Most Reliable Midsize SUV Isn’t a Honda or Ford, Says JD Power

Do you desire a midsize SUV with high-level dependability? Honda has an esteemed history of reliability, including with the Pilot. Also, the Ford Explorer has been running strong for over three decades. However, the most reliable midsize SUV isn’t either of these models, according to J.D. Power. It’s the 2023 Toyota Highlander.

2023 Toyota Highlander is the most reliable midsize SUV, according to JD Power

Front view of 2023 Toyota Highlander, most reliable midsize SUV, says J.D. Power, not Honda Pilot or Ford Explorer
2023 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

There are many factors to consider when choosing which midsize SUV to get — and one of the most important is reliability. A reliable SUV translates to fewer and less severe repairs, which lowers the cost of vehicle ownership. You can also have the peace of mind of dependably getting to your destination. Other benefits include longevity, safety, and optimal performance.

And for midsize SUV reliability, the best choice isn’t the 2023 Honda Pilot or the 2023 Ford Explorer, according to J.D. Power. The most reliable midsize SUV is the 2023 Toyota Highlander. 

This honor for the Highlander is based on the results of the 2023 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study, which highlights the most reliable models in each vehicle segment. The Highlander earned the top spot for the midsize SUV segment, while the Kia Sorento took the second spot and the Toyota 4Runner placed third. Neither the Honda Pilot nor the Ford Explorer were honored.

Toyota Highlander: Fewest problems in Vehicle Dependability Study

Red seats in 2023 Toyota Highlander, most reliable midsize SUV, says J.D. Power, not Honda Pilot or Ford Explorer
2023 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

The reason why J.D. Power named the 2023 Toyota Highlander the most reliable midsize SUV is because it performed well in the 2023 Vehicle Dependability Study. The data analytics company collected thousands of owner surveys during the previous 12 months, including for vehicles in the midsize SUV segment. 

For these surveys, owners identified various problem areas. This includes the powertrain, exterior, interior, driving experience, driving assistance, features, controls, seats, climate system, and infotainment system.

The Highlander had fewer issues in these problem areas than other midsize SUVs, including the Honda Pilot and the Ford Explorer. Consequently, J.D. Power named it the most reliable midsize SUV.

However, given Toyota’s reputation for high-level reliability, this award is not surprising. Along with the Highlander and 4Runner, J.D. Power honored other Toyota models for dependability. The C-HR is the top model for the subcompact SUV segment, along with being named the most reliable car for all model types.

There are also a couple of other first place honors for Toyota: the Tacoma (midsize pickup truck) and the Sienna (minivan). Also, the Tundra was named the second most reliable full-size pickup truck, while the Corolla placed second for the compact car segment. 

What’s new for the 2023 Highlander?


2023 Toyota Highlander: Features, Price, Specs, & Overview

The 2023 Toyota Highlander has several notable changes for the new model year. This includes a new turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four engine, which doles out 265 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque. While the new engine has a 30 horsepower drop compared to the outgoing V-6, its torque output is a 46 lb-ft increase. Also, it gets slightly higher gas mileage (up to 25 vs. 24 combined mpg).

Additionally, across the trim lineup, there are feature upgrades. This includes newly standard dual 12.3-inch multi-information display screens and power-folding exterior mirrors for the Platinum and Limited trims. Plus, the XSE and XLE trims add a hands-free power liftgate.

Furthermore, for easier access, Toyota moved the wireless smartphone charger to the instrument panel shelf. Also, the Highlander offers a new Cypress exterior paint color option

The 2023 Toyota Highlander is a midsize SUV with outstanding reliability. It beats all other midsize SUVs on the J.D. Power most reliable list, including the 2023 Honda Pilot and the 2023 Ford Explorer.