Is your vehicle among the most dependable?

If you’re driving around metro Atlanta in a Toyota Yaris, a Ford Fusion or a Buick Lucerne, you’re probably pretty happy with how well it has held up. Same story with the Ford Explorer, Nissan Murano, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tundra.

J.D. Power and Associates, considered the Cadillac of dependability surveys when it comes to finding out whether owners are still satisfied with their rides several years after driving of the lot, is out with its 2012 most dependable vehicles list.

The company surveyed original owners of 2009 models and measured problems experienced during the past 12 months. J.D. Power found that, overall, vehicle dependability was up 13 percent from last year’s results, and problems were at their lowest level since the company started tracking them in 1990.

J.D. Power said 25 of 32 brands have improved in dependability from 2011. Six have declined and one has remained stable.

The highest-ranked nameplates (in order) are Lexus, Porsche, Cadillac, Toyota and Scion. Among all sub categories, Toyota led in eight of them, Ford in three, and General Motors and Nissan each led in two categories.

Here are the top vehicles in their respective sub categories (for the Top 3 in each category click here):

Top sub-compact car: Toyota Yaris; compact car: Toyota Prius; compact sporty car: Scion tC; midsize car: Ford Fusion; large car: Buick Lucerne; entry premium car: Lexus ES 350 and Lincoln MKZ tied; midsize premium car: Hyundai Genesis; compact multi-purpose vehicle: Scion xB; compact crossover/SUV: Chevrolet Equinox; midsize crossover/SUV: Ford Explorer and Nissan Murano tied ; midsize premium crossover/SUV: Lexus RX 350; midsize pickup: Nissan Frontier; minivan: Toyota Sienna; and large pickup: Toyota Tundra.

What’s been your experience?

73 comments Add your comment

150 Miles a Day

February 15th, 2012
11:58 am

I have a Lexus IS 350 and a Toyota 4-Runner with a combined 300,000+ miles, and I get all my maintenance done at Regal Nissan in Roswell. Their service department is the absolute best in town.

Mark Richt

February 15th, 2012
12:01 pm

Frank Furter

February 15th, 2012
12:10 pm

My old Yugo is still holding up pretty well with all the duct tape!


February 15th, 2012
12:24 pm

97 ford f 250 4×4 with the 460 v8 with dual borla exhaust and 200,000 miles and no problems.
03 ford excursion 4×4 with the 6.0 powerstroke with 110,000 miles and no problems…i have done the arp head studs and egr delete with an afe cold air intake and a magnaflow turbo back exhaust which made it run even better with 23 mpg on trips with the wife, 3 kids, 3 dogs, and all of our gear to the beach…when i pull the 33 foot camper to the mountains it gets about 12 mpg which is excellent for 9500 lbs of weight. i did have to reprogram it to get rid of the check engine light which is common for diesels.
05 lincoln ls with the v6 with 95,000 miles and borla exhaust and the only problem it has had was the a/c went out under warranty. 27 mpg on the highway
i think ford is the best truck maker. a japanese truck cannot pull my camper or my 5th wheel trailer that my f 250 pulls loaded with hay or a tractor. dad has a 2000 ford f 350 dually with the 7.3 powerstroke with 220,000 miles and not one problem. no one can beat the 7.3, and that includes the cummins 5.9 12 valve for reliability.
if the mercedes e 320 cdi or bluetec wasn’t so expensive to maintain the wife would be driving that. her friend gets about 37 mpg with it. i wish ford made a diesel for either the taurus or lincoln mks

Jarod Fogel

February 15th, 2012
12:25 pm

My subway is great.


February 15th, 2012
12:25 pm

I have a 2001 Toyota Land Cruiser with 220,000 miles. I NEVER let Regal Nissan touch it and have never had a days problem.


February 15th, 2012
12:29 pm

I drove my 1998 Honda Civic for 11.5 years and it was still going strong when I traded it in last year. That car gave me no issues. Very dependable! Hoping my Accord will continue the trend.

bob from account temps

February 15th, 2012
12:31 pm

cobb cct works well for me – $125.00 per month. they supply a ride if a breakdown occurs. downside – you can only ride where they go, when they go.

2005 Honda Element

February 15th, 2012
12:31 pm

160k miles in 5 years and never a hiccup…looking forward to 250k


February 15th, 2012
12:39 pm

I think Hyundai has come a long way with quality and style. People used to make fun of them but I now see them all over the road.Plus, they offer a 10 year /100,000 mile warranty.Even better, is that the model I like is built with American labor.


February 15th, 2012
12:41 pm

Weird not to see Honda on this list…


February 15th, 2012
12:43 pm

Hey why isn’t my 2001 Toyota Tundra on the list?

