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Subaru Scrapes Bottom in Latest J.D. Power Dependability Study

Subaru has never ranked high in the J.D. Power Dependability Study, but they slip further. See how far they fall.


The Subaru brand slips into the bottom 7 automakers in the latest J.D. Power Dependability Study, and they scored zero vehicles in individual segments again. In 2016, Subaru scored a total VDS ranking of 166 (Problems per 100 Vehicles), last year, the Japanese automaker ranked 164 PP100 well below the industry average of 156. In 2018, Subaru slips into the bottom quarter of all automakers with a 167 PP100 while the overall industry average improves 9 percent to 142. No Subaru vehicles were in the top three models in their individual segments.

J.D. Power Ratings

The J.D. Power ratings examine problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of 2015 model-year vehicles. Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles, with a lower score reflecting higher quality. The study covers 177 specific problems grouped into eight major vehicle categories. In 2018, Subaru Scores just ahead of bottom dwellers Mitsubishi, Cadillac, Jeep, Fiat, Land Rover and Chrysler.

Last year, Subaru scored better than their large Japanese competitors Mazda (166 PP100), Acura (167 PP100) and Nissan (170 PP100). This year those automakers have all improved, while Subaru slips backward. Lexus (99 PP100) and Porsche (100 PP100) rank the highest in the J.D. Power study among all nameplates, but these luxury brands can cost tens of thousands more than the typical Subaru vehicle. Buick scores highest among Mass Market brands with a score of 116 PP100.

Even though the Subaru brand slips down in the latest J.D. Power Dependability Study., the Japanese automaker continues to have excellent brand loyalty and they’ve been rated with the highest residual values in the industry. Subaru’s niche all-wheel-drive vehicles continue to sell at a hot pace in the U.S. and the study hasn’t affected consumer’s decisions to buy the top-selling 2018 Outback, Forester and Crosstrek models.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA