With there being about 5.4 million non-fatal car accidents every year on U.S. roads, people are always looking for the safest, most reliable car on the market. And thanks to J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, U.S. consumers can now know which car is best to buy and why.
Research firm J.D. Power has been putting together it's annual study for the past 30 years. This study looks at three-year-old models, so this year they looked at 2016 models. The researchers examine any and all problems that original owners of 2016 models have reported within the past 12 months. And to rank the dependability of the vehicle, the researchers also take into account the number of problems that were experienced per 100 vehicles. With this ranking system, a lower score means a vehicle is more dependable.
This year's study consisted of responses from 32,000 vehicle owners and the research was conducted between October and December of 2018. According to the study, the overall dependability of all vehicles increase 4% from last year.
The results had some expected outcomes as well as a few surprises. Toyota, as usual, came out on top. The automaker came in first place again, with the Toyota Lexus brand being ranked as the most reliable in the United States. Tying with Toyota for second place was Porsche, which was quite the surprise, as they haven't done all that well in the past. Power's first award for the industry's most dependable vehicle also went to the Porsche 911 sports car.
The study also looked at which vehicle brands showed the most improvements over the past three years. Although China is the number one car manufacturer in the world, Detroit's Chrysler was deemed the most-improved automaker. And for the first time in 30 years, the major German automakers, including Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and BMW all were found to have shown improvements above the industry's average.
And speaking of BMW, one big surprise from the study as that MINI has made big improvements to increase its dependability. With Americans spending an average of 87 minutes in their cars every day, they want a car that can be both fun and reliable. While MINI has had a reputation of having fun cars in the past, their reliability has never been as good. But this year's study ranked MINI as sixth, which is quite the improvement.
Unfortunately, Honda didn't rank as well. In the past, Honda has been right up there with other leading brands, like Toyota. But over the past few years, Honda has started slipping down the last. And the recent problems with product quality have lead the automaker to fall below the industry average.
And lastly, Chevrolet surprised many people by flying up in the ranks. Chevrolet's dependability ranking was better than Subaru, Honda, BMW, Audi, and many others, leaving them ranked as fourth overall. This is its highest ranking in this study ever.
With the auto body industry being valued around $42 billion, it's clear more people are caring about their vehicles than ever before. So if you're looking for a dependable vehicle to last you for year's to come, consider checking out more information from the 2019 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study.
Pictured Top: 2019 Lexus UX/Photo Lexus USA