After the recent rash of automotive recalls, Americans are looking more than ever for quality and reliability in their cars. J.D. Power's latest rankings of long-term reliability, released Thursday, show domestic brands, such as Ford Motor (F) and General Motors' Buick and Cadillac nameplates continuing to make headway on that front by decreasing the number of problems with their vehicles.

Porsche topped J.D. Power and Associates' 2010 Vehicle Dependability Survey with a rating of 110 for its 2007 models, making the Germany luxury car maker's vehicles almost 30% less problem-prone than the survey's overall average of 155. The J.D. Powers survey rates 3-year-old cars based on how many problems they averaged per 100 vehicles in the previous year: Thus, a rating of 100 would mean that, on average, each car had one problem.

Porsche was followed by Lincoln, 114; Buick and Lexus, 115; Mercury, 121; Toyota, 128; Honda, 132; Ford, 141; Mercedes-Benz, 142; and Acura, 143, Hyundai, 148, and Cadillac and Infiniti, 150. Those at the bottom of the rankings included Volkswagen (225) and Suzuki (253), with Land Rover (255) bringing up the rear.

J.D. Power said 25 of 36 vehicle brands showed improved long-term dependability in 2010, compared with last year's performance, continuing a steady trend of industry-wide improvement. Such improvement is good news for both owners and auto makers, said David Sargent, J.D. Power's vice president of global vehicle research. "Manufacturers benefit from lower warranty expenses, while consumers incur lower maintenance and repair costs, as well as less inconvenience."

No Harm to Toyota in the Rankings

Despite its recent spate of recalls, Toyota Motor (TM) performed quite well in the survey, with its Prius and Corolla models taking the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the compact car segment, and its Sequoia and Tundra models earning top honors in the large multi-activity vehicle and large pickup categories, respectively. Highlander and 4Runner models placed first and second, respectively, in the midsized multi-activity vehicle segment. Toyota's Lexus luxury brand placed first and second in several categories.

Honda Motor (HMC), with three category leaders, had the second highest number of top-ranking vehicles. Ford's luxury brand Lincoln topped two segments, while Buick's LaCrosse placed highest within the fiercely competitive midsized car category.

Here are the most reliable vehicles by segment:

Compact Car: Toyota Prius

Compact Multi Activity Vehicle
: Honda CR-V

Compact Premium Sporty Car
: BMW Z4

Compact Sporty Car
: Mazda MX-5 Miata

Entry Premium Vehicle
: Lincoln MKZ

Large Car:
Mercury Montego

Large Multi Activity Vehicle
: Toyota Sequoia

Large Pickup
: Toyota Tundra

Large Premium Car
: Cadillac DTS

Large Premium Multi Activity Vehicle
: Lincoln Mark LT

Midsize Car
: Buick LaCrosse

Midsize Multi Activity Vehicle
: Toyota Highlander

Midsize Pickup
: Honda Ridgeline

Midsize Premium Car
: Audi A6/S6

Midsize Premium Multi Activity Vehicle
: Lexus GX 470

Midsize Sporty
: Chevrolet Monte Carlo

: Ford Freestar

Premium Sporty
: Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Sub Compact Car
: Honda Fit

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Consumer Reports survey corrupt
Mrpushrod on Mar 17, 2011 03:30 PM
Mark as Spam
Consumer reports eat your heart out -- Consumer reports fails to mention their reliability surveys are not accurate. CR targets a certain demographic for their reliability surveys. They target subscribers to the biased CR magazine unlike reputable institutions such as J. D. Powers who sends out surveys to a random audience. CR is the same magazine that suggests there isn't one good American nameplate vehicle for a teen to purchase (See CR's "2010 Best cars for teen drivers"). CR prints articles like that and sends the reliability surveys exclusively to the same audience. Only subscribers to the biased Consumer Reports club get to fill out CR’s reliability survey. This is called leading the witness. If you were to use CR to research vehicles last year, you would have purchased a Toyota guaranteed. CR even recommend the Corolla with cruise ship (google light and vague steering Corolla for more info) handling on the highway. If CR were to send their reliability survey to a random audience rather than exclusively to CR subscribers, the big 3 (Nissan, Honda, Toyota) would not fare as well. All vehicles are close in reliability these days, but CR’s numbers are tainted or tipped I have called CR on this hap-hazard approach to reliability surveys and got EMAIL responses from CR's staff that suggest a lack of understanding in collecting survey data. That said, at a higher level, CR’s staff knows exposure to this corrupt practice would negate all CRs reliability history data and have a dire effect on the financials

March 17 2011 at 4:09 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I dont trust these, Where do they get their data? I own a ford, and i own two 10 year old toyota's. The ford has been in the shop for a few issues, at 25K miles. It needed foglight balasts as the original burned through the case, the clutch pedal came loose and needed a new bracket. The one toyota has 230K miles and has never needed anything from the dealer, just 3k mile oil changes, and basics, tires, brakes.. thats about it, come to think of it i think the head light bulbs are original too. The other toyota needed the fuel filter replaced at 170K miles and the timing belt was done at 100K miles, now at 175K miles it runs like a top. everything works. No issues with any electronics, windows, locks, radio, lights, all work. Doors dont rattle, no squeaks, no harsh noises, or front end play. Neither toyota has needed an alignment yet. The Ford has had one already. Both toyota's dont leak anything either, nor burn anything. I think that these tests should be done in 5 years, and should be driven a minimal of 100K miles to test. Then i would feel this a fair review, or really as the ecconomy gets pounded and more people are sticking with there older cars, they should really test them to 200K miles and see what is the better car. If they have issues, let me drive one for 2 years, i will gladly put 200K miles on a ford to prove my point.

September 10 2010 at 4:13 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply