Most dependable United States auto brands, according to the JD Power 2018 study

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Overall vehicle dependability improves 9% over 2017-the first time the industry score has improved since 2013.

The 31-brand rankings were determined based on the number of problems per 100 units reported by some 37,000 owners of 2015 model-year vehicles during the past 12 months.

"All FCA US brands improved their scores year-over-year in J.D. Power's 2018 Vehicle Dependability Study, with the exception of the Chrysler Brand", FCA U.S said in a statement. "A 9 percent improvement is extremely impressive, and vehicle dependability is, without question, at its best level ever".

For used vehicle buyers, selecting a three year-old model not only comes at a lower price than a new auto, it might be just as reliable. This is a result of many high-volume vehicles rewarding their owners with excellent long-term dependability.

Another notable trend is the improved quality of mass market brands, which continue to catch up to luxury nameplates in terms of quality.

J.D. Power finds that vehicle residual values can be significantly affected by better long-term quality. Porsche ranked a close second with 100 problems per 100 vehicles. Buick ranks third in overall vehicle dependability and highest among mass-market brands with a score of 116 PP100.

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These are the 15 most reliable vehicle brands.

Other brands showing sharp improvements include Kia, Nissan, Ford, and Dodge. Dodge and Nissan also earn their best rankings ever.

Toyota was also a standout with six segment winners, the most of any corporate group: Lexus CT, Lexus ES, Lexus GS, Lexus RX, Toyota Prius and Toyota Tacoma.

General Motors models receive five segment awards for the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Traverse and Chevrolet Silverado. The study aims to measure the long-term quality of vehicles, including new technologies and features now available to buyers. If the problems lie in an optional feature that you're not interested in, adjust your assessment accordingly.

J.D. Power is celebrating Valentine's Day by releasing its 2018 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study which examines whether owners of three-year old vehicles still love their cars or want a divorce. The study was fielded in October-December 2017. In fact, Kia has led the industry overall for the last two years in Power's Initial Quality Study. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability.

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