Jaguar, once maligned as the break-down brand, has topped a respected US poll on vehicle dependability. The Jag, once the butt of industry jokes for its poor reliability, has topped an influential survey on long-term vehicle dependability. And in a boost for the beleaguered US car industry, the British marque has shared top honours with General Motors prestige brand Buick, in the annual JD Power survey. Perennial winner of the survey, Lexus, has been relegated to third spot on the list of 37 manufacturers, while Toyota comes in fourth and Fords Mercury brand rounds out the top five. Leading automotive quality research firm JD Power publishes three major studies each year - a sales satisfaction survey, an initial quality survey that looks at faults in the first 90 days of ownership, and the dependability survey that looks at vehicle problems after three years of ownership. The data is used regularly as a research tool by the worlds car makers. Jaguar recently topped JD Powers sales satisfaction survey, which focuses on customer satisfaction with dealers. The Jaguar result is a testimony to the efforts of the late Geoff Polites, who took over the reins at the British car maker in 2005 and led the company until his death last year from cancer. The former Ford Australia boss, who identified quality improvements as a key goal of his tenure at the British brand, also returned the marque to profitability. The brands problems-per-vehicle figure dropped by 32 percent, compared with last years survey. The news was not so good for Jaguars sister brand, Land Rover, which again languished at the bottom of the survey list, despite a 30 percent reduction in problems-per-vehicle from last year. Land Rover wasnt the only luxury car maker to record an embarrassing result, with Mercedes-Benz and Volvo both faring worse than the industry average, while BMW snuck in above the average but slipped 10 spots to 17th. Audi was one of the few luxury brands to improve, climbing above the industry average to finish in 12th spot. Volkswagen, which invited JD Power to be part of its development program for the new sixth-generation Golf in an attempt to improve quality, continues to languish at the very bottom of the table, finishing 36th, down four places from last year. The other big-name disappointment is Mazda, which tumbled 12 spots to finish a lowly 33rd in the survey. In Australian surveys, the brand is usually one of the top performers. SOUND LITMUS TEST The results cant always be directly translated to the local market, as some cars are built in different regions to the vehicles on local shores, but overall they are a sound litmus test for the performance of various brands. Korean brand Hyundai maintained its impressive improvement in quality surveys, finishing one place behind Ford in 14th place, above the industry average. While Buicks result was impressive and Cadillac also performed well the same cant be said of the rest of the General Motors range. GMC, Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn all posted results below the industry average, despite fewer problems with their vehicles. Toyota had the most awards for individual vehicles, with five, including the hybrid petrol-electric Prius and the Highlander, which is sold in Australia as the Kluger. Lexus was next with four. The study is based on information gathered from more than 46,000 owners. Performance is measured using a problems-per-100-vehicles metric and the survey looks at more than 200 problems, covering the cars exterior, the driving experience, controls and displays, audio entertainment and satellite navigation, seats, air-conditioning, interior and engine/transmission. Overall, the industry average problems per 100 vehicles dropped by 17 percent to 170. Only three brands BMW, Lexus and Volkswagen recorded worse scores than last year. The big improvers in problems-per-vehicle were: Subaru - down 29 percent, Chrysler - down 28 percent, Buick - down 25 percent), Volvo - down 24 percent and Audi- down 23 percent. http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/motoring/2284865/Shock-as-Jaguar-named-most-reliable Cliff notes: Jaguar is now considered reliable. Everyone is like wtf.