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2016 Vehicle Dependability Study: Most Dependable Family SUVs

2016 Vehicle Dependability Study: Most Dependable Family SUVs

By Christian Wardlaw, February 24, 2016

Each year, the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS) surveys original owners of 3-year-old vehicles in order to measure design- and defect-related problems. Based on this information, the company annually publishes the landmark VDS and uses the data to generate Power Circle Ratings.

Designed to provide an easily understood visual representation of a vehicle’s performance relative to its competitors, Power Circle Ratings can be used by consumers during the vehicle research process. They are designed to help car buyers make decisions about their next vehicle.

This buyer’s guide highlights the top-rated 2013 family SUVs equipped with 3 standard rows of seats that receive a Power Circle Rating of 4 or 5 out of a possible 5 for vehicle dependability after 3 years of ownership. Interestingly, all but one of the SUVs in this guide are General Motors products.


2013 Buick Enclave photo2013 Buick Enclave
A full-size crossover SUV, the Buick Enclave received an overdue refresh for the 2013 model year. In addition to updated styling, the Enclave gained several new standard and optional safety features, a new touch-screen infotainment system, and an upgraded interior.

The 2013 Buick Enclave receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.


2013 Chevrolet Tahoe photo2013 Chevrolet Tahoe
By 2013, the Tahoe had been in production for 7 years without many changes. Apparently, Chevy had the bugs worked out by then, because in the 2016 VDS the Tahoe ranks second in the Large SUV segment for dependability. What ranked higher? Its mechanical and structural twin, the GMC Yukon.

The 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5.


2013 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ photo2013 Chevrolet Traverse
Believe it or not, the Traverse full-size crossover SUV is just as roomy inside as the aforementioned, traditional Tahoe SUV. For 2013, the Traverse was refreshed inside and out, with new styling details, revised interior trim and controls, and a re-tuned suspension for improved ride and handling characteristics. A new front-center air bag also debuted, designed to protect the driver and front passenger from crash forces occurring on the opposite side of the vehicle.

The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.


2013 GMC Acadia Denali photo2013 GMC Acadia
Sharing a platform and powertrains with the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse, the GMC Acadia is the third member of the General Motors full-size crossover SUV family—and the third to earn its place in our buyer’s guide. Like its stable mates, the Acadia received revised exterior and interior design elements and new safety technologies for 2013.

The 2013 GMC Acadia receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.


2013 GMC Yukon Denali photo2013 GMC Yukon
Take one Chevrolet Tahoe, add GMC styling cues, and you’ve got the 8-passenger Yukon. An aging design, the 2013 Yukon leads its segment in dependability in 2016. Like the Tahoe, the Yukon had a new powertrain grade-braking system and could be dipped in a new paint color.

The 2013 GMC Yukon receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5 and receives a dependability award in the Large SUV segment.


2013 Toyota Highlander photo2013 Toyota Highlander
A bit smaller than the other models in this guide, the 2013 Highlander carries up to 7 occupants in 3 rows of seats. It is available with a 4-cylinder, V-6, or a gas-electric hybrid powertrain. In 2013, a new touch-screen infotainment system was standard, and a new Plus trim level added popular equipment at a value price.

The 2013 Toyota Highlander receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.


Additional Research:

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