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2015 Vehicle Dependability Study: Most Dependable Midsize and Large Sedans

2015 Vehicle Dependability Study: Most Dependable Midsize and Large Sedans

By Christian Wardlaw,

J.D. Power's Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) is conducted annually, gathering data from thousands of original owners of 3-year-old vehicles. The study measures what has gone right and what has gone wrong with the vehicles, and distinguishes between design- and defect-related problems. From this information, J.D. Power formulates Power Circle Ratings designed to reflect the cumulative research and to serve as a reference to vehicle buyers when they shop for a car, truck, SUV, or van.

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


2012 Buick LaCrosse
Buick's largest car, the 5-passenger LaCrosse, is equipped with a standard gas-electric hybrid powertrain for 2012. Called eAssist, this mild hybrid system was expected to get 29 mpg in combined driving. A 303-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine remained optional (now E85-compatible), and buyers could still choose an all-wheel-drive system.

Additional changes included the availability of IntelliLink smartphone pairing technology and a new touch-screen infotainment system with an 8-in. display screen. Dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, and a USB port became standard equipment.

The 2012 Buick LaCrosse receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4.5 out of 5, and is the top-ranked model in the Large Car segment.


2012 Cadillac CTS
Cadillac's entry-level CTS sedan received standard Bluetooth connectivity and a new 318-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine for 2012. A new Touring package became available, and the performance-tuned CTS-V added standard rain-sensing windshield wipers. New colors and subtle changes to the grille design also debuted for 2012.

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


2012 Chevrolet Malibu
All versions of the 2012 Chevy Malibu, a midsize family sedan, included a standard 170-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. A 252-horsepower V-6 engine continued as an option. Chevrolet also expanded equipment availability for the base LS and mid-level LT trim levels. This was the final year for the Malibu before a completely redesigned model arrived for 2013.

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


2012 Honda Accord
In its final year before a completely redesigned model debuted, the Accord added a standard USB input port for the 2012 model year. The Special Edition, or SE, trim level that had arrived for 2011 continued for 2012.

The 2012 Honda Accord receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4.5 out of 5.


2012 Lexus ES
One of the most popular, and most accessible, Lexus models of 2012 was the ES sedan. Equipped with a 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine, the Lexus ES 350 received no changes in its final year before a completely redesigned model went on sale.

The 2012 Lexus ES receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5, and is the top-ranked model in the Compact Premium Car segment.


2012 Lincoln MKS
A full-size luxury sedan, the 2012 Lincoln MKS shared a platform with the Ford Taurus sedan. A 273-horsepower V-6 engine was standard, with a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 available as an option. For 2012, minor cosmetic changes and a new blind-spot warning system were the only updates.

The 2012 Lincoln MKS receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4.5 out of 5.


2012 Lincoln MKZ
A midsize luxury sedan based on the Ford Fusion, the 2012 Lincoln MKZ received no changes in its final year before a completely redesigned model debuted. Buyers could select between a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and a gas-electric hybrid powertrain. An all-wheel-drive system was optional with the V-6.

The 2012 Lincoln MKZ receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5.


2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
The sole European entry in this group of top-rated sedans, the 2012 Mercedes E-Class midsize luxury sedan received numerous enhancements. Chief among them were new engines making more power and getting better gas mileage, and all-wheel drive was standard for the E550 model. The performance-tuned E63 AMG version received automatic engine start/stop technology, and a limited-production wagon version of the AMG model 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 Midsize Premium Car in its segment.


2012 Nissan Altima
For 2012, Nissan's midsize family sedan was in its final year of production before a completely redesigned model debuted. The Altima Hybrid was dropped, and a new Value option package debuted. Otherwise, the 2012 Altima continued with a choice between a 4-cylinder and a V-6 engine, and in base, S, SV, and SL trim levels.

The 2012 Nissan Altima receives an overall Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4.5 out of 5.


2012 Toyota Avalon
As Toyota prepared to introduce a completely redesigned 2013 Avalon, the automaker made no changes to the 2012 model. A full-size family sedan, the Avalon continued with its 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine and in standard and Limited trim levels.

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


2012 Toyota Camry
Toyota redesigned its popular midsize sedan, the Camry, for the 2012 model year. The model continued to offer a choice between a 4-cylinder and a V-6 engine, and several levels of trim including a sporty SE and a luxury-themed XLE. The Camry Hybrid was also a part of the lineup, returning up to 41 mpg in combined driving.

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

Additional Research:

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