5 Most Dependable American Auto Brands in 2023
The American auto industry catches a lot of flak for not being as dependable as some overseas offerings. But naysayers are still stuck in yesteryear. Such 1970s malaise-era thinking doesn’t cut the mustard anymore. Domestic brands have squashed the rumors, and prove they build some of the most reliable vehicles on the road. According to the U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) from J.D. Power, the following are the five most dependable American brands in 2023.
General Motors Corporation (GMC) took home first place with light-duty trucks. The American-branded GMC Sierra outranked Toyota’s favored Tundra. Moreover, the brand scored 175 PP100 (problems per 100 vehicles), beating the industry average of 184 PP100.
GMC’s luxury division and perennial business-class sedan, coupe, and SUV maker scored a respectable 173 PP100. Cadillac blew its German luxury competition out of the water, ranking far above Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. The only luxury brands above Cadillac are Korea’s Genesis and Japan’s Lexus.
As America’s fun-loving, horsepower-crazed brand, one may think that Dodge’s devotion to silliness means all that dependability falls by the wayside. But that isn’t true—the brand scored 172 PP100. Despite Dodge’s eccentricity and willingness to stuff a V8 into almost anything, it was ranked seven places above the sensible likes of Honda.
With a 162 PP100 score, Chevrolet comes first out of the “Big Three” American automotive brands. Chevrolet took home three first-place titles in the trucks and SUVs segments in this year’s VDS. In the midsize class, the Chevrolet Blazer beat Ford’s Edge and Hyundai’s Santa Fe. The Chevrolet Tahoe bested its GMC Yukon corporate cousin in the large SUV segment. Chevrolet’s herculean Silverado HD was scored as the best heavy-duty pickup truck of any brand.
The fourth and final General Motors brand listed as 2023’s most dependable is Buick. Although an undernoted luxury brand, Buick came just below Genesis and Lexus in dependability. With a score of 159 PP100, it beat famed Toyota by 13 points. Buick didn’t have any first-place vehicles in the various segment categories. However, its Encore and Envision SUVs ranked second in their respective classes.
How did J.D. Power determine its American auto brand rankings?
The J.D. Power VDS began with a test bed of over 30,000 model-year 2020 vehicles. Each was analyzed in the 2020 U.S. Initial Quality Study. Following three years of owner use, the consumer reporting agency categorized 184 consumer complaints into several distinct classifications. They include Climate, Driving Assistance, Driving Experience, Features/Controls/Displays, Exterior, Infotainment, Interior, Powertrain, and Seats.
Each model vehicle was rated and grouped by model, brand, and segment. Subsequently, the auto brands were given a score represented as the number of issues per 100 model vehicles (PP100). Vehicles with a lower PP100 in the VDS have a higher dependability over the course of three years than their competitors.
Although Korea and Japan dominated the top of the VDS this year, analysis shows that old stereotypes hold little weight. American brands are now commonly outranking contentiously built German vehicles.