest shocker for me.

  • Jonny_Vancouver

    Good article. I was surprised to see Chevy, Mercedes, Lincoln, Porsche, Cadillac & Buick on the list.

  • Alvin Brinson

    I wish that Consumer Reports would revisit the meaning of the word “reliability”. Visiting the dealer because you can’t figure out how to pair your bluetooth and sync your contacts might be annoying, but it ain’t “reliability”. Reliability is: You get in your car. You start it up, it drives to your work or school, you stay dry, your AC and Heat works, and random plastic bits don’t fall off on the way. I have never been stranded by my car, yet by CR’s interpretation, it’s unreliable, because it needed a software update for the infotainment system.

  • steveinglendale

    I agree with Alvin. Ford sucks mainly because of the MyFordTouch continuing issues. But, our ’13 Ford has been superlative. Why? Do as we did with our 2013 Fusion hybrid: Don’t order it with MyFordTouch if you buy new (as most reviewers have cautioned for years) until 2016 when it’ll be replaced. Their older Sync system, which is standard, works just fine. Glamorous, no. Functional & reliable, yes. OK, then got to get aftermarket Nav – go Garmin, no one beats them and you can move it around to your other vehicles as needed. Oh yes, back-up camera – ditto several third parties if you really need it. BTW – For all the Ford haters, yeah, sure, Ford had to eat crow about 47 avg mpg fluff, but 42.3 real world avg mpg, over 25K mi without a single unplanned service, other than a few recalls (uh, check out Honda and Toyota for recalls), and all the performance we’ve needed is just fine. Perfect? No, just going in the right direction. Back to Alvin’s comment, it’s time that these reliability reports figure out how to separate drive related issues including safety from convenience issues in the ratings. The current system reminds me all too much of the old BCS college football rating system in that it seems as much BS as a reliable rating. One score alone does not fit all catagories.

  • jason

    lol i have a hard time believing chevy is in the top 10..

  • AnotherView

    No surprise Lexus wins (again)…they have Toyota’s best assigned to that division. But if you want reliability without the premium price, you can still buy a “regular” Toyota. As for Buick coming in second, it’s obviously a statistical anomaly due to a microscopically small sample size. And if you think I’m wrong about that, check back here next year.

  • Khaleesi

    No VW? half of this cars are not even comerciable in argentina

  • Guest


  • Richard

    Older Sync system like I had in my 2012 Roush Mustang?? Yep, couldn’t play via Bluetooth a lot of times because it was ONLY voice activated and would dial random people when I said “Blue tooth audio”. Was NOT functional nor close to reliable having to turn the vehicle off while driving down the road to reset the Sync system.

  • Richard

    Agree if its a software update or failure in user/operator knowledge. IF it doesn’t work however or did work and stopped working as it did even if it is your contacts, music, phone connection etc. it should count as a reliability issue.

  • WWLabrat

    VW came in #22 out of the 31 brands listed.

  • MZ

    I own an enclave and corolla. Haven’t had a problem with either one. I love them both but enclave is a very very comfortable vehicle. I actually picked it over lexus. You may think I am crazy for doing it but I would make the same decision if I had to buy again.

  • Jason McCormack

    Wow… three years… tell that to my 11 year old and 12 year old Toyotas…

  • John Davenport

    Wow…you’re just a total ass aren’t you.

  • Steve Owens

    Had to laugh, I own a VW and I guess it depends on how they define reliable. I have a 2006 Jetta TDI, and I love the diesel engine, but the driver’s side door controls sometimes spaz out (known issue) and the windshield washer pump is dying or something because it barely squirts high enough for the wipers to catch it, and we already had some kind of a camshaft problem that would definitely count as a reliability problem. But out of all the cars I have ever driven, it’s still my favorite. I like the way it drives all around. Good handling, good steering.

  • Arckanum

    Some people just can’t contain themselves. Congrats on your flawless Regal John!

  • Momuv3

    I bought a Toyota Sienna 2006 mini van for 45,000, 10 years I’ve only had normal wear and tear. It was a beast! I just sold it at 148,000 mi for $8500. It did it’s job never had to worry about breaking down. If only Toyota had nicer looking 4 door sedans I would have went back but ended up with a Ford Fusion Titanium. Wish me luck! ; /

  • Corey Bommarito

    Wow… 11 and 12 years… Tell that to both mine and my dad’s 18 almost 19 years old Oldsmobile AKA luxury Chevrolet blazer… 😉

  • J Silver

    Honda should not be on any list because they have lefts thousands of 2015 Honda CRV vibrations problems go with out a REAL fix., The three fixes don’t work.

  • Mick

    In theory it’s impressive that car companies that sell more cars are at the top because the more things you make the more there is a possibility of a mistake being made.

  • JDP-Digital

    View the actual report at

    Also read vehicle dependability study 2016.