JD Power and Associates has released its 2009 Vehicle Dependability Study. This is meant to show the number of problems experienced by the original owner of three-year-old vehicles (e.g. 2006 models).
As far as overall brands, Buick and Jaguar tied for first; Suzuki placed last. The study also broke down the top-three vehicles in each class. Here are the top three subcompacts:
1. Scion xA
2. Suzuki Aerio
3. Chevrolet Aveo
If the results are kind of odd to you in the subcompact category, keep in mind that in 2006 there weren't choices such as the Honda Fit, the Nissan Versa, or Toyota Yaris—those all appeared as 2007 models. However, the above-mentioned vehicles did beat out the '06 Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, MINI Cooper, and even Scion's own xB.
It's no surprise to see the Scion at the top of the list except that Scion was near the bottom of the overall list. But my guess is that Suzuki's low overall ranking has to do with the GM/Daewoo manufactured Reno, Verona, and Forenza, since it obviously has nothing to do with the top-ranking Aerio. Then again, the Chevrolet Aveo, which is a GM/Daewoo product, was No. 3 in the subcompact category. I'm confused.
The JD Power rankings have long been a bit of a sticky wicket since the study relies on owner-supplied "problems," and "problems" can range from a failed engine or transmission to a busted cup holder. "Problem" apparently isn't quantified too well.
2009 Vehicle Dependability Study Results (JD Power)