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According to J.D. Power’s latest United States Vehicle Dependability Study, Lexus and Porsche are the most dependable brands for 2017, with tied to rank highest in vehicle dependability among all nameplates.

The study examines problems experienced in the the past 12 months by original owners of 2014 MY vehicles. Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), where a lower score reflects higher quality. The study takes into account 177 specific problems grouped into eight major vehicle categories.

This year, Toyota managed to record a score of 123 PP100, moving up one spot from 2016. The Japanese carmaker is followed by Buick (126 PP100), Mercedes-Benz (131 PP100), Hyundai (133 PP100) and BMW (139 PP100).

The study also finds that the 10 top-selling 2014 MY vehicles had an average score of 134 PP100, significantly better than the industry average of 156 PP100. “We find buyers are increasingly avoiding models with poor reputations for dependability, so manufacturers can’t afford to let quality slip, particularly on their best sellers,” said Dave Sargent, vice president, global automotive at J.D. Power.

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“While many expensive and niche vehicles do have excellent quality, the fact is that most consumers are shopping in the high-volume mainstream segments. The good news is that consumers don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a very dependable vehicle,” he added.

The company also revealed the top three dependable models in each segment, with Toyota models receiving 10 of the 18 segment awards (inclusive of three Lexus models). Other winners include the Volkswagen Tiguan, Toyota FJ Cruiser and Ford F-150.

Unsurprisingly, better long-term quality is a key factor in contributing to higher residual values (resale value) for vehicles. J.D. Power estimates that Toyota has a higher resale value of more than US$750 (RM3,334) per vehicle, compared with the average brand.

“In the current industry environment of record levels of leasing and long-term loans, higher residual values allow automakers to provide more competitive deals to buyers,” said Jonathan Banks, vice president of vehicle analysis and analytics at J.D. Power.