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The Vehicle Dependability Study, which measures problems experienced by original owners of three-year-old (2002 model-year) vehicles, provides useful information to both consumers and the automotive industry on long-term vehicle quality.

(PP100=Problems Per 100 Vehicles)
What are the most reliable vehicles? 2005 study results

The 2005 Vehicle Dependability Study, from J.D. Power & Associates, measures problems experienced by original owners of three-year-old (2002 model-year) vehicles. For consumers, the VDS offers insight into the reliability and dependability of brands and specific models as they approach the end of a typical warranty period. Here are Top Vehicles by Category in the 2005 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study.

Compact Car: Chevrolet Prizm (This model was not sold in Canada, however it was the mechanical twin of the Toyota Corolla.)
Entry Midsize Car: Chevrolet Malibu
Premium Midsize Car: Buick Century
Full-Size Car: Buick LeSabre
Entry Luxury: Ford Thunderbird
Mid Luxury Car: Lincoln Town Car
Premium Luxury Car: Lexus LS 430
Sporty Car: Mazda Miata
Premium Sports Car: Porsche 911
Midsize Pickup: Chevrolet S-10 Pickup
Light Duty Full-Size Pickup: Cadillac Escalade EXT
Heavy Duty Full-Size Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado HD
Entry SUV: Honda CR-V
Midsize SUV: Toyota 4Runner
Full-Size SUV: GMC Yukon/GMC Yukon XL
Entry Luxury SUV: Lexus RX 300
Premium Luxury SUV: Lexus LX 470
Midsize Van: Ford Windstar
Full-Size Van: Ford E-Series

See below for the top three models in each category, get a top-to-bottom ranking of all nameplates, and read the background on the study here. Here are some of the details of the J.D. Power 2005 Vehicle Dependability Study, which shows the most reliable vehicles after three years of ownership (rankings are of 2002 models).


2002 Chevrolet Prizm is the top Compact Car.  This model is not sold in Canada, although it is the mechanical twin of the Toyota Corolla. A 2005 Toyota Corolla is shown.Compact Car*
1. Chevrolet Prizm (not sold in Canada, although it is the mechanical twin of the Toyota Corolla)
2. Toyota ECHO
3. Toyota Prius
* Includes the Entry Compact Car and Premium Compact Car segments

2002 Chevrolet Mailibu is the top Entry Midsize Sedan in the 2005 VDS study. 2002 model shown.Entry Midsize Car
1. Chevrolet Malibu
2. Oldsmobile Alero
3. Hyundai Sonata

2002 Buick Century is top vehicle in the Premium Midsize Car category. 2005 model shown.Premium Midsize Car
1. Buick Century
2. Buick Regal
3. Toyota Avalon

2002 Buick LeSabre is top vehicle in the Fullsize Car category. 2002 model shown.Full-Size Car
1. Buick LeSabre
2. Ford Crown Victoria
3. Mercury Grand Marquis

2002 Ford Thunderbird is the top Entry Luxury category model. 2002 model shown. The Thunderbird was discontinued in July 2005.Entry Luxury
1. Ford Thunderbird
2. Lincoln LS
3. Infiniti I35

2002 Lincoln Town Car is the top Mid-Luxury Car. 2006 model shown.Mid Luxury Car*
1. Lincoln Town Car
2. Lexus GS 300/GS 430
3. Buick Park Avenue
** Includes the Premium Luxury Car and Luxury Sport Car segments.

2002 Lexus 430 is the top Premium Luxury Car. 2005 model shown.Premium Luxury Car
1. Lexus LS 430
2. Lexus SC 430
3. Cadillac Eldorado

2002 Mazda Miata is the top Sporty Car. 2005 model shown.Sporty Car
1. Mazda Miata
2. Chevrolet Camaro
3. Toyota MR2 Spyder (not available in Canada)

2002 Porsche 911 is the top Premium Sports Car.Premium Sports Car
1. Porsche 911
2, Honda S2000
3. Chevrolet Corvette

2002 Chevrolet S-10 is the top Midsize Pickup. Shown is the 2002 ZR2 Extended Cab model.Midsize Pickup
1. Chevrolet S-10 Pickup
2. GMC Sonoma
3. Toyota Tacoma

2002 Cadillac Escalade EXT is the top Light Duty Full-Size Pickup. 2002 model shown.Light Duty Full-Size Pickup
1. Cadillac Escalade EXT
2. Ford F-150 LD
3. Toyota Tundra

2002 Chevrolet Silverado HD is the top Heavy Duty Full-Size Pickup. 2005 model shown.Heavy Duty Full-Size Pickup
1. Chevrolet Silverado HD
2. Ford F-250/F-350 Super Duty
3. GMC Sierra HD

2002 Honda CR-V is the top Entry SUV. 2005 model shown.Entry SUV
1. Honda CR-V
2. Toyota RAV4
3. Jeep Liberty

2002 Toyota 4Runner is the top Midsize SUV. 2005 model shown.Midsize SUV
1. Toyota 4Runner
2. Toyota Highlander
3. Ford Explorer (Total)

2002 GMC Yukon/Yukon XL is rated the top Full-Size SUV. 2002 model shown.Full-Size SUV
1. GMC Yukon/GMC Yukon XL
2. Ford Expedition (tie)
3. Toyota Sequoia (tie)

