Top-Ranked Cars, Trucks, and SUVs in the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study
J.D. Power research finds that, aside from exterior and interior styling, vehicle dependability is the most important consideration among new car, truck, and SUV buyers when choosing a new 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 2017 VDS, the following 2014 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.
2014 Chevrolet Camaro
The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro ranks highest in the Midsize Sporty Car segment to earn a dependability award. The 2014 Ford Mustang and 2014 Dodge Challenger rank second and third, respectively.
Chevrolet revised the Camaro’s styling in 2014, adding greater trim level differentiation through grille, hood, spoiler, and wheel designs. New color driver information and head-up displays debuted, and Recaro performance seats became optional for SS and ZL1 trim levels. Perhaps more importantly, a Camaro Z/28 variant arrived, equipped with a 505-horsepower, 7.0-liter V-8 engine and track-optimized performance.
2014 Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty
The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty (HD) ranks highest in the Large Heavy Duty Pickup segment to earn a dependability award. The 2014 GMC Sierra HD and 2014 Ford F-Series Super Duty rank second and third, respectively.
Chevrolet made few changes to its aging heavy-duty pickup truck for the 2014 model year. The delayed bi-fuel compressed natural gas engine option that was due to arrive in the 2013 Silverado HD finally made an appearance in the 2500 crew cab model, and a 4.10 axle ratio for trucks with a gasoline engine boosted the standard tow rating by 4,500 lbs. Also, a new spray-in bedliner protects the cargo box from damage.
2014 Chevrolet Sonic
The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic ranks highest in the Small Car segment to earn a dependability award. The 2014 Nissan Versa and 2014 Chevrolet Spark rank second and third, respectively.
Chevy made several changes to the 2014 Sonic that improved the car’s desirability. A reversing camera was standard for LTZ and RS trim levels and optional for the LT version. A new Advanced Safety package installed a forward-collision warning and a lane-departure warning system, while a special promotion package for the LT added a MyLink infotainment system, power sunroof, and fog lights. A racy-looking Sonic RS Sedan debuted, as well as an upscale Dusk package for the Sonic LTZ Sedan.
2014 Chevrolet Tahoe
The 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe ranks highest in the Large SUV segment to earn a dependability award. The 2014 GMC Yukon and 2014 Ford Expedition rank second and third, respectively.
This was the final year for the Tahoe in advance of a complete redesign. Chevrolet improved the standard equipment list by adding rear park-assist sensors, reversing camera, power-adjustable pedals, and remote engine starting to the base Tahoe LS.
2014 Ford F-150
The 2014 Ford F-150 ranks highest in the Large Light Duty Pickup segment to earn a dependability award. The 2014 Toyota Tundra ranks second, and the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Ram 1500 rank third, in a tie.
A new F-150 Tremor performance truck arrived for 2014, equipped with regular cab, short pickup bed, a 4.10 rear axle with a locking rear differential, and a twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine. Other minor changes were made to various versions of the F-150 as Ford prepared for the radical aluminum-bodied redesign coming for 2015.
2014 Honda Ridgeline
The 2014 Honda Ridgeline ranks highest in the Midsize Pickup segment to earn a dependability award. The 2014 Nissan Frontier and 2014 Toyota Tacoma rank second and third, respectively.
A new Special Edition trim level topped the lineup with unique wheels, blacked-out appearance of the Sport version, and a standard navigation system. This was the final year for the Ridgeline in advance of a brief hiatus. The truck reappeared for the 2017 model year, based on the latest Pilot SUV platform.
2014 Lexus ES
The 2014 Lexus ES ranks highest in the Compact Premium Car segment to earn a dependability award. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class and 2014 Acura ILX rank second and third, respectively.
One year after a complete redesign, Lexus refined the ES with integrated Siri Eyes Free capability and offered customers the option of heated and ventilated NuLuxe seat upholstery rather than requiring the purchase of genuine leather for those functions. The ES 350 gained LED fog lights in 2014, as well as a Bamboo wood trim option from the ES 300h hybrid model.
2014 Lexus GS
The 2014 Lexus GS ranks highest in the Midsize Premium Car segment to earn a dependability award. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class and 2014 Audi A7 rank second and third, respectively.
Following a complete redesign for 2013, the 2014 GS added Siri Eyes Free compatibility. A power trunk opener was optional, along with a rear cross-traffic alert system, power-folding side mirrors, and a full-color head-up display. Also, the GS 350 with rear-wheel drive received a new 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and a Sport driving mode. The optional night vision system was discontinued for 2014.
