India’s most dependable cars: 2013 JD Power survey toppers

Vehicle dependability in India drops in JD Power survey as problems increase

Just as the auto industry is wondering how it’s going to tackle the slowdown, out comes a vehicle dependability study from JD Power Asia Pacific that shows an increase in problems per 100 vehicles reported in India.

The average number of problems per 100 vehicles across all segments – hatchbacks, premium hatchbacks, sedans, MUVs and SUVs – has gone up from 225 in 2012 to 280 problems per 100 vehicles. This goes to show that with increased competition and volumes, and in a bid to load vehicles with gizmos to attract buyers, carmakers seem to be slipping on overall dependability and reliability of their vehicles. Also read: Best cars in India with least quality problems 2012

Still, here are some silver linings – the best cars or India’s most dependable cars according to the JD Power Asia Pacific survey. Maruti, Ford and Toyota, however, have reason to celebrate topping some of the segments.

Most dependable hatchback: Maruti A-Star

The Maruti A-Star hardly sells, with sales in May 2013 dipping to 438 units, with an overall average of about 650 cars a month in the past three months. Yet, this is a car that people see as highly dependable. It scored the least amount of problems per 100 cars in the survey, with a score of 209 problems per 100, while the Hyundai i10 came in second with 221 problems per 100 vehicles and the aging Hyundai Santro clocked a score of 223 problems per 100 vehicles. The segment average was 269 problems per 100 (this includes Maruti Wagon-R, Maruti Alto and Chevrolet Spark). Also read: Maruti A-Star vs Hyundai i10 vs Honda Brio automatic

Most dependable premium hatchback: Ford Figo

The Ford Figo has emerged as the most dependable premium hatchback, scoring the least number of problems per 100 vehicles among premium hatchbacks. The Figo clocked a score of 241 problems per 100 vehicles, while the Maruti Ritz scored 243 problems per 100 vehicles and the Hyundai i20 clocked 246 problems per 100 vehicles. The segment average in the premium hatchback segment was 270 problems per 100 vehicles (this includes Maruti Swift, Tata Vista and Honda Brio). Also see: Ford Figo diesel video review

Most dependable entry-level sedan: Maruti Dzire

The largest-selling car in India last month is also the car with least number of problems per 100 vehicles in the compact entry-level sedan segment. The Maruti Dzire clocked a score of 272 problems per 100 cars, above the segment average of 317 problems per 100 cars. The results are a little skewed here as the study also included discontinued cars like the Ford Ikon. The Honda Amaze isn’t included in this survey as it was conducted before the launch of the Amaze. Tata Manza scored 362 problems per 100 vehicles. Also read: Maruti Dzire road test and review

Most dependable mid-size sedan: Honda City

The Honda City continues to bag awards for being India’s most dependable mid-size sedan. It clocked the least number of problems per 100 vehicles with a score of 237. The SX4 was next with a score of 247. And in third place was the new Ford Fiesta with 258. The mid-size sedan segment average was 274, and this segment includes the Hyundai Verna, Volkswagen Vento, Skoda Rapid and Fiat Linea. Also see: Honda City video review

Most dependable premium mid-size sedan: Chevrolet Cruze

The Chevrolet Cruze is not only the most powerful car in the premium mid-size segment, it is also the most dependable. It scored 191 problems per 100 vehicles, one of the lowest scores (which means highest in terms of quality) in this survey. The now-discontinued Honda Civic scored 228 and the Skoda Laura got a below average score of 260. Also read: Chevrolet Cruze vs Hyundai Elantra quick comparison

Most dependable MUV: Toyota Innova

The Toyota Innova has again bagged the most-dependable vehicle title in the MUV segment with the least number of problems per 100 vehicles, with a score of 252. The average score in this segment was 293. The Chevrolet Tavera scored 273 and the Mahindra Bolero clocked 285. Others were below the average score. Also read: Maruti Ertiga or Toyota Innova – which suits your needs?

Most dependable SUV: Toyota Fortuner

The Toyota Fortuner again got the title of most dependable SUV in India. It scored 253 problems per 100 vehicles in the survey, which was the only above average score when it comes to SUVs. The segment average was 280, with the Mahindra Scorpio scoring 284 and the Tata Safari Dicor scoring 309 problems per 100 vehicles. This study does not include the Renault Duster or Ford EcoSport which are more recent launches. Also read: Toyota Fortuner road test.

The JD Power study was based on the responses of vehicle owners on things that had gone wrong with their vehicle over their ownership period. With many vehicles in the survey now coming out of warranty coverage, the complaints seem to have increased. The study was across 61 vehicle models in 11 segments. It includes the 169 different kinds of problems incurred in nine areas such as engine and transmission, vehicle body, driving experience, controls, AC, etc.