Lexus twice as reliable as BMW
John Goreham's picture

Study finds Lexus about twice as dependable as BMW

Lexus dominates the 2014 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study. No other automaker is even remotely close to Lexus in terms of fewest problems reported by consumers.

In its 25th annual Vehicle Dependability Study J.D. Power and Associates reaffirms Lexus' dominance in the auto industry with regards to reliability. Scoring a 68 on the scale of problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is alone at the top with number two Mercedes scoring a 104. A lower score is better. Lexus beats other luxury brands like BMW by almost a 1 to 2 margin. BMW, with a score of 130, has about twice the rate of reported problems as do Lexus vehicles. The industry average this year is 133. Toyota brand vehicles with a score of 114 finished 6th overall (or fifth behind Lexus).

The J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study is a comprehensive poll of owners. It asks owners what problems they have had and how many. Since the vehicles need time in owner’s hands, the study looks back. This year’s study looked at a full twelve months of ownership of model year 2011 vehicles.

In addition to having the best overall score, Lexus also earned the top spot in just about every single category of vehicle that it makes. The ES, GS, LS sedans all won their category. The Lexus IS came in second in the same category as the ES. Lexus also scored a one-two victory in the mid-size premium sport utility (crossover) segment with a win by the RX and a second place finish by the GX. The ES and RX are Lexus’ top volume vehicles by far, and each won its respective category making their wins extra important to the brand. It would be difficult to imagine a more comprehensive sweep of the study. Commenting on the win by Lexus, David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power said “Lexus leads the industry by actually a very substantial margin this year. Their dependability has been a strength of Lexus since it came onto the market and this year is no exception.”

In the past, makers of luxury vehicles that charged more than Lexus for similar performance and content could console themselves by saying that Lexus vehicles were boring to drive or that the styling was too conservative. However, the newly styled Lexus IS 350 beat the BMW 3-series and other brands in comparisons by Car and Driver, Road and Track and other leading publications. The new LF-NX is the most dramatically styled compact crossover entering the market this year, and Lexus is building an RC F V8 coupe longer and wider than the BMW M4 which only offers a six cylinder engine. Given that KBB just this week ranked Lexus number one in cost of ownership, it is about to get much harder for the other luxury brands to explain their premium prices while offering lackluster reliability.

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