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2015 Vehicle Dependability Study: Most Dependable Hatchbacks and Wagons

2015 Vehicle Dependability Study: Most Dependable Hatchbacks and Wagons

By Christian Wardlaw, February 26, 2015

In order to measure what has gone right and what has gone wrong with older vehicles, J.D. Power annually surveys thousands of original owners of 3-year-old cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans as part of its Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS). Using this information, which distinguishes between defect- and design-related problems, J.D. Power formulates Power Circle Ratings to serve as summarized reflections of the study's findings. Consumers can use these ratings when researching vehicles.

This Most Dependable Hatchbacks and Wagons guide highlights those models that receive a Power Circle Rating of 4, 4.5, or 5 out of a possible 5 for overall vehicle dependability after three years of ownership.


2012 Cadillac CTS
A relatively rare vehicle, the Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon received a new engine for 2012--a 3.6-liter V-6 making 318 horsepower. Bluetooth connectivity became standard, a new Touring package debuted, and the racy CTS-V performance version included rain-sensing windshield wipers. Slight grille revisions and new colors also debuted for 2012.

The 2012 Cadillac CTS receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4.5 out of 5.


2012 Chevrolet Volt
Unique among alternative-fuel vehicles, the Chevy Volt is an electric car with a gasoline-powered extended-range generator that allows the car to be driven long distances without recharging the battery. For 2012, Chevrolet made the Volt's premium sound system and navigation system options, replacing them with standard Bluetooth, MyLink smartphone connectivity, and a keyless passive entry system with push-button starting.

The 2012 Chevrolet Volt receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.


2012 Honda Fit
A subcompact 5-door hatchback, the Honda Fit is remarkably versatile due to its rear Magic Seat design and large cargo area. In 2012, Honda updated the car's styling, made changes to further quiet the interior, added streaming audio capability to the Bluetooth connection, and provided paddle shifters for the Sport version's optional automatic transmission.

The 2012 Honda Fit receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.


2012 Lexus CT
Sharing a platform and powertrain with the Toyota Prius, but equipped with completely different styling and a unique interior, the Lexus CT 200h is a 5-door hatchback equipped with a gas-electric hybrid powertrain. Lexus introduced a new F Sport package in 2012, one containing a sport-tuned suspension and minor styling differences, and also added an audible warning alert for when the vehicle is moving on electric power at low speeds in order to let pedestrians know a car is operating nearby.

The 2012 Lexus CT receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5.


2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
One of the few true station wagons remaining, the Mercedes E-Class received a couple of significant updates for the 2012 model year. A new engine generating more power while returning better gas mileage was installed in the E350 model, and a new performance-oriented E63 AMG version debuted.

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5, and is the top-ranked model in the Midsize Premium Car segment.


2012 Nissan Leaf
A 5-passenger, 5-door hatchback, the Nissan Leaf operates solely on electricity and never needs gasoline. One year following its debut, Nissan expanded Leaf availability to colder regions of the United States, adding standard heated front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, and rear-seat heating and air conditioning ducts in the process. The battery also gained a heater, while the top SL trim level included a quick-charging port.

The 2012 Nissan Leaf receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5.


2012 Scion xD
A subcompact 5-door hatchback, the 2012 Scion xD came with a new audio system that includes Bluetooth connectivity with streaming audio capability, as well as HD Radio reception. A limited-production version of the car was called the Release Series 4.0.

The 2012 Scion xD receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5, and is the top-ranked model in the Small Car segment.


2012 Toyota Prius
When people think of a hybrid car, most of them picture the Toyota Prius. This gas-electric hybrid vehicle is a midsize model with room for 5 passengers and nearly 50 cu. ft. of maximum cargo space. In 2012, Toyota added more standard equipment, installed redesigned wheels, and freshened the car's styling while retaining its 50-mpg fuel economy rating in combined driving.

The 2012 Toyota Prius receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4.5 out of 5.


2012 Toyota Yaris
Redesigned for 2012, Toyota's subcompact Yaris came in 3-door and 5-door hatchback flavors, with a new sport-themed SE trim level topping the lineup. A 106-horsepower, 1.5-liter engine was the only power plant offered, matched with a manual or automatic transmission.

The 2012 Toyota Yaris receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5.

Additional Research:

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