With three segment winners and the lowest number of problems per hundred vehicles, Toyota was the No. 1 mainstream brand in the 2013 J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS). The annual survey evaluates consumer-reported problems in vehicles after three years of ownership to provide one of the most-watched studies of long-term dependability in the industry. (Thus, to be clear here, the VDS is looking at vehicles purchased during the 2010 model year.)
According to Toyota Richmond Dealers, leading the way for Toyota was the Prius, which won the Compact Car segment while still delivering its typically superior fuel-economy performance; the RAV4, taking segment honors in the very competitive Compact Crossover/SUV division; and the Sienna, proving itself to be the most dependable of America’s minivans as well as one of the segment’s top sellers. In addition, the FJ Cruiser and Yaris also were among the top three finishers in their segment, while the Scion brand scored category awards with the xD (Sub-compact Car) and xB (Compact Multi-purpose Vehicle).
As a result of these performances, Toyota was the only non-luxury brand to finish in the top five of the overall VDS rankings, matching Lincoln and trailing only Porsche and the Toyota Motor Company’s own lux division, Lexus. Speaking of which, the folks at Used Cars Santa Fe told us that Lexus not only was the No. 1 brand in the entire VDS—for the second consecutive year—but it also contributed two segment winners, in the shapes of the Lexus RX (Midsize Premium Crossover/SUV) and Lexus ES350 (Entry Premium Car).
Buy Here Pay Here Indianapolis reminds us that consumers also should note that industry-wide vehicle dependability improved another 5 percent over 2012 and has reached its highest level since J.D. Power first fielded the VDS in 1989.