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One of vehicle owners’ most significant concerns is wondering whether their car, truck, or SUV is reliable. There are certain brands revered for their expected dependability. Toyota is one of them, and most potential buyers may assume a brand like Mitsubishi is ranked lower. After all, Toyota is a worldwide giant and one of the biggest brands in America. Could the long-lived reliable manufacturer be surpassed by another’s measured dependability?

J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) found a curious tidbit of information about one of the most popular brands. In terms of Toyota, the automaker didn’t even rank in the top three. And it was beaten by an underrated competitor.

How does J.D. Power rank brand dependability?

J.D. Power’s VDS was conducted between August and November 2022. It’s based on responses it received from 30,062 original owners of 2020 model-year vehicles owned for at least three years. Each of the three-year-old vehicles measured in the study was initially examined in the 2020 U.S. Initial Quality Study.

The agency analyzes problems from owner vehicles and releases a score of the number of issues per 100 model vehicles (PP100). The VDS categorized 184 types of owner complaints into Climate, Driving Assistance, Driving Experience, Features/Controls/Displays (FCD), Exterior, Infotainment, Interior, Powertrain, and Seats. A lower PP100 rating indicated a higher-performing brand or brand offering.

Mitsubishi beats Toyota in dependability

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Black Edition is rated as a dependable SUV and is on a white background
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Black Edition | Mitsubishi

Among the mass-market brands, Mitsubishi ranked higher than fellow Japanese automaker Toyota. J.D. Power gave Mitsubishi a score of 167 PP100, ranking it fourth among mass-market brands like Kia and Chevrolet. Toyota came just behind, with a score of 168 PP100.

Interestingly, not a single Mitsubishi model ranked above a comparable Toyota. In fact, Toyota took home four model-level awards in the Small SUV, Upper Midsize SUV, Midsize Pickup, and Minivan segments.

What vehicles does Mitsubishi offer?

The 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage is a cheap and cheerful car
2023 Mitsubishi Mirage | Mitsubishi

For the 2023 model year, Mitsubishi manufactures just six vehicles. The company offers the Outlander, Outlander Sport, Outlander PHEV, and Eclipse Cross SUVs. The only cars it currently builds for the U.S. market are the Mirage hatchback and Mirage G4 sedan.

What were common problems found in the VDS?

Issues found by customers of mass-market brands decreased in 2023, thus reliability increased. With a score of 182 PP100, it’s 8 PP100 lower than the 2022 figure. But with premium brands, it’s a different story.

J.D. Power says the gap between the mass market and luxury brands is the widest in the study’s 34-year history. And that’s not good for customers looking for more extravagance in their vehicles. While Lexus and Genesis ranked at the top with 133 PP100 and 144 PP100, respectively, others didn’t fare as well.

The average luxury brand score was 205 PP100. J.D. Power says the driving force for the disparity between the two segments is new technology. Premium brands generally have more innovative technology, increasing complexity and the likelihood of additional problems over mass market brands. The VDS shows the most prominent issues from vehicle owners are battery failures, outdated maps, and problems with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and voice recognition systems.


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