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by Ann Job

Thinking about buying a used vehicle? A recent study by J.D. Power and Associates ranks the most reliable four- and five-year-old cars.

The 1996 LS 400, along with two other Lexus vehicles, garnered best-in-category ratings from J.D. Power.

J.D. Power rated the Porsche 911 as the most dependable sports car of 1996.

You can rely on a car after four or five years of ownership. Especially if it's a Lexus.
For the sixth straight year, the luxury brand of Toyota leads the list of most-dependable, four- and five-year-old vehicles, according to automotive researcher J.D. Power and Associates of Agoura Hills, California.

Ranking second is Porsche, followed by Nissan's luxury brand, Infiniti.

The highest-rated non-luxury brand is Toyota, which takes fourth spot in the annual Power Vehicle Dependability Study. The report monitors the number and type of problems consumers have with their four- and five-year-old vehicles and covers 137 specific problem areas. The dependability study for 2000 was based on responses from 28,415 original vehicle owners, and owners who bought used 1996-model vehicles.

Only two of the top ten vehicle brands in Power's dependability list are domestic. Lincoln ranks ninth and Buick ranks tenth.

Listed as below average in long-term dependability are, in alphabetical order: Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Eagle, GMC, Hyundai, Isuzu, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Plymouth, Pontiac, Saab, Suzuki, Volvo and Volkswagen. Power does not publicly release the below-average rankings.

But Power does name the top vehicles in each category, and here Toyota holds an impressive six first-place spots with its Tercel, Tacoma, T100, RAV4, 4Runner and Land Cruiser models. Lexus garners three spots with its ES 300, LS 400 and LX 450, and Honda holds two top spots with its Odyssey and Accord.

Here are the details of the Power Vehicle Dependability Study:

Nameplate Rankings Reported Problems Per 100 Vehicles
1. Lexus 216
2. Porsche 220
3. Infiniti 245
4. Toyota 299
5. Acura 304
6. Jaguar 308
7. Mercedes-Benz 308
8. Honda 318
9. Lincoln 337
10. Buick 340

Most Dependable 1996 Models by Category

Compact Car Toyota Tercel
Entry Midsize Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera
Premium Midsize Honda Accord
Sporty Car Mazda MX-5 Miata
Sports Car Porsche 911
Entry Luxury Car Lexus ES 300
Premium Luxury Car Lexus LS 400
Compact Pickup Toyota Tacoma
Full-size Pickup Toyota T100
Mini SUV Toyota RAV4
Compact SUV Toyota 4 Runner
Full-size SUV Toyota Land Cruiser
Luxury SUV Lexus LX 450
Compact Van Honda Odyssey

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