2007 J.d. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study

By: Evander Klum

Every year, J.D. Power and Associates released their Vehicle Dependability Study or VDS(SM) surveys that showcase problems that owners of three-year-old vehicles experienced a year before the survey. The 2007 VDS was based on the responses gathered from 53,000 verified vehicle owners. The vehicles chosen were awarded basing on the consumers' feedback in 19 vehicle segments.

The results of the 2007 Vehicle Dependability Study has been quite amazing especially for the Buick brand the maker of which has been able to tie with Toyota's Lexus as the most dependable nameplate. The other winners were Cadillac, Mercury, and Honda which round up the top five rank positions respectively.

Comparing to last year's result this year's study has showed Hummer as the most improved nameplate in the 2007 Vehicle Dependability Study. The other brand that has shown significant improvement includes Audi, Jeep, Volvo, Subaru, and Land Rover. Unfortunately for Land Rover despite its improvement it is still the lowest ranked brand in the study.

Sad news also for Ford's Japanese subsidiary Mazda, its dependability performance this year has declined more than any other brand attributed to the countless consumer-reported problems with the RX-8 sports car and Mazda3 compact.

The Audi A6 of Volkswagen's luxury division is the most improved model in this year's study.

With regards to new car sales, it is still the Japanese carmakers that dominate this department. However in terms of dependability, General Motors and Ford has obtained the highest rankings in both midsize and large car segments where the Crown Victoria and Buick Century have received awards. The study also shows that Scion and Honda build the highest-ranked small cars.

Not all of the categories in the study were dominated by Japanese automakers, it is interesting to note that the new truck sales category was dominated by Detroit's Big 3 but in terms of dependability more consumers say that its Toyota that is better in building highest-ranked pickups and multi-activity vehicles with the exception of the midsize MAV segment in which the Oldsmobile Bravada is the top ranking.

Basing on the study consumer gives dependability in the areas of engines, features and controls the highest consideration to which they based their satisfaction. Also this year's study shows that satisfaction with interiors has also declined.

According to J.D. Power and Associates the 2004 Initial Quality Study is reflected three years later in the 2007 Vehicle Dependability Study and has become an important gauge on how a vehicle will perform in terms of long-term quality.

Category

Sub-Compact Car: Scion xA

Compact Car: Honda Civic

Compact Sporty Car: Mazda Miata

Midsize Sporty Car: Chevy SSR/Ford Mustang (tie)

Midsize Car: Buick Century

Large Car: Ford Crown Victoria

Compact Premium Sporty Car: Honda S2000

Entry Premium Car: Infiniti I35

Midsize Premium Car: Lexus LS 430

Premium Sporty Car: Lexus SC 430

Compact SUV: Toyota RAV4

Midsize SUV: Oldsmobile Bravada

Large SUV: Toyota Sequoia

Large Pickup: Toyota Tundra

Midsize Pickup: Toyota Tacoma

Van: Oldsmobile Silhouette

Midsize Premium SUV: Lexus GX 470

Large Premium SUV: Lexus LX 470

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