How reliable is the Vanagon?

Which trucks and vans endure after five years of ownership?

J.D. Power and Associates new study answers

PR Newswire, March 15, 1995

Agoura Hills, Calif., March 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers report that compact pickups are the most dependable of all five-year-old light truck and van models in J.D. Power and Associates new study on Vehicle Dependability. In fact, a review of the list of top 1990 models reveals that eight out of the top ten vehicles are compact pickups. Close to 12,000 original owners of five-year-old compact and full-size pickups, sport utilities and vans responded based on their last 12 months of ownership. Nissan and Toyota trucklines tie for the top spot in the overall Vehicle Dependability Index (VDI).

"The J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study for trucks includes a wealth of information on how consumers feel about these increasingly popular vehicles," stated J.D. Power III, president and founder of J.D. Power and Associates. "Consumers who own these hard-working vehicles demand dependability over the long term, and the trucks and vans that do well in their individual segments offer endurance to their owners. These top vehicles may also provide important information for consumers in the market for a used vehicle."

As mentioned, compact pickups lead all light truck and van segments. The top model in this segment is the 1990 Dodge Ram 50 Pickup. Compact pickups are followed by the full-size pickup segment, and the leading model is the GMC C/K -- with the Chevy C/K pickup one point behind it. The popular compact sport utilities make up the third highest ranking segment in the study with the 1990 Nissan Pathfinder as the top model. Van segments are tied as the fourth ranking segment with the Mazda MPV and Volkswagen Vanagon leading the compact van segment and the Ford Econoline representing full-size vans. The full-size sport utility segment completes the list of the six light truck segments and is led by the 1990 model year Toyota Land Cruiser.

According to the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study - TruckSM, the following are the best models in each of the six light truck segments:

Truck Segment 1990 Model Year Vehicle
Compact Pickup Dodge Ram 50 Pickup
Full-Size Pickup GMC C/K Pickup
Compact Sport Utility Nissan Pathfinder
Compact Van Mazda MPV / Volkswagen Vanagon
Full-Size Van Ford Econoline
Full-Size Sport Utility Toyota Land Cruiser

At the nameplate level, Nissan and Toyota tie for Best Overall Truckline in Vehicle Dependability with VDI scores of 109, with the industry average for all trucks at 92. In rank order, the following round out those makes that are at or above industry average: Mitsubishi, Mazda, Ford, GMC, Chevrolet and Volkswagen.

This premiere release of the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study - TruckSM is an extensive report on the long-term dependability of the light truck market. The light truck market, as represented in the study, is composed of compact and full-size pickups, sport utilities and vans.

The focus of the Vehicle Dependability Study-Truck is the past-year problem experience of owners who bought a new personal-use light truck during the 1990 model year and have retained it. It looks at durability of specific items, incidence of warranty work, rating of work performed and the amount spent in the past year on non-routine repairs. In addition, the study addresses a wide variety of manufacturer and dealer issues as well as information of value to manufacturer engineers and product designers.

J.D. Power and Associates is an international marketing information firm with headquarters in Agoura Hills. The firm also has offices in Detroit; Torrance, Calif.; Westport, Conn.; Toronto; and Tokyo. J.D. Power and Associates is best known for its marketing information, consulting and measurement expertise in the areas of consumer opinion and customer satisfaction.

Copyright © 1997–2017 Ron Lussier. All Rights Reserved. is not affiliated with Volkswagen of America, Volkswagen AG, or Westfalia AG. 'Vanagon' and the VW logo are trademarks of Volkswagen.