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The best offers from the most dependable car brands

Lexus holds onto its crown on J.D. Power's list of most dependable auto makers, while Buick takes the top spot among mass-market brands

The longevity of any big-ticket item, such as a home or a vehicle, plays a large part in a shopper's purchase decision and, longer-term, postpurchase customer satisfaction.

J.D. Power and Associates recently released the results of its 2018 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) which, like its Initial Quality Study (IQS), ranks auto brands based on the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles. While the IQS focuses on new vehicles, the VDS surveys three-year-old vehicles to assess longer-term vehicle dependability.

The 2018 Vehicle Dependability Study shows that overall vehicle dependability across the market has improved for the first time since 2013, up nine per cent year-over-year. "A nine per cent improvement is extremely impressive and vehicle dependability is, without question, at its best level ever. For people looking for a new or used model, now is a good time to find that special vehicle," said Dave Sargent, vice president, global automotive at J.D. Power.

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Lexus held onto its crown as the most dependable auto maker for the seventh year in a row, while Buick took the top spot this year among mass-market brands. This year's study has also revealed that mass-market brands