The Winners And Losers Of J.D. Power’s 2019 Reliability Study

J.D. Power released its annual Vehicle Dependability Study, crowning the most reliable cars in the market, as well as pointing out the worst performers.

The study measures the reliability of 3-year-old cars and trucks, based on responses from 32,952 original owners of 2016 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership. For 2019, it crowned Lexus as the most reliable brand of them all for the eighth consecutive year. Second place went to both Porsche and Toyota.

Fourth and fifth place went to Chevrolet and Buick respectively, rounding up the top 5 performers in the study. Volvo, Land Rover and Fiat were found to be the three least reliable brands.

The annual study’s dependability score is the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles, with the lower number being the better score. Mass-market brands outperformed luxury brands for the first time in the 30-year-long history of the study, with the former averaging 135 problems per 100 vehicles against 141 problems per 100 vehicles for the luxury brands.

The highest-ranked model overall in J.D. Power’s 2019 study is the Porsche 911 while the most improved brand is Chrysler. Other brands that significantly improved on their scores this year include Mini, Volkswagen, Jeep, Cadillac, Audi and Subaru.

The overall average across the brands was improved by four percent since last year. J.D. Power says that vehicle reliability continues to improve but at a slower pace. The study included Smart but left it unmarked due to the small sample size. Tesla was excluded because of an insufficient sample size also, but that’s because Tesla didn’t allow Power to contact its customers.

  • Devil is in the details. Were these reliability issues related to electronic gremlins, mechanical issues, recalls or customers not knowing how use sophisticated telematics in their cars and thinking things aren’t working when they really are? Tsk…tsk…

    • Jason Panamera

      Aren’t these reliability issues related to amount of cash given to JD by car producers ?

      • PhilMcGraw

        That’s why Chevrolet is ranked so high but the thing is they can’t make it too obvious so they throw in the gold standards of Lexus and Toyota at the top so you know it appears accurate.

      • Astonman

        All of the car makers subscribe JD Powers for this information. This is how JD gets compensated and stays in business.

  • Mr. EP9

    There was a time where Land Rovers were essentially bulletproof and Volvos were built like tanks. Now look at them.

    • Merc1

      Volvos are still very solidly built cars, they just aren’t as reliable as they use to be. There is a difference between robust construction and reliability.


      • salamOOn

        thats the problem…. what exactly is reliability issue in any reliability study? for me the main focus to be reliable is that i am able to drive my car with some problem
        home or to the service centre. so engine, transmision, brakes and basic
        electronic systems are fine(with proper service). if not, then for me car is not reliable. (also for the same reason i wouldnt order air suspension or pano roof, etc.) i really wish volvo does better, because its no.1 on my wish list.

        • Merc1

          I agree, which is why JD P has different studies for different things. This measures thee hard points like you mentioned, not a navigation or infotainment problem. The IQS or APPEAL studies measure those things like infotainment and such.


    • PhilMcGraw

      I think it’s honestly because of the electronics in them. If you look at the problems they experience they are largely due to things like the air suspension or the electrical stuff going bad like the infotainment system.

      I also blame their time being owned by Ford as when their reliability really took a downward turn. I don’t think they ever recovered.

      • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

        Ford was the best thing to happen to Land Rover, and their reliability, build quality, and actual material quality actually went up.

        Source – Acutal LR owner.

        • brn

          People like to blame domestics at every turn. Ford significantly improved the quality and reliability of both LR and Jag. Greatly increased sales as well. If it weren’t for Ford, LR and Jag probably wouldn’t exist. Tata, on the other hand, is destroying Jag.

        • D4VE THEFIRST


    • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

      Land Rovers bulletproof? Never, unless you’re talking about from the 60’s.

      I’ve got a 2001 Discovery built as an off road rig. I can tell you that nothing about it is reliable, other than the fact that it reliably leaks or breaks often.

  • PhilMcGraw

    It honestly surprises me how reliable Porsche vehicles are. I always kind of thought that they had random things break on them. But I suppose not.

    • anthony801

      Owners are just justifying their purchase due to the overpriced options they are/were making payments on.

      • Ronald Roman

        Please explain. Are you saying they are lying on the survey because the car was expensive?

        • I know someone who has a $120K Range Rover. It’s in the dealer repair bay at least once per month, however the person glowing praises the vehicle, and refuses to admit that perhaps they made a bad decision. Denial is a powerful force.

