2011 Summary of Luxury Segment Findings

 

All of the information provided in the previous November 2011 CarMD® Vehicle Health Index™ is still valid, but CarMD has called out the luxury vehicle makes and models for this Index listing, which was released for the first time Feb. 1, 2012, on Fox Business’ The Willis Report. Data in this Luxury Index ranking includes all model year 2001-2011 luxury vehicles on the road in the U.S. during the last calendar year.

The average age of passenger vehicles in the U.S. has reached an all-time high of 10.8 years overall and 11.1 years for cars. Any consumer looking to hold onto their current vehicle, or buy new or pre-owned, can use the CarMD Index data as a tool to help determine vehicle reliability. The overall CarMD® Vehicle Health Index™ Score factors in the number of repair incidents and the average repair cost per vehicle population. The lower the overall Index score, the better the rating and ranking.
 

According to the CarMD® Vehicle Health Index™, the no. 1 ranked luxury segment brand is Lexus.
 
  • Similarly, in the first ever CarMD® Vehicle Health Index rankings of all manufacturers released in November 2011, Toyota Motor Company –which includes Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands – earned the top spot
  • Lexus has nine of the top 20 ranked vehicles among the luxury segment, including the top-ranked 2007 Lexus ES 350
   
►  The no. 2 ranked luxury segment brand is Buick
 
  • Buick has a low problem occurrence rate and an exceptionally low average repair cost ($181.94)
  • The no. 2 ranked Buick brand has 10 of the top 50 luxury vehicles, including the no. 18 ranked 2008 Buick Lucerne
   
►  No. 3 ranked luxury segment brand was Mercedes-Benz.
 
  • Mercedes demonstrates how vehicles are being made to last longer than ever before with its 2002 CLK Class ranking no. 9 among the luxury vehicles on the road today.
   
►  Generally speaking luxury brands actually hurt their parent brands, with Buick and Infiniti as exceptions.
 
  • Although the average repair costs were lower with the luxury vehicles, the reported repair instances were higher based on a percentage of vehicle population – in some cases almost twice as common.
   
►  The CarMD Index also tracks common car problems, repairs and costs by brands.
 
  • The most common repair on Audi vehicles is “replace vacuum hose” ($93), BMWs tend to need new mass air flow sensors ($521), Buicks tend to have loose gas caps ($0); the most common repair on Jaguars is “replace catalytic converter” at an average cost of more than $1,300; and Lincolns tend to need new spark plugs and ignition coils at the average repair cost of $360.


To see a complete listing of the most common problems and repairs by brands, visit:
 Rankings Index Data

To see how your own vehicle – or the one you’re considering buying – ranks, visit www.carmd.com/scorecard

 

Top 10 Luxury Vehicle Brands in the U.S. based on the fewest and lowest cost “check engine”-related problems (model year 2011-2011) from January 2011 – December 2011

Luxury
Vehicle Rank

Luxury Brand

% Luxury Segment

Average Repair Cost
(Parts & Labor)

Overall CarMD®
Vehicle Health Index™
Score

1

Lexus

10.0%

 $273.67

0.52

2

Buick

21.1%

 $181.94

0.62

3

Mercedes-Benz

10.3%

 $334.63

0.83

4

Infiniti

5.7%

 $294.13

0.85

5

BMW

9.4%

 $196.53

0.87

6

Volvo

4.4%

 $324.63

1.13

7

Acura

11.5%

 $382.65

1.17

8

Lincoln

8.0%

 $243.83

1.21

9

Audi

2.9%

 $228.61

1.27

10

Saab

1.5%

 $240.25

1.43

 

(Top 10 luxury segment brands based on model year 2001-2011 vehicles needing repairs from Jan. 1, 2011 to Dec. 15, 2011, and determined by the luxury brands whose vehicles had the fewest number of CarMD repair incidents with the lowest cost per repair, per number of registered vehicle on the road.  Sources: CarMD.com Corporation, with vehicle population data provided by R.L. Polk.)