Educated and Employeed

February 15th, 2012
12:49 pm

2006 Toyota Camry 105,000+ miles – no problems. Previously, had a 1989 Toyota Carolla, drove it 388,000 miles with basic preventative maintenance, replaced radiator 1 time and other than preventative maintenance, I drove it until another driver totalled it for me. I can tell you the car was worth a WHOLE lot more to me than I got after it was totalled. I have owned 3 other Toyota’s and had luck with all but one of them.


February 15th, 2012
12:55 pm

2001 Nissan maxima 228,000 miles I love it. I did have to put in a new computer this past year but other than that no problems. I need 3 more years Maxi!

Love my Lexus

February 15th, 2012
12:56 pm

I have 250,000 on my Lexus RX300 and it’s still going strong. I’m going to drive it till it dies and buy a newer version.

the Kingdom

February 15th, 2012
1:04 pm

this is how we roll…

we’ve owned 5 Hyundais to get us to and fro… never had a problem with any, thank you Jesus!

we’ve got 4 nice vehicles and no car payments, thank U Jesus!

i have no job, no unemployment, no 401K, no savings, i didn’t hit the lottery, no stocks, but i do have Jesus! He really is working this thing out.

someone recently totalled my dream car… Jag XJ8… no one got hurt, thank you Jesus!

I’ve got a pretty wife driving a beautiful Benz, a soon to be King son and Queen daughter both in college and working. thank you Jesus!

the most dependable ‘vehicles’ are my Bibles and secondmost are my guitars!! thank you Jesus!!


Steve Polk

February 15th, 2012
1:05 pm

i bought a demo 4Runner in 96 w/about 1500 miles on now has 235K and is still going strong…had an 84 Toyota pickup before the 4Runner that was totaled by a drunk driver, otherwise I may still be driving it…i still see those models on the road now…I also have a 2004 Sienna that is great as well…really love the Toyotas and glad to see many of them still rated #1. One of these days will have to replace the 4Runner and will be looking at a Toyota before anything else…can’t beat the dependability

keith stoe

February 15th, 2012
1:12 pm

2006 Camry 136,000, Nissan Frontier 101,000, Honda Accord 245,000 and still going strong. If you take care of any vehicle it will take care of you regardless of the make and model.

Jeep Man

February 15th, 2012
1:14 pm

Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 with 293k, still rockin’ and shooting for 500k.


February 15th, 2012
1:17 pm

“If you take care of any vehicle it will take care of you regardless of the make and model.”
…except a Chevy Chevette. Don’t see those too much on the roads anymore, eh?


February 15th, 2012
1:24 pm

Nissans are crap for cars so stop commenting on them.


February 15th, 2012
1:31 pm

I have 2004 Nissan Xterra that has held up well. I have had no problems at all with it. Only 106,000 miles on the speedometer.


February 15th, 2012
1:34 pm

1998 Ford Explorer Sport, with 185,000 miles on it. VERY LOW MAINTENANCE, although I did have to get a new transmission at 173K.

Best vehicle I’ve ever had!!!! I bought if off a neighbor, who had it 3 years on a lease. I paid $3,000 below blue book value when I bought it 10 years ago.

I use Don’s Car Care in Suwanee when needed. VERY honest and reliable. Less than 24 hour turn around.

All the more reason to...

February 15th, 2012
1:37 pm

…buy a Mazda. They last forever if you keep the oil changed. Also the cars are actually FUN to drive.


February 15th, 2012
1:48 pm

My 97 Honda acorn is still spinning like a top. I wish they made American cars like that.


February 15th, 2012
1:57 pm

2001 Acura MDX 223,000 miles. Runs like a top.


February 15th, 2012
1:58 pm

2001 Cherolet Z71 LT . 205,000. Rides like a new one.


February 15th, 2012
2:04 pm

If you want your car to be taken care of don’t take it to Car Spa on Windy Hill and Cobb Pkwy. Just had a guy argue with me about windshield repair then he couldn’t figure out how to roll up my back window or was too lazy to turn the key and roll it up, so he put tape all over my car and window before he ran it through the car wash….he really showed me! what a jerk. Never going back, they employ a bunch of lazy punks, too many other car washes in town to get this kind of hassle for a simple car wash.


February 15th, 2012
2:04 pm

I bought a new toyota in conyers in 2005. The transmission never worked properly. The dealership wouldn’t admit there was anything wrong with it.
I’ll get my next car at CarMax. At least you can return it within five days. That ought to be the law in this state, that you have 5 days to return your car.
I’ll tell you this–I’ll never buy a tojo again. I bought toyota based on it’s rep–LOL, what a mistake that was.
Before that, GM sold me a warranty on a used car, couldn’t fix it between two dealerships in McDonough and Covington. Took it to a muffler shop–they fixed it.
Nope, I’ll use CarMax from now on, based entirely on their 5 day return policy. If you trade with the dealerships, you may get fleeced–remember that I warned ya, pilgrim..

Kneel Borezt

February 15th, 2012
2:08 pm

Why don’t you try washing it yourself? Talk about “lazy.”


