WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA – J.D. Power and Associates' recently released 2009 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) ranks both Buick and Jaguar highest in vehicle dependability in a tie. Buick improves from a sixth-place ranking in 2008, while Jaguar improves from 10th place. Following in the top five rankings this year are Lexus, Toyota, and Mercury.

Toyota garners five segment awards for the Highlander, Prius, Sequoia, Solara and Tundra. Lexus follows with four segment awards for the ES 330 (in a tie with the Acura RL), GX 470, LS 430, and SC 430. Lincoln captures two awards for the Mark LT and Zephyr. Models by Acura, Buick, Dodge, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Mercury, Nissan and Scion each rank highest in one segment.

The study also finds that Buick, Lincoln, Mercury and Jaguar owners are less likely to replace components than owners of other vehicle brands. While component replacement rates are similar for premium and non-premium makes, there are notable differences between vehicle segments. Owners of models in the premium sporty vehicle segment are least likely to replace components, while owners of models in the van segment are most likely to replace components.

The J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Vehicle Dependability Study focuses on problems experienced by original owners of three-year-old vehicles (2006 model-year vehicles). The study is used extensively by the world's auto manufacturers to help design and build better vehicles - which typically retain higher resale values - and by consumers to help make more-informed choices for both new and used vehicles, according to the company.

The 2009 study provides information gathered from more than 46,000 original owners. Performance is measured using a "problems per 100 vehicles (PP100)" metric. A lower PP100 score indicates better performance and a higher PP100 score indicates worse performance. The 2009 study covers a total of 202 total problems, broken out into eight major problem categories as follows:

  • Exterior.
  • The Driving Experience.
  • Features/Controls/Displays.
  • Audio/Entertainment/Navigation.
  • Seats.
  • HVAC.
  • Interior.
  • Engine/Transmission.

Find more detailed findings on vehicle dependability as well as model photos and specs by reading an article and reviewing brand and segment dependability ratings at JDPower.com.