Lexus and Porsche tie in J.D. Power re­li­a­bil­ity study

But Toy­ota’s Camry had low­est num­ber of owner com­plaints

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS - CHARLES FLEM­ING

Lexus and Porsche tied for the top spot in auto in­for­ma­tion com­pany J.D. Power’s an­nual ve­hi­cle re­li­a­bil­ity study.

But other Ja­panese, Ger­man, South Korean and Amer­i­can brands also scored ex­tremely well.

The study tar­geted 35,000 own­ers of model year 2014 ve­hi­cles who have driven their ve­hi­cles for three full years, ask­ing them to rate sat­is­fac­tion lev­els and ve­hi­cle prob­lems in 177 spe­cific ar­eas.

Lexus and Porsche fared best, with the low­est num­ber of is­sues per owner, scor­ing 110 points each.

Right be­hind, with com­plaint num­bers be­low 130, were Toy­ota and Buick. Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and BMW came just af­ter.

Scor­ing the worst re­sults for the largest num­ber of com­plaints was Fiat, which landed last at 298 points.

But also near or over 200 points were Jeep, In­finiti, Dodge, Ram, Ford and Mit­subishi.

Con­sumers are buy­ing more care­fully, the study con­cluded, than in pre­vi­ous years.

The in­dus­try av­er­age was 156. But the 10 top-sell­ing brands, J.D. Power’s study said, had an av­er­age of 137 — show­ing cus­tomers are re­ward­ing high-qual­ity ve­hi­cles with their car-buy­ing dol­lars.

“We find buy­ers are in­creas­ingly avoid­ing mod­els with poor rep­u­ta­tions for de­pend­abil­ity,” said Dave Sar­gent, the J.D. Power vi­cepres­i­dent who over­saw the study.

Hyundai rose the most in the study, over com­pa­ra­ble 2013 model year cars, ris­ing from 19th po­si­tion to sixth and scor­ing its best re­sults ever. Also ris­ing in de­pend­abil­ity, de­spite their over­all low scores, were Ford, Dodge and Land Rover.

The J.D. Power study also gives awards by seg­ment. Nis­san’s Versa was named best small car, while Toy­ota’s Prius was best com­pact car and Lexus’s ES was best com­pact pre­mium car.

Toy­ota won best mid-size car for its Camry. Chevy’s Ca­maro was named best “sporty” car. Lexus also won best mid-size pre­mium car for its GS, and the large car prize was given to Toy­ota’s Avalon.

On the truck side, the Honda Ridge­line was named best mid­size pickup, the Ford F-150 best light duty pickup, and the Chevy Sil­ver­ado best heavy duty pickup.

Among sport util­ity ve­hi­cles, the VW Tiguan copped the small SUV award, while the Toy­ota FJ Cruiser was picked as best com­pact SUV. The Toy­ota Venza was dubbed the best mid-size SUV, and the Lexus RX was named best mid-size pre­mium SUV. Chevy got the award for large SUV with its Ta­hoe.

The Toy­ota Si­enna was named best mini­van. That brand won in 10 of 18 cat­e­gories, the high­est score any maker has ever re­ceived in the study. Toy­ota’s Camry, the study noted, has the low­est over­all num­ber of com­plaints of any ve­hi­cle tracked.

J.D. Power said that, de­spite the awards and low com­plaint num­bers for the win­ners, over­all ve­hi­cle qual­ity ap­peared to be drop­ping. The in­dus­try av­er­age for last year’s study was 152 points, com­pared with 156 for this year’s.

Al­most a quar­ter of the prob­lems cited by own­ers were re­lated to their au­to­mo­biles’ au­dio, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, nav­i­ga­tion and en­ter­tain­ment sys­tems, the study said.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

Lexus and Porsche tied for top spot in J.D. Power’s lat­est sur­vey on auto de­pend­abil­ity. The sur­vey looked at ve­hi­cles from the 2014 model year.

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