Personal Finance

The 17 Most Dependable Cars, According to Drivers

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man driving a car
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Some drivers choose a car for its style and flash, some for the sheer number of passengers and items it can carry. Others need a vehicle that can handle mountain roads or snowy highways.

But if there’s one thing any vehicle needs, it’s to be dependable: ready to start up and run smoothly when called upon.

J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study compares the quality of 2020 model year vehicles using responses from more than 30,000 owners after three years of ownership.

The company redesigned their study in 2022 to include newer features and technology. It now covers 184 specific problem areas across nine major vehicle categories: climate; driving assistance; driving experience; exterior; features/controls/displays; infotainment; interior; powertrain; and seats.

Here’s a look at the most dependable cars, based on J.D. Power’s 2023 study.


2020 Kia Optima
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J.D. Power did not rank cars in its small, small premium, midsize premium or upper midsize premium categories this year because not enough vehicles met its criteria. Here are the top vehicles in other categories:

  • Compact Car: Kia Forte
  • Compact Sporty Car: MINI Cooper
  • Midsize Car: Kia Optima


2020 Toyota Tacoma
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These vehicles were tops in the pickup categories:

  • Midsize Pickup: Toyota Tacoma
  • Large Light Duty Pickup: GMC Sierra
  • Large Heavy Duty Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado HD


2020 Toyota Highlander
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Small SUV winner Toyota C-HR tied for most dependable model overall with the midsize luxury vehicle Lexus RX. The other winners for the SUV vehicle type included:

  • Compact SUV: Kia Sportage
  • Small SUV: Toyota C-HR
  • Midsize SUV: Chevrolet Blazer
  • Upper Midsize SUV: Toyota Highlander
  • Large SUV: Chevrolet Tahoe


2020 Toyota Sienna
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  • Minivan: Toyota Sienna

Both minivans and SUVs are efficient options for families, but minivans win some drivers over with additional leg room and sliding rear doors, which make climbing aboard easier both for children and for those with mobility challenges.

Automotive resource Kelley Blue Book points out that the Toyota Sienna, the highest-ranked minivan, features seven USB ports, making it a great choice for keeping those ever-present devices charged on long road trips.

Luxury vehicles

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The Lexus RX, which won the midsize premium SUV category, also tied with the Toyota C-HR for most dependable model overall. The other luxury vehicle winners are:

  • Compact Premium Car: BMW 4 Series
  • Compact Premium SUV: Lexus NX
  • Small Premium SUV: BMW X2
  • Midsize Premium SUV: Lexus RX
  • Upper Midsize Premium SUV: BMW X5

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