Most Dependable Family SUVs:2018 Vehicle Dependability Study

Christian Wardlaw | Feb 14, 2018

J.D. Power surveys thousands of original vehicle owners after they’ve had their cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans for three years, asking them what has gone wrong and what has gone right during this period of ownership. This data is collected and analyzed, and J.D. Power publishes its findings in the annual Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS).

Additionally, based on this information, J.D. Power creates Power Circle Ratings to visually summarize the findings of the study. Consumers can use these ratings when they’re shopping for pre-owned vehicles, helping them to make an informed decision about the make and model that will best serve their needs.

2015 Chevrolet Traverse LTZ photo

This guide includes the Most Dependable Family SUVs sold during the 2015 model year. Each one receives a Power Circle Rating of 4 or 5 out of a possible 5 for vehicle dependability after three years of ownership. The vehicles are listed in alphabetical order.

2015 Buick Enclave

One of the largest crossover SUVs available, the Buick Enclave supplies 8-passenger seating as well as more cargo space than some traditional full-size SUVs (up to 115.2 cu.-ft.). It is equipped with a 288-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine driving the front wheels, and all-wheel drive is an option. For 2015, Buick added a heated steering wheel to the Leather and Premium option packages.

The 2015 Buick Enclave receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

Chevrolet redesigned the Tahoe for 2015. It continued as a full-size, traditional SUV with a V8 engine and significant towing capacity, but the new design reduced cargo space and the solid rear axle design continued to limit third-row passenger space. Trim levels included LS, LT, and LTZ, each powered by a 355-horsepower, 5.3-liter V8 engine and featuring standard rear-wheel or optional 4-wheel drive.

The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

2015 Chevrolet Traverse

Though less expensive than Chevrolet’s own Tahoe SUV, the Traverse is roomier inside for people and cargo. That means that if you don’t need the Tahoe’s extra ground clearance or superior towing capacity, the more efficient Traverse crossover SUV is a good bet. It shares a platform and powertrain with the Buick Enclave, and is available in LS, LT, and LTZ trim levels. Siri Eyes Free smartphone integration was new for 2015.

The 2015 Chevrolet Traverse receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5, and receives an award in the Midsize SUV category.

2015 Ford Expedition

The Ford Expedition is a direct competitor to the Chevrolet Tahoe and Chevrolet Suburban. It is offered in two different body lengths, both equipped with a new-for-2015 twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine. As a result, the Ford tows more weight than its Chevrolet counterparts, and the roomier interiors (thanks to an independent rear suspension design) offer greater comfort for passengers and extra room for cargo. Also new for 2015: Platinum luxury trim level, new infotainment and safety technologies, updated styling and a quieter cabin.

The 2015 Ford Expedition receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5, and receives an award in the Large SUV category.

2015 GMC Acadia

If you read about the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse above, then you know all about the GMC Acadia, which is the same thing with different styling. Just as the Traverse is bigger inside than its Tahoe sibling, so too is the Acadia bigger inside than its Yukon family member. Trim levels include SL, SLE, SLT, and upscale Denali, all powered by a 3.6-liter V6 driving the front or all four wheels. For 2015, a heated steering wheel was a new option.

The 2015 GMC Acadia receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai offers the Santa Fe in 5-passenger (Sport) and 7-passenger body styles. Sport versions have a 4-cylinder or turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, while standard Santa Fes have a V6. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is an option. For 2015, Hyundai re-tuned the SUVs’ steering and suspension for improved ride and handling, offered a new hands-free power tailgate, and added standard equipment.

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

2015 Kia Sorento

A midsize crossover SUV, the Kia Sorento offers 5- or 7-passenger seating in a vehicle equipped with a 4-cylinder or a V6 engine. All-wheel drive is an option for buyers seeking more traction than the standard front-wheel drive can supply. After several years of continuous improvement, Kia left its Sorento SUV well enough alone for 2015, the model’s final year before a complete redesign.

The 2015 Kia Sorento receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

2015 Toyota Venza

Think of the Toyota Venza as a Camry station wagon, and you won’t be far off the mark. This 5-passenger, midsize crossover SUV sits on a Camry platform, but is equipped with a different standard engine, in the Venza’s case a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder. As in the Camry, a 3.5-liter V6 is an option. Unlike the Camry, all-wheel drive is an option, but a hybrid drivetrain is not. For 2015, Toyota updated the Venza’s infotainment system.

The 2015 Toyota Venza receives a Vehicle Dependability Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

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