February 15th, 2012
2:10 pm

i dont buy any reports that have american cars on top for reliability. look around all you see are camrys , accords and nissans, if you want a car that lasts buy a 4 cylinder japaneese car. they run forever


February 15th, 2012
2:15 pm

Hey Kneel, why don’t you do what your name says in front of me and show me your oral skills?
I make a lot more in the 20 minutes it takes to wash a car then what it costs, call me lazy if you want but I’m saving money by having someone else do it. You’re welcome for my personal finance lesson


February 15th, 2012
2:16 pm

I’ve had a Hyundai Santa Fe for a little over a year. I’ve been very happy with it overall. It rides great.
My only complaint is the gas mileage, but this is my first SUV. Probably wouldn’t complain about the gas mileage if gas was not $3+ a gallon.


February 15th, 2012
2:32 pm

Allen, you are right. Regal Nissan are a bunch of crooks! I took my vehicle there for repairs after a collision and they had it for 3 days longer than they said they would. I had to drive a light purple, 2 door, liberalmobile, manual everything POS. Then when I finally went to pick my vehicle up, as I was driving home, I looked over in the passnger seat and there were brochures from apartment complexes on the other side of 285!

I called the service manager and told him and he didnt believe me and said he didnt know what to tell me. I was pi$$ed

Stay away!!!


February 15th, 2012
2:34 pm

You notice how most of these cars are Japanese? This is because Detroit still doesn’t know how to build a descent car….


February 15th, 2012
2:45 pm

My 96 Chevrolet Caprice Classic had only 75,000 miles on it when stolen from my carport. Unless it met with the fate of a chop shop it is likely touring some amigoes around in style south of the border. DeKalb Police notified me a year later it is my responsibility to advise them if I recovered the vehicle. Can you believe I was naive enough to believe they would look for it and notify me? Anywho, that was the best auto I ever owned, and now I’m tooling around in what can best be described as a midsize tin can while keeping a good supply of Prep-H on hand as I negotiate the bumpy roads of DeKalb.


February 15th, 2012
2:52 pm

I have 11 Kia Optima! 100k warranty. Check with me in a few years. I have only put on 4k since buying it. Love my car though. LOVE!!!!!!!!


February 15th, 2012
2:55 pm

My wife has ridden 4.3 million miles on my back…and I’m still upright!


February 15th, 2012
2:56 pm

I had a 2010 Ford Explorer that was a piece of junk – transmission and electrical issues. Just bought a 2012 Lexus 350 and I’m loving it!!


February 15th, 2012
2:58 pm

Wow get a life people.


February 15th, 2012
3:05 pm

wonder why obuma didn’t require his chevy volt to be included?


February 15th, 2012
3:12 pm

Don’t laugh – but the best car I ever had was 1990 Geo Metro, 40 MPG (no didn’t go fast with the hampsters under the hood)! The only thing I replaced on it in 5 years and 100K was a muffler and a headlight. The worst: (you can laugh at this one) 2005 Chrysler PT Looser. Bought it brand new, at 73K transmission went out, then before 90K the timing belt broke. Sunk almost $5000 into it before something electrical went out and told the people to come and get it if you can crank it!


February 15th, 2012
3:12 pm

Bought a new toyota YARIS in 2009. Car has deceptively large interior and runs like a champ. I am 6′5′ 250lbs and folks are sometimes shocked when I emerge from it. But I find its driver space to be equal to that of the Camry and BMW 330 (my previous vehicles). There is not much that will not fit YARIS when you flip the 2 back passenger seats down. 60′ flat screen, patio furniture, plants, (and a host of other halls that would never fit in my previous cars). Great Car Great Value


February 15th, 2012
3:24 pm

Have a 1999 Nissan Sentra which runs great. Also have a 2005 Mazda; it is fun to drive and I’ve never had a problem with it.

Neal Boortz (I think I'm smarter than I really am)

February 15th, 2012
3:29 pm

Buy a boat! Or better yet, a plane!

Liberals are evil! (did that make my ratings go up?)


February 15th, 2012
3:30 pm

Moving Back To Georgia! :)

February 15th, 2012
3:32 pm

There are tons of issues with the Fusion posted all over the internet.

The worst involves the horrible 6F35 automatic transmission: transmission “flares”, failures, and a denial of any substantial problems by Ford. The stories are terrible.

No thanks.

Planning on making my next vehicle a major brand: Lexus IS350. Quiet, fast, beautiful, and reliable! :)


February 15th, 2012
3:33 pm

The Prius is “sporty”? Um, not so much. My 1990 Mazda Miata has 230K miles and looks and drives like a dream. Oh yeah, 27 mpg.


February 15th, 2012
3:35 pm

I have a ‘99 Nissan Pathfinder – 267,000. No problems at all, just normal maintenance. AWESOME!


February 15th, 2012
3:49 pm

I have a 2000 honda accord v6 I bought new. Has 286K and still runs great! I can’t bear to think of getting a new car when this one has been so good to me.