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Top-Ranked Cars, Trucks, and SUVs in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study

Top-Ranked Cars, Trucks, and SUVs in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study

By Christian Wardlaw, February 24, 2016
2013 Buick Verano Turbo Sport pedals photo

According to J.D. Power research, aside from exterior and interior styling, reliability is the most important consideration among new-car buyers when choosing a vehicle. The annual J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS) is a measure of reliability, asking original owners of 3-year-old vehicles how dependable their vehicles have been during the prior 12 months.

According to the results of the 2016 VDS, the following 2013 models receive an award for ranking highest in their respective vehicle segments. On the pages that follow, the award recipients are displayed in alphabetical order by make and model.

2013 Buick Encore photo

2013 Buick Encore
The 2013 Buick Encore ranks highest in the Small SUV segment and earns a dependability award. The 2013 Mini Countryman and 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan rank second and third, respectively.

Buick capitalized early on growing consumer interest in small crossover SUVs. The Encore was a new model for 2013, offering the tall seating position, added utility, and all-wheel drive that owners like about SUVs, combined with luxury features at a relatively low price.

2013 Buick LaCrosse photo

2013 Buick LaCrosse
The 2013 Buick LaCrosse ranks highest in the Large Car segment and receives a dependability award. The 2013 Nissan Maxima and 2013 Toyota Avalon rank second and third, respectively.

Aside from new colors and a minor change to the appearance of the optional HID headlights, the 2013 LaCrosse added electric steering to versions equipped with a V-6 engine. A new IntelliLink infotainment system also debuted, featuring an 8-in. color touch-screen display, smartphone-integration technology, and more.

2013 Buick Verano Turbo photo

2013 Buick Verano
The 2013 Buick Verano ranks highest in the Compact Car segment and earns a dependability award. The 2013 Toyota Corolla and 2013 Toyota Prius rank second and third, respectively.

Based on the same global compact car platform as the Chevrolet Cruze, the Buick Verano features upscale detailing, design, and equipment. In 2013, a new turbocharged version debuted, along with a new IntelliLink infotainment system and several safety technologies.

2013 Chevrolet Camaro LT with RS Appearance Package photo

2013 Chevrolet Camaro
The only Midsize Sporty Car to rank higher than segment average in the 2016 VDS is the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro, which receives a dependability award.

In 2013, Chevrolet introduced new Hot Wheels Special Edition and ZL1 Convertible variants of the Camaro, and a new 1LE option package for the Camaro SS prepared the car for track duty right off the assembly line. A new Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system also debuted in 2013, providing touch-screen access to a variety of functions, including an optional navigation system.

2013 Chevrolet Equinox photo

2013 Chevrolet Equinox
The 2013 Chevrolet Equinox ranks highest in the Compact SUV segment to earn a dependability award. The 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser and 2013 Honda CR-V rank second and third, respectively.

Chevrolet bestowed upon the 2013 Equinox numerous changes. New safety, infotainment, convenience, and comfort upgrades arrived for 2013, and Chevrolet swapped in a 3.6-liter V-6 engine option to replace the previously available 3.0-liter V-6.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco photo

2013 Chevrolet Malibu
The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu ranks highest in the Midsize Car segment to earn a dependability award. The 2013 Hyundai Sonata and 2013 Toyota Camry rank second and third, respectively.

Redesigned for 2013, the Malibu arrived at the same time as new midsize sedans from Ford, Honda, and Nissan. Shorter than the model it replaced, the new Malibu’s rear seat was cramped and the car came only with turbocharged and non-turbocharged 4-cylinder engines, as well as in a mild-hybrid format called the Malibu Eco.

Though it never quite caught on with consumers, the 2013 Malibu, as it turns out, is quite dependable.

2013 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD LTZ Crew Cab photo

2013 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD/3500HD
The only Large Heavy Duty Pickup to rank higher than segment average is the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado HD, which receives a dependability award.

Few changes were made to the 2013 Silverado HD models. Except for the addition of a bi-fuel compressed natural gas option for 2500-series versions, nothing more than new colors made news for 2013.

2013 Fiat 500 Abarth photo

2013 Fiat 500
The 2013 Fiat 500 ranks highest in the City Car segment to earn a dependability award. The 2013 Smart Fortwo ranks second and is the only other model in the segment.

Fiat’s retro-themed city car came in a new 500 Turbo model, adding power without encroaching on the performance-tuned Abarth version’s territory. Premium leather, a new premium sound system, and heated seats were available for the first time, and some versions performed better in terms of fuel economy.

2013 GMC Yukon Denali photo

2013 GMC Yukon
The 2013 GMC Yukon ranks highest in the Large SUV segment and receives a dependability award. The 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe ranks second and is the only other model to score above segment average.

Aside from a standard powertrain grade-braking system and a single new paint color, the 2013 Yukon was identical to the 2012 model.