          • Ronald Roman

            Maybe I would do the same in front of my friends…But not on an anonymous survey.

  • Dan

    How can a GMC be rated one of the worst with Chevy being in the top 5?

    • KAG25


    • paulgdeaton

      Expectations. GMC buyers are paying more, and they have a higher expectation of quality.

  • Dan

    How can GMC be at almost the bottom but Chevy at the top? Makes no sense?

    • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

      Chevy as a brand has cars, while GMC has only trucks. That might help.

      What you can theorize from this is that GM’s trucks are unreliable, but then you can see that the Silverado, Silverado HD, Tahoe, Suburban, and Equinox/Terrain are reliable which shows the opposite. It makes no sense.

    • Stephen G

      I remember a similar survey comparing the early ’90’s Toyota Corolla with the Geo (GM) Prism. For those who don’t know, they were both Corollas built in Fremont California’s NUMMI plant (now Tesla) with different badges. JD Power named the Corolla in the top ten best and the Prism in 28th.

    • paulgdeaton

      Car buyers report based on their expectations. GMC buyers pay a premium over those who purchase Chevrolet trucks, and their expectations are understandably higher. Whether the vehicles achieve those expectations is reflected in these results.

  • TheToadPrince..~~ToadSquad

    fca destroy alfa and fiat…they r just terrible cars

    • assassingtr

      Hell no, Alfa is great.

  • Fake news

    Fake news… I don’t trust JD Power….

    There should also be a survey on how reliable the reliability surveys are… and JD power would come last!

    • brn

      I don’t trust any of them.

  • William

    Noticed nothing about Genesis brand????

    • Matt

      The brand is too new to have any meaningful data.


    • brn

      I’m not going to disagree with you. Odd body panels.

    • assassingtr

      Toyota and Lexus are always near the top…. where have you been the last decade?

  • Six_Tymes

    A lot of GM in there. proof the haters here just like to spread lies year after year. Regurgitate anything negative that might have been true 10+ years ago. Chrysler mini van got top honers also. Congrats to them for making better products

    • brn

      Surveys are bogus when they disagree with popular belief and proof when they agree with it.

      Personally, I believe all the surveys are flawed. Well, at least misunderstood. You need to really understand the survey methodology, not just look at a sorted list. It’d be nice if they included an analysis of survey theory.

    • KAG25

      You don’t see compact GM cars here, you see Toyota, Honda and Nissan, I call bull

  • TheHake

    I’m gobsmacked by Volvo.

  • Toronado_II

    Honda and Chevrolet surprise mebut not for the same reason.

  • Da Only Skid

    Soooo, the Ford Mustang wasn’t shown for mid-size sports car (must be larger than the Miata) and the Tacoma wasn’t listed for compact trucks (though its midsize)…am I missing anything or does JD Powers really suck that bad. Looks like a selective group.

    • paulgdeaton

      They are not shown because their ratings were below the average rating for the segment. JDP only included vehicles that scored above the average.

  • Ben

    Who cares?! They’re all bought reviews! Do a quick Google search of what a JD power award means and you’ll quickly find out its not worth the glass award they hand back to the automaker.

    • TheBelltower

      Any link would be appreciated. Without getting into the granular details of the ranking, it generally seems to be accurate.

  • KAG25

    GM for Compact cars, I don’t think so

  • KAG25

    They can’t make small cars in Mexico anymore, so they gave up on them now.

  • McF1

    Wow, the MINI Cooper is above the Miata, who would have thought, definitely not me.

  • Ben

    Explain to me how this is fake news when you can view the sources and data yourself? Is it fake news because it does not coincide with your own belief? Do you reject a reality you don’t agree with and insert your own? Please, explain.

    • assassingtr

      Your implications of JD power suggest that because the reviews are bought that their information is invalidated due to the fact that; because they’re purchased as a transaction they’re given biased reviewing. I’ve seen that Donut video and I’m surprised you carry such an opinion considering the very comment they were talking about is much like your own.(In the video.) If you’d watched that video; you would know that purchase is for the permission to use JD powers name in advertisements to basically say yes I got a good JD power rating. NOT about Paying JD power to look good. I’m not sure what you’re going on about with beliefs and rejecting reality but if that’s the best you got at an insult; please try again. Don’t worry i’ll wait.

      TLDR: Fake news because your implications of bought reviews implies they’re tendentious or biased. They’re not. Please adjust your reality.

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