A Guide To Which Car To Buy


J.D. Power 2011 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study

Reliability survey ranks Mini last, with Porsche pipped from the top spot.

Mini is the least reliable brand of car you can buy, according to a new US long-term dependability report. The 2011 JD Power survey reveals the BMW-owned British brand experienced more problems with its vehicles than any other manufacturer in the US during the past 12 months.

The US-based report measures the number of problems per 100 cars that owners experience during the first three years of ownership – meaning the lower the number, the better the reliability. Mini ranked last with 221 issues per 100 cars despite an overall increase in dependability rankings – more than double the issues of the Ford-owned Lincoln (101 per 100 cars) that became the first American luxury brand to top the list in more than a decade.

Mini’s parent company improved marginally from 165 to 164 issues, but BMW’s result was inferior to those of its closest rivals and below the industry average of 155 problems per 100 cars. Mercedes-Benz scored 128 (down from 142) and was the best of the big three premium German brands, with Audi reducing its issues from 182 to 161 compared with 2010. Luxury brands otherwise dominated the top four positions. Lexus placed second with 109 issues, while Jaguar leapt into third place after cutting its number of issues by nearly a third – up from 175 to 112. Porsche, last year’s leader, slipped to fourth place in 2011 after its problems rose from 110 to 114.