2009 Land Rover LR3 HSE - Vehicle Dependability

J.D. Power and Associates has released its most recent U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) and Land Rover was not ranked due to a small or insufficient sample size. Also not ranked was Saab, a brand that very recently filed for bankruptcy after GM blocked Saab’s efforts to secure a Chinese buyer or partner. While Land Rover certainly isn’t facing the same dismal future as Saab, it was a little disappointing to open the mailbox this morning and see the new study did not include the British brand. However, the study did include Jaguar, which ranked 5th from the bottom along with Infiniti; both brands with 172 problems per 100 vehicles.

Coming in at #1 was Lexus, with a 86 problems per 100 vehicles. Following Lexus and rounding out the top five were Porsche, Cadillac, Toyota, and Scion (a Toyota brand). Sitting at the bottom of the list is the aforementioned Jaguar, along with all four of Chrysler’s domestic brands including Ram (Dodge Trucks), Jeep, Dodge, and Chrysler. Chrysler came in with 192 problems per 100 vehicles. The overall industry average problems per 100 vehicles sat at 132.

The J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study measures the problems experienced during the past 12 months by the original owners of three-year old vehicles. 

Land Rover’s Dependability History

Over the past five years, Land Rover has ranked at or near the bottom of J.D. Power’s dependability and reliability studies while simultaneously ranking near the top of customer satisfaction indexes. In 2011, Land Rover ranked third from the bottom with 212 problems per 100 vehicles with Jeep and MINI taking the two bottom positions. In 2010, Land Rover was at the bottom of the list with 255 problems per 100 vehicles. In 2009, Land Rover once again was third from the bottom with 238 problems per 100 vehicles, coming in ahead of Volkswagen and Suzuki. In 2008, Land Rover had a staggering 344 problems per 100 vehicles, putting it firmly in last place.

Land Rover’s J.D. Power Dependability Scores

  • 2008: 344 Problems Per 100 Vehicles (2005 Model Year, LR3 Introduced)
  • 2009: 238 Problems Per 100 Vehicles (2006 Model Year, Range Rover Sport Introduced)
  • 2010: 255 Problems Per 100 Vehicles  (2007 Model Year)
  • 2011: 212 Problems Per 100 Vehicles (2008 Model Year)
  • 2012: Not Ranked (2009 Model Year, Last Year for LR3)

This history shows us two things. The first is that quality continues to improve and jumped dramatically once Land Rover worked the kinks out of the then-new 2005 Land Rover LR3 (Discovery 3) and the Range Rover Sport that followed. Second, since sales continue to climb, buyers of new Land Rovers are still rating the experience of owning a Land Rover paramount over reliability worries. Come 2013, we’ll have initial reliability figures in on the Range Rover Evoque, which could either offer an image boost for the brand, or further entrench the negative reliability reputation these vehicles have earned over the past few years.

The 2015 Defender and India

We also are willing to speculate the reason there wasn’t a bigger uproar regarding the 2015 Defender being built in India was that a change of manufacturing venue couldn’t hurt build quality. That bit of news came and went quietly. At least it was quiet compared to the unveiling of the Defender Concept 100 (DC100) itself, which met with — and continues to receive — polarized criticism from Land Rover lovers and detractors alike. 

 J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Vehicle Dependability

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