2002 Lexus RX 300 is the top Entry Luxury SUV. Model shown is a 2005 Lexus RX 330.Entry Luxury SUV
1. Lexus RX 300
2. Acura MDX
3. Infiniti QX4

2002 Lexus LX 470 is the top Premium Luxury SUV. 2005 model is shown.Premium Luxury SUV
1. Lexus LX 470
2. Cadillac Escalade (tie)
3. Lincoln Navigator (tie)

2002 Ford Windstar is the top Midsize Van in vehicle dependability ratings.Midsize Van
1. Ford Windstar
2. Toyota Sienna
3. Mercury Villager

2002 Ford E-Series is the top Midsize Van in the 2005 vehicle dependability study.Full-Size Van
1. Ford E-Series
2. Chevrolet Express
3. Dodge Ram Van


2005 Vehicle Dependability Study, Nameplate Ranking. Source: J.C. Power & Associates.


TORONTO, ON -- Two vehicles assembled at Canadian automobile plants have captured awards for long-term vehicle quality and dependability, according to the latest J.D. Power & Associates 2005 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), released June 29, 2005.

General Motors' Oshawa #2 plant in Ontario assembles the Buick Century, which earned the VDS award for premium midsize car. In May 2005, GM's Oshawa #2 plant also earned the award for best initial plant quality in North/South America in the J.D. Power 2005 Initial Quality Study (IQS).

In addition, Ford Motor Company's assembly plant in Oakville, Ont., built the Ford Windstar, which earned the VDS award for midsize van. The Windstar has since been replaced by the Freestar.

“Absence of problems over the life of the vehicle is an important factor in the consumer's future purchase decision and gives a brand its best opportunity to secure a repeat customer,” said Richard Cooper, director of operations at J.D. Power & Associates in Canada.

The Vehicle Dependability Study, which measures problems experienced by original owners of three-year-old (2002 model-year) vehicles, provides useful information to both consumers and the automotive industry on long-term vehicle quality.

For consumers, the VDS offers insight into the reliability and dependability of brands and specific models as they approach the end of a typical warranty period. Manufacturers use this information to track the quality performance of their models over time to implement product improvement plans.

The VDS is one of three J.D. Power and Associates quality metrics, along with the Initial Quality Study (IQS), which measures quality after 90 days of ownership, and the Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, which measures customer perceptions on the design, content, layout and performance of their new vehicles. The 2005 IQS was released in May, and the 2005 APEAL Study is scheduled to be released in late September.

2005 Vehicle Dependability Study Results

The automotive industry recorded an impressive 12% improvement in long-term vehicle quality, according to the 2005 Vehicle Dependability Study.

At the industry level, manufacturers have made a considerable leap in quality, with improvements across all categories. The industry average improved 32 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) compared to 2004.

In addition, nearly all nameplates and 84% of vehicle models included in the 2005 VDS also recorded year-over-year improvements.

The categories showing the most significant improvements in 2005 include ride, handling and braking; engine; and interior.

“While the Initial Quality Study [IQS], which measures problems experienced in the first 90 days of ownership, can be an indicator of how models will perform over time, our studies consistently show that long-term durability is a tremendously important factor to consumers,” said Chance Parker, executive director of product and research analysis at J.D. Power.

“As the number of problems owners experience with their vehicles increases, repurchase intent and the number of recommendations owners will make to others decreases. The study also finds that long-term durability can have a significant impact on a vehicle's retained value.”

According to actual retail transaction data from the Power Information Network, a division of J.D. Power, three-year-old vehicles of brands that perform above the industry average in VDS typically retain $1,000 more of their value than those of brands performing below the industry average.

Lexus, which ranked highest in vehicle dependability for the 11th consecutive year, improved 14% (23 PP100) compared to 2004.

Porsche made the largest percent improvement in its VDS score, while Hyundai experienced the largest reduction in problems reported by owners. Porsche, which ranked second among nameplates, improved 38% compared to 2004 -- a 91 PP100 improvement. Although still hovering below the industry average, Hyundai recorded a dramatic 115 PP100 improvement (31%).

“Hyundai experienced similar levels of improvement in the 2002 IQS, when these vehicles were new, which shows a successful effort by Hyundai in translating short-term quality improvements into higher long-term quality,” said Parker. “Even though there is still room for improvement, Hyundai is a great example of an automaker that is making strides toward improving vehicle quality by paying close attention to owner feedback and designing products with both short- and long-term quality in mind.”

General Motors models earned eight segment awards and Ford Motor Co. models received five segments awards -- a record for both GM and Ford in VDS. Toyota Motor Corp. models received four awards.

The first model ever to have fewer than 100 problems

The Lexus LS 430, which earned a score of 90 PP100, is the first model in VDS history to receive fewer than 100 PP100. The LS 430 received the premium luxury car segment award, and brand also received awards for the Lexus RX 300 (entry luxury SUV) and Lexus LX 470 (premium luxury SUV) models.

Chevrolet captured the most segment awards, with the Prizm (compact car), Malibu (entry midsize car), S-10 Pickup (midsize pickup) and Silverado HD (heavy-duty full-size pickup) each earning an award in their respective segments. Ford received three segment awards, for the Thunderbird (entry luxury car), Windstar (midsize van) and E-Series (full-size van).

The 2005 Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from 50,635 original owners of 2002 model-year cars and light trucks. For more information on vehicle ratings, visit the J.D. Power Consumer Center at