Lexus Tops J.D. Power Dependability Study

By Staff Writer February 22, 2021
The Lexus ES took top billing with Highest-Ranked Compact Premium Car The Lexus ES took top billing with Highest-Ranked Compact Premium Car

Vehicle dependability is at an all-time high, with the overall level of problems cited by owners declining 10 percent from a year ago, according to the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), released recently.

“Automakers are making increasingly dependable vehicles—but there are still some problem areas that need to be addressed and some warning signs on the horizon,” said Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power.

Dave Sargent VP of global automotive at J.D. Power

The study, now in its 32nd year, measures the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of three-year-old vehicles. A lower score reflects higher dependability.

The 2018 model-year vehicles measured in this year’s study were first examined in the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS).

Lexus ranks highest in overall vehicle dependability among all brands, with a score of 81 PP100. This is the ninth time in 10 years that Lexus ranks highest. Porsche (86 PP100) ranks second, followed by Kia (97 PP100), Toyota (98 PP100), Buick (100 PP100) and Cadillac (also 100 PP100).

Kia shows considerable improvement, with a reduction of 35 PP100 from 2020. This is also the first time Kia ranks highest overall among mass market brands. Other brands above industry average showing the greatest improvement in PP100 are Cadillac, Acura and Hyundai (all by 31 PP100), and Mitsubishi (by 30 PP100).

Toyota Motor Corporation receives five segment awards for the Lexus ES, Lexus GX, Toyota Avalon, Toyota Sienna and Toyota Tundra.

General Motors Company receives four segment awards for the Buick Envision, Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Silverado HD and Chevrolet Tahoe.

Hyundai Motor Group also receives four segment awards for the Genesis G80, Kia Optima, Kia Sorento and Kia Sportage.

Chevrolet, Kia and Toyota each receive three segment awards, the most among all brands in the study.

The Porche 911 tops the list as the highest-ranked model of 2021

Key findings of the 2021 study show that vehicle dependability improved to best level ever. The industry average is 121 PP100—the lowest in the study’s history—and a 13 PP100 (10 percent) improvement from 134 PP100 in 2020. This is a much greater rate of improvement than in the past two years, which had improvements of 2 PP100 and 6 PP100, respectively.

Cars continues to be the segment with the most dependable vehicles, averaging 111 PP100, while trucks average 130 PP100 and SUVs average 122 PP100.

The Porsche 911 is the highest-ranked model in the 2021 study. It is the second time in three years that it has been named Most Dependable Model.

The Consumer Ratings featured on, the car-shopping site, are generated using data from verified owners who have participated in J.D. Power automotive. The 2021 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from 33,251 original owners of 2018 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership. The study was fielded from July 2020 through November 2020.

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Last modified on Monday, 22 February 2021 15:23