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If you drive a Lexus, Porsche, Lincoln or Toyota, you should be feeling a little at ease when it comes to experiencing problems with your vehicle, according to J.D. Power and Associates.
Those are the top brands that gave new car buyers the fewest problems, based on a survey of 37,000 owners who made purchases in 2010.
The survey is important because 54 percent of owners who don’t experience problems are likely to return to the brand when it’s time to buy a new vehicle, researchers say. If they experience repeated problems, the “brand loyalty” percentage drops to 41 percent.
Rounding out the top 10 dependability list of brands that scored above the industry average are Mercedes-Benz, Buick, Honda, Acura, Ram and Suzuki. (Mazda and Chevrolet also scored above the average).
The good news is more than two-thirds of the brands improved their standing compared with previous years, J.D. Power said.
J.D. Power measures problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of 3-year-old vehicles, which is why the latest study looked at 2010 models. Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles, with a lower score reflecting higher quality.
The industry average score was 126. Lexus scored 71; Porsche, 94; Lincoln, 112; Toyota, 112; Mercedes-Benz, 115. At the other end of the spectrum, the brands that had the most problems were Land Rover, 220; Dodge, 190; Mitsubishi, 178; Jeep, 176; Volkswagen, 174; Jaguar, 164; and Chrysler, 153.
What’s more important to you: dependability, style, performance or the prestige that comes with driving a particular vehicle brand?