Toyota’s Compact Cars Dominate in Dependability

02/23/2012 // Watertown, MA, USA // CambridgePRGroup // Toyota of Watertown

Although style and power are positive assets for any vehicle, those with the highest perceived quality usually have their dependability to thank. The Toyota Prius and Corolla are the most dependable compact cars on the market, according to the recently released J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study. Available at Toyota dealerships, the Prius and Corolla took the first- and second-place spots, respectively, in the study’s Compact Car segment.

Each year, the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study measures the number of problems experienced by owners of three-year-old car models. This year, the dependability of 2009 model-year vehicles were analyzed. Results from the customer survey are reported in the form of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with lower ratings corresponding to greater dependability. With a dependability rating of 80 PP100, the Toyota Prius topped all contenders in the Compact Car category.

“When consumers perceive their vehicles as dependable, they’re more loyal to the brand, so automakers have a real incentive to make sure their products are built to last,” said Adam Skolnick, general manager of Greater Boston Toyota dealer Toyota of Watertown. “Despite experiencing the depths of a recession in 2009, Toyota made sure that its smart buys like the Prius and Corolla were far more dependable than their competitors.”

The 2009 Prius houses a 1.5-liter engine and two electric motors, good for a net of 110 horsepower and a combined city/highway rating of 46 mpg. By contrast, the 2012 Toyota Prius is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and one electric motor. That pairing delivers drivers a net of 134 horsepower and a combined rating of 50 mpg.

In its study, J.D. Power and Associates notes that although customers’ initial perceptions of their vehicles are largely based on anecdotes and personal experience, initial quality is an indicator of long-term durability. Taking the number two spot on J.D. Power and Associates’ list of most dependable compact cars was the redesigned-for-2009 Toyota Corolla, earning a dependability rating of 93 PP100.

A 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine is found under the hood of standard 2009 Toyota Corolla models, delivering 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. Mated with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, the powerplant returns up to 35 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in the city. The current 2012 Corolla features the same base engine under its hood and is largely unchanged mechanically, meaning it has the potential to perform just as well as its 2009 sibling when its dependability score is released.

“The Corolla has long been a go-to model for compact-car seekers because of its reputation for reliability,” added Skolnick. “That reputation hasn’t changed because Toyota is always finding ways to improve the model’s build quality, and we believe that trend will continue far into the future.”

Altogether, nine Toyota vehicles made podium-spot finishes in this year’s U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study for their respective classes. In addition to the Prius and Corolla, the Toyota Yaris, RAV4, Camry, Highlander, Sienna, Avalon and Tundra were named to the list.

About Toyota of Watertown:

Family-owned since 1957, Toyota of Watertown is the premier Greater Boston Toyota dealer. A multiple-time winner of Toyota’s coveted President’s Award, they are renowned for their selection and low prices, as well as customer service that is second to none. They strive to make the buyer’s automotive experience a positive one for the life of the vehicle. For more information, visit them online at, like them on Facebook at, call them at 617-926-5200 or visit their showroom at 149 Arsenal Street in Watertown, Massachusetts.

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