2019 Vehicle Dependability:Most Dependable Luxury Cars Under $45,000

Christian Wardlaw | Feb 25, 2019

Every year, J.D. Power surveys the original owners of 3-year-old vehicles in order to understand what has gone right and gone wrong during the previous 12 months. The data is collected, analyzed, and published in the annual J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS).SM

From this data, J.D. Power creates Vehicle Dependability ratings. These ratings, expressed on a 10-point scale, are designed to provide car shoppers with a summary of how a particular car, truck, SUV, or minivan compares to other vehicles in the segment in terms of dependability. Consumers can use the ratings to compare vehicles and to make a more informed decision about their next vehicle purchase.

2016 Lexus ES 350 photo
2016 Lexus ES 350

This guide contains the most dependable 2016 model-year luxury cars that cost less than $45,000 as new vehicles today. They all receive a Vehicle Dependability score of 9 or 10 out of a possible 10, and are listed in alphabetical order.

2016 Audi A3

Available as a 2-door convertible, 4-door sedan, and a new-for 2016 5-door plug-in hybrid hatchback, the 2016 Audi A3/S3 lineup was a diverse one.

Convertibles and sedans came with a turbocharged 4-cylinder gas or diesel engine, front- or all-wheel drive, and a standard 6-speed automated manual transmission. In 2016, the A3 added more standard equipment and gained a sporty S-Line appearance trim package. The performance-tuned S3 also gained standard features while offering a new Black Optic Package. The new A3 E-tron plug-in hybrid offered up to 17 miles of electric driving before resorting to gas-electric operation.

The 2016 Audi A3 receives a Vehicle Dependability score of 9 out of 10.

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2016 Audi A4

The next rung up the Audi sedan ladder from the A3, the larger 2016 A4/S4 model entered its final year before a complete redesign. As such, Audi pared the A4 lineup back to Premium and Premium Plus trim levels, adding more standard equipment to each for the 2016 model year, while leaving the S4 unchanged.

Every Audi A4 had a 220-horsepower, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. With front-wheel drive, a continuously variable transmission (CVT) put the power to the pavement. Add Quattro AWD, and you could select between a 6-speed manual and an 8-speed automatic transmission. The S4 featured a supercharged 333-hp V6 engine and standard Quattro.

The 2016 Audi A4 receives a Vehicle Dependability score of 9 out of 10.

2016 BMW 2 Series

Serving as the entry point to BMW’s car lineup, the 2016 2 Series was offered as a coupe and a convertible in 228i and M235i model designations, and as a new-for-2016 M2 performance variant.

The 228i featured a 240-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder engine while the sportier M235i got a 320-hp turbocharged 6-cylinder power plant. The M2 provided 365 hp from a turbocharged six. In 2016, BMW added standard equipment to the 2 Series, paired the automaker’s xDrive AWD system with the M235i’s engine for the first time, and added a new Luxury Package for the 228i.

The 2016 BMW 2 Series receives a Vehicle Dependability score of 9 out of 10.

2016 BMW 3 Series

This is the car started many a love affair with BMW, and nearly 40 years later the 2016 3 Series received dynamic tweaks designed to rekindle enthusiast passion for the car. Additionally, BMW touched up the styling, added a new Track Handling Package, debuted a new 330e plug-in hybrid variant, renamed the popular 335i as the 340i, and added more standard equipment to the performance-tuned M3.

Available as a 4-door sedan, 5-door hatchback called the Gran Turismo, and as a station wagon, the 3 Series offered a variety of turbocharged gasoline and diesel 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines. The new 330e provided less than 15 miles of electric driving range, but did get impressive gas mileage in gas-electric hybrid mode.

The 2016 BMW 3 Series receives a Vehicle Dependability score of 9 out of 10.

2016 Hyundai Genesis

Redesigned for 2015, the sleek Hyundai Genesis carried over for 2016 with few changes. Standard equipment included a set of upgraded headlights, while versions with a V8 engine included the previously optional Ultimate Package.

A 311-hp 3.8-liter V6 was standard in the Genesis 3.8, driving the rear wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. An AWD system was available with the V6, as well as Signature, Tech, and Ultimate option packages. The Genesis 5.0 included a 5.0-liter V8 engine producing 420 hp, and included everything as standard equipment.

The 2016 Hyundai Genesis receives a Vehicle Dependability score of 9 out of 10.

2016 Lexus ES

One of the most popular Lexus models, the value-laden ES sedan came in ES 300h hybrid and ES 350 model series. The ES 300h provides 200 hp and 40 mpg in combined driving, while the ES 350’s 3.5-liter V6 delivered 268 hp.

For the 2016 model year, the Lexus ES received a freshening with minor styling changes, a quieter cabin, upgraded driver assistance and collision avoidance systems, and other minor changes.

The 2016 Lexus ES receives a Vehicle Dependability score of 10 out of 10, and receives an award in the Compact Premium Car category.

2016 Lincoln MKZ

Lincoln made no significant changes to the 2016 MKZ, a midsize 4-door sedan based on the Ford Fusion. The MKZ was available with a turbocharged 4-cylinder, a V6, or a gas-electric hybrid drivetrain. As an option, AWD could be added to all but the MKZ Hybrid.

This would be the MKZ’s last year before a substantial refresh arrived for 2017, debuting the new “face” of Lincoln as the automaker attempted to rejuvenate sales.

The 2016 Lincoln MKZ receives a Vehicle Dependability score of 9 out of 10.

2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Redesigned for 2015, the 2016 C-Class sedan lineup added a C350e plug-in hybrid model while the C400 got an official performance-tuned treatment to become the C450 AMG Sport. Mercedes-Benz also introduced several new options and option packages for the 2016 model year.

As for the C-Class Coupe, the 2-door model went on hiatus for a year as the automaker prepared for a redesigned C-Class coupe and new convertible variant.

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class receives a Vehicle Dependability score of 9 out of 10.

2016 Volvo S60

Volvo’s entry-level model, the S60 is a 4-door sedan available in regular- and new-for-2016 extended-length body styles, the latter denoted with an Inscription trim level signaling added luxury.

During the 2016 model year, Volvo was also transitioning the S60 lineup to its new family of Drive-E turbocharged 4-cylinder engines. Some versions of the car had these at the start of the model year (T5 and T6 front-wheel drive), and some received the update during the model year (T6 AWD). The T5 AWD continued with an older turbocharged 5-cylinder engine for the entirety of 2016.

The 2016 Volvo S60 receives a Vehicle Dependability score of 9 out of 10.


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