2014 Lexus RX
The 2014 Lexus RX ranks highest in the Midsize Premium SUV segment to earn a dependability award. The 2014 Lexus GX and 2014 Porsche Cayenne rank second and third, respectively.
Like other Lexus models, the RX added Siri Eyes Free capability for 2014. Additional changes included a new forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking system for the Pre-Collision system, an available 115-volt power outlet for the rear seat, and an exclusive Ultra White color for the F Sport variant.
2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class ranks highest in the Compact Premium SUV segment to earn a dependability award. The 2014 Acura RDX and 2014 Volvo XC60 rank second and third, respectively.
Following a significant update for the 2013 model year, the Mercedes GLK-Class continued for 2014 without changes.
2014 Toyota Avalon
The 2014 Toyota Avalon ranks highest in the Large Car segment to earn a dependability award. The 2014 Buick LaCrosse and 2014 Kia Cadenza rank second and third, respectively.
Toyota made a reversing camera standard equipment for the 2014 Avalon. The XLE Premium variant gained a standard navigation system, while the XLE Touring swapped silver-painted wheels for a darker, sportier finish. Blind-spot monitoring became an option for the Touring version in 2014.
2014 Toyota Camry
The 2014 Toyota Camry ranks highest in the Midsize Car segment to earn a dependability award. The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu and 2014 Hyundai Sonata rank second, in a tie.
Initially, Toyota announced no changes to the 2014 Camry, aside from the continuation of the SE Sport special edition from the previous year. Starting with December 2013 production, the company added a standard reversing camera and next-generation versions of its Entune infotainment technology. A new paint color also arrived at this time.
2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser
The 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser ranks highest in the Compact SUV segment to earn a dependability award. The 2014 Chevrolet Equinox and 2014 GMC Terrain rank second and third, respectively.
Based on the Toyota 4Runner platform, the FJ Cruiser is a retro-styled, serious off-roader built to compete with the Jeep Wrangler. For 2014, Toyota improved the FJ Cruiser’s suspension, added a new Cement Gray paint color, and introduced a special Trail Teams Ultimate Edition. This was the final year of FJ Cruiser production.
2014 Toyota Prius
The 2014 Toyota Prius ranks highest in the Compact Car segment to earn a dependability award. The 2014 Buick Verano and 2014 Honda Civic rank second and third, respectively.
In 2014, Toyota made no changes to the Prius.
2014 Toyota Prius V
The 2014 Toyota Prius V ranks highest in the Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle segment to earn a dependability award. The 2014 Kia Soul and 2014 Fiat 500L rank second and third, respectively.
Toyota builds the Prius V on the standard Prius platform, creating a vehicle with extra room for people and cargo. The downside is that the Prius V is less efficient than a standard Prius. For 2014, daytime running lights became standard and Toyota expanded availability of the optional panoramic sunroof.
2014 Toyota Sienna
The 2014 Toyota Sienna ranks highest in the Minivan segment to earn a dependability award. The 2014 Chrysler Town & Country and 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan rank second and third, respectively.
Toyota improved the Sienna’s towing capacity for 2014, raising it to 3,500 lbs. and including standard towing preparation equipment. The minivan’s cruise control became easier to operate after dark, thanks to illuminated switchgear. Also, a blind-spot monitoring system was offered as a separate option for the SE trim level.
2014 Toyota Venza
The 2014 Toyota Venza ranks highest in the Midsize SUV segment to earn a dependability award. The 2014 Ford Edge and 2014 Honda Pilot rank second, in a tie.
For the 2014 model year, Toyota made power-folding side mirrors standard equipment for the XLE and Limited trim levels, while the Limited received standard front and rear park-assist sensors. Toyota also made minor exterior and interior color combination changes.
2014 Volkswagen Tiguan
The 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan ranks highest in the Small SUV segment to earn a dependability award. The 2014 Buick Encore and 2014 Hyundai Tucson rank second and third, respectively.
In 2014, Volkswagen added more standard equipment to all versions of the Tiguan. Automatic climate control was standard, and the SE trim level added leatherette seating and heated front seats. A new SE Appearance package added a reversing camera and keyless access with push-button engine starting. The SEL gained a Fender premium sound system. A sporty R-Line version also joined the lineup. Also, the company’s Car-Net subscription services were available for most versions.