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Most Dependable Cars

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The global financial crisis appears to have had a silver lining for car buyers, with an influential US quality survey finding that cars built during the period are the most reliable on record. The 2012 JD Power survey on vehicle dependability, which looked at cars built during 2009, found that vehicle quality improved by 13 per cent over cars produced the year before. The 2012 industry average of 132 problems per 100 vehicles was down on 151 problems in 2011. And the study, which has been carried out annually since 1990, found that 2009 was the best year on record for dependability. Global car production in 2009 was the lowest since 2003, dropping 12.4 per cent from 2008. Top of the latest dependability survey list was Lexus, which had just 86 problems per 100 vehicles, compared with the average of 132. The luxury offshoot was one of three Toyota brands in the top five, with the main brand ranking fourth and youth brand Scion ranking fifth. Toyota picked up awards in eight vehicle segments, with the Lexus RX350, Toyota Prius and Yaris the standouts. The GFC may have led General Motors and Chrysler into bankruptcy protection, but it had a largely positive effect on the build quality of American vehicles, which has been notoriously slipshod over the years. GM's Cadillac brand ranked third, while Lincoln, Ford and Buick all finished in the top 10. Overall, US brands closed the gap on imports, although they still have more problems. The same couldn't be said of Chrysler, though, with its Ram, Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler brands filling out the bottom four spots in the survey. Land Rover, which traditionally finishes at the bottom of the pile in these quality surveys, was not included this year. The biggest surprise is the continuing poor performance of luxury European brands in the survey. Only Porsche and Mercedes-Benz finished above the industry average, with Volvo, Audi, BMW, Mini and Jaguar all performing below par. Volkswagen also rated poorly, finishing 26th out of 32 brands surveyed. In a statement released with the survey results, David Sargent, JD Power's vice president of global automotive operations, says that despite the improvement of some US brands, the stigma of poor quality still hung over the local industry, with customers remaining wary. Choose From More Than 400 House Designs and House Plans We offer house designs in a wide range of styles and sizes. Some of our more popular house designs include European-inspired Georgian and Palladian homes, English Manor house plans, Tuscan-style Italian villas, French chateaux, and Colonial house plans. Our Tuscan-style villas range from 1800 sf to 13,600 sf. Our Newport Classics house designs are gentrified New England-style cottages that range from 1500 to 5000 square feet. Our starter castles, mansions and estate homes are designed in the grand tradition of some of the most impressive homes in the world. Please feel free to search our house designs or browse our photo gallery to get a sense of the many styles and types of house designs we offer.

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  • Joanne Loftus
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