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While Toyota and Lexus have the most dependable SUVs on the market, what about the brands themselves? Which ones made it to the top of the list, and of the ones that did, which ones were American brands? Let’s look to see if companies like Chevrolet or General Motors are one of them.

A 2023 Chevrolet Suburban parked outside of a modern house.
2023 Chevy Suburban | Chevrolet Media

What are the most dependable American brands?

There are several American brands in the auto industry, but there are two that stand out as the most dependable, according to J.D. Power and its Vehicle Dependability Study. 

The first brand is Chevrolet, and it ranked fifth out of all the brands on the market both American and foreign. Chevy beats out Mitsubishi and even Toyota.

When it comes to individual vehicles, you’ll find the Chevy Trax made it to the top three for the small SUV category, while the Chevy Tahoe ranked first in the large SUV segment. The Blazer also ranked at the top of the midsize SUV category. 

In the pickup market, the Chevy Silverado HD was the highest-ranked truck in the Large Heavy-Duty Pickup segment, while the Colorado ranked second in the midsize truck category.

However, Buick is the most dependable American brand according to the study. It landed fourth on the list of dependable companies. As for individual vehicles, Buick’s Envision is in the top three for the compact SUV segment. The Encore, the brand’s small SUV offering, ranked in the second spot for its class.

How J.D. Power came to that conclusion

J.D. Power’s study examines vehicles to see how well each model is performing for a particular year by getting information from current owners of specific models. This new study looks at the 2020 versions from each brand and ranks them on a system called PP100 (Problems Per 100 Vehicles). The overall average for the industry was 186 PP100, which is slightly better than last year’s average of 192 PP100.

Chevrolet scored 162 PP100 in this study, while Buick had 159 PP100. These two brands were within the top five companies on a list of around 30, which is pretty impressive since both have had some trouble spots in the past. Both brands beat out Hyundai, which was eigth, and Honda, which was much further down the list.  

The study helps consumers make informed decisions when it comes to purchasing vehicles by showing them the issues particular models have been plagued with. Some of the common issues the study uncovered were electronic malfunctions, maps that weren’t current, and glitches with some of the entertainment apps. 

What else does the study tell us?

For the models analyzed, the area that saw the most issues was the infotainment system, which is been the most common troublemaker in past studies. It showed an average of 49.9 PP100 and included voice recognition, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto issues, and touchscreen problems. 

The study also found that the three most dependable brands for the time period analyzed were Lexus (133 PP100), Genesis (144 PP100), and Kia (152 PP100). Lexus is the most dependable in the luxury segment, while Kia takes the mass market category. 

Tesla was examined this year, but it remains unqualified since J.D. Power could not get driver information from certain states. The site needs permission to access that info, so Tesla remains ineligible for the list. We do, however, know that the brand ranked 242 PP100 based on the available information. 

The two most dependable American brands happen to be Chevy and Buick. Both have some models that had a few problems during the time period analyzed. But, both outperformed several other companies on the vehicle dependability report J.D. Power put out. 


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