2013 Honda Fit Sport photo

2013 Honda Fit
The 2013 Honda Fit ranks highest in the Small Car segment to earn a dependability award. The 2013 Nissan Versa and 2013 Hyundai Accent rank second and third, respectively.

Available in limited quantities, an electric version of the Fit went on sale for 2013, offered in a handful of states. It promised 82 miles of range and a full recharge of the battery in about 3 hours when using a 240-volt home charging station. Otherwise, except for a new paint color, the Fit was unchanged.

2013 Lexus ES 350 photo

2013 Lexus ES
The 2013 Lexus ES ranks highest in the Compact Premium Car segment to earn a dependability award. The 2013 BMW 1 Series ranks second, and the Acura ILX and Audi A4 rank third in a tie.

Redesigned for 2013, the ES moved to the Toyota Avalon platform, adding a significant amount of rear-seat space. A new hybrid model also debuted, and the ES was offered with the latest in Lexus safety and infotainment technologies.

2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport photo

2013 Lexus GS
The 2013 Lexus GS ranks highest in the Midsize Premium Car segment to earn a dependability award. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class ranks second and is the only other model to score above segment average.

Lexus redesigned the GS for 2013, introducing several performance upgrades designed to give this car greater credibility as a legitimate alternative to German luxury sport sedans. Even the hybrid model gained power and performance for 2013. New safety, infotainment, and climate technologies also debuted.

2013 Lexus GX 460 photo

2013 Lexus GX
The 2013 Lexus GX ranks highest in the Midsize Premium SUV segment to earn a dependability award. The 2013 Lexus RX and 2013 Porsche Cayenne rank second and third, respectively.

Sharing a platform with the Toyota 4Runner, but exclusively equipped with a V-8 engine, the Lexus GX is a rugged, off-road-ready SUV with a thick layer of refinement. No changes were made to the GX for the 2013 model year.

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK250 BlueTEC photo

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class ranks highest in the Compact Premium SUV segment and earns a dependability award. The 2013 BMW X3 and 2013 BMW X1 rank second and third, respectively.

Mercedes made numerous changes to the GLK-Class for 2013, including a new turbodiesel engine, new V-6 engine, next-generation subscription service technology, and revised styling inside and out.

2013 Mini Coupe and 2013 Mini Roadster photo

2013 Mini Cooper/Mini Coupe/Mini Roadster
The 2013 Mini Cooper, Mini Coupe, and Mini Roadster rank highest (in a tie) in the Compact Sporty Car segment, each earning an award for dependability. The 2013 Volkswagen GTI ranks second and is the only other model to score above segment average.

Bluetooth connectivity became standard for these Mini models in 2013, while revised option packaging shuffled feature availability. Mini Roadsters received a standard semi-automatic roof and rear wind deflector, while the Mini Cooper Hardtop came in a limited-production John Cooper Works GP performance variant.

2013 Nissan Murano photo

2013 Nissan Murano
The 2013 Nissan Murano ranks highest in the Midsize SUV segment to earn a dependability award. The 2013 Toyota Venza and 2013 Toyota 4Runner rank second and third, respectively.

In 2013, Nissan expanded equipment availability to the popular SV trim level and introduced several new safety features to the more upscale SL and LE trim levels. New paint colors freshened the Murano’s appearance.

2013 Toyota Prius V photo

2013 Toyota Prius V
The 2013 Toyota Prius V ranks highest in the Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle segment and receives a dependability award. The 2013 Kia Soul ranks second and is the only other model to score above segment average.

Based on the standard Prius platform but offering more room for passengers and cargo at the expense of fuel efficiency, the Prius V saw no changes for 2013 aside from a leatherette steering wheel wrap and a new paint color.

2013 Toyota Sienna LE AWD photo

2013 Toyota Sienna
The 2013 Toyota Sienna ranks highest in the Minivan segment to earn a dependability award. The 2013 Chrysler Town & Country ranks second and is the only other model to score above segment average.

Toyota dropped the base 4-cylinder engine for 2013, making the robust 3.5-liter V-6 engine standard. The popular LE trim level gained stain-resistant fabric seats, a power driver’s seat, and triple-zone climate control, while the SE, XLE, and Limited versions of the 2013 Sienna could be fitted with a new blind-spot warning system.

2013 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Platinum photo

2013 Toyota Tundra
The 2013 Toyota Tundra ranks highest in the Large Light Duty Pickup segment to earn a dependability award. The 2013 GMC Sierra 1500 and 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 rank second and third, respectively.

Designed to cater to luxury truck buyers, the Tundra Platinum turned this Toyota into the Lexus of pickup trucks. A TRD Rock Warrior option also debuted, and a Chrome package dressed up the Tundra’s exterior appearance.

Additional Research:

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