|The Buick Lucerne got the nod as best large car in J.D. Powers' latest reliability rankings.|
Toyota was the fourth-highest-rated brand, with 104 problems per 100 vehicles. The Yaris had 97 problems per 100 vehicles, according to Toyota, which provided the number of problems per 100 vehicles for its cars. Runners-up for best subcompact were the Scion xD, which had 113 problems per 100 vehicles, and the Honda ( HMC) Fit. "We are extremely pleased that not only did we win awards in eight of the 14 model segments, but that in two segments we finished one-two and made the podium in 12 segments overall," said Jim Lentz, president and chief operating officer for Toyota USA, in a statement. The subcompact Yaris is offered in three-door hatchback, five-door hatchback and sedan styles. All models share the same 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine with a choice of transmissions. The Yaris is rated at 29 mpg city and 35 mpg highway -- fuel economy numbers that approach hybrid territory.
The Prius had 80 problems per 100 vehicles. Runners-up for the best compacts were the Toyota Corolla, which had 93 problems per 100 vehicles, and the Hyundai Elantra. In 2009, the Toyota Prius was available in standard, base and touring Edition models. Toyota introduced an all-new, third-generation Prius for the 2010 model year.
The Scion tC had 123 problems per 100 vehicles. No runners-up were selected in the category. The 2009 Scion tC, a two-door coupe, is Scion's sportiest car. All models have 17-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic moonroof and a 160-watt sound system. The tC is powered by a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine.
The Ford brand had 124 problems per 100 vehicles. The Fusion was the top midsized car for the second year in a row. Runners-up were the Mitsubishi Gallant and Toyota Camry, which had 105 problems per 100 vehicles. "The vehicles we are building today are more reliable than ever," said Bennie Fowler, Ford group vice president for global quality and new model launches, in a statement. "Ford has made significant strides over the past few years to achieve world-class levels of long-term quality and desirability." Introduced in 2006, the Fusion added new standard features for the 2009 model year. Depending on the model, they included ambient lighting for the interior, satellite radio and a five-speed automatic transmission with traction control. A six-speed automatic was standard on the 3.0-liter V-6 model.
Have you noticed? This is the fourth Toyota car to win its category. The Lexus ES350 had 81 problems per 100 cars. The Acura TL was runner-up. The Lexus ES 350 is a midsize luxury sedan that offers a 272-horsepower V-6 engine, automatic transmission and an array of standard luxury features. It was redesigned in 2007 and little changed in the following two years. Incidentally, the Lexus LS has the fewest problems in the industry, with just 72 problems per 100 vehicles.
The Lincoln MKZ is one of three Ford vehicles to lead categories. The Lincoln brand had 116 problems per 100 vehicles, ranking seventh among the 32 brands and second among U.S. brands. Cadillac ranked third among all brands, with 104 problems per 100 vehicles. Ford ranked eighth, with 124 problems per 100 vehicles. The 2009 Lincoln MKZ featured standard AdvanceTrac, Ford's electronic stability control program. Sync was available, as were other tech features such as voice-activated navigation, satellite radio, THX II audio system and a reverse-sensing system.
The Hyundai brand had 125 problems per 100 vehicles. Runners-up were the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Volvo S-80. The Genesis sedan, new for 2009, represented the first rear-wheel-drive model for the Korean automaker -- and the first Hyundai model carrying a V-8 engine. The 2009 Genesis was available in two models: The Genesis 3.8 came with the 3.8-liter V-6 engine, while the Genesis 4.6 carries the 4.6-liter V-8 engine.
Buick ranked ninth among all brands, with 125 problems per 100 vehicles. Runners-up in the segment were the Toyota Avalon, with 100 problems per 100 vehicles, and the Ford Taurus. The Lucerne got several upgrades for the 2009 model year, including GM's OnStar telematics system; standard Bluetooth hands-free communication and enhanced satellite radio display. Under the hood, the three Lucerne models feature enhanced V-6 and V-8 engines. -- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/tedreednc.