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2016 Vehicle Dependability Study: Most Dependable Small SUVs

2016 Vehicle Dependability Study: Most Dependable Small SUVs

By Christian Wardlaw, February 28, 2016
Each year, the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS) measures design- and defect-related problems with 3-year-old vehicles. The company surveys original owners of the vehicles in order to determine what has gone right and what has gone wrong during the prior 12 months of ownership.

J.D. Power collects this information, analyzes the data, and publishes its findings in the annual VDS. From this information, the company also formulates Power Circle Ratings, which it publishes on its consumer website. Car shoppers can reference these ratings when researching a vehicle purchase, as well as consult buying guides featuring the highest-rated models in each segment of the market.

This buyer’s guide highlights the top-rated 2013 small SUVs that receive a Power Circle Rating of 4 or 5 out of a possible 5 for vehicle dependability after 3 years of ownership.


2013 Buick Encore
Buick introduced the Encore for the 2013 model year, and the small crossover SUV was an unexpected success, drawing younger customers to Buick showrooms. The Encore arrived in advance of several new subcompact SUV models, which have since gone on sale, and has proven to be dependable.

The 2013 Buick Encore receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5 and earns a dependability award in the Small SUV segment.


2013 Chevrolet Equinox
Stylish and roomy inside, the Chevrolet Equinox is a 5-passenger crossover SUV sized between the traditional small and midsize segments. A sliding rear seat helps to increase comfort or utility, and the relatively simple Equinox is dependable. The cargo area is rather narrow, however.

The 2013 Chevrolet Equinox receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5 and earns a dependability award in the Compact SUV segment.


2013 GMC Terrain
Take one Chevrolet Equinox, sharpen the styling, add a handful of upscale interior touches, and you’ve got the GMC Terrain. In 2013, GMC introduced a new luxury-themed Terrain Denali model, offered numerous new safety and infotainment technologies, and placed a new 3.6-liter V-6 engine on the options list.

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


2013 Honda CR-V
One of the most popular models in its segment, the 2013 Honda CR-V received no changes following a complete redesign the previous year. Equipped with a 185-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and front- or all-wheel drive, the 2013 CR-V came in LX, EX, and EX-L trim levels, the latter equipped with leather seats.

The 2013 Honda CR-V receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.


2013 Mini Cooper Countryman
Though larger than the Mini Cooper, the Mini Countryman remained true to the brand, a small crossover SUV with a zippy and playful personality. In 2013, Mini expanded the lineup with a new Paceman 3-door variant and a John Cooper Works performance version.

The 2013 Mini Countryman receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.


2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser
Dependable and deliciously retro, the FJ Cruiser is now out of production. Demand for the rugged SUV remains strong, though, meaning that used FJ Cruisers command premium pricing. In 2013, Magma Red was a new paint color, and the Trail Teams Special Edition was painted in a flat gray color called Cement.

The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5.


2013 Toyota RAV4
Toyota redesigned the RAV4 for the 2013 model year, discontinuing the optional V-6 engine and eliminating the spare tire hung from the side-hinged tailgate. Offered in LE, XLE, and Limited trim, the new 2013 RAV4 included a 176-horsepower, 4-cylinder engine and a choice between front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

The 2013 Toyota RAV4 receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.


2013 Volkswagen Tiguan
Like other Volkswagens, the Tiguan (pronounced Teeg-wan) is enjoyable to drive, thanks in part to a standard turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that is shared with the Volkswagen GTI. In 2013, Volkswagen added more standard equipment to the various Tiguan trim levels. All-wheel drive was available only for the most expensive version, the SEL.

The 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

Additional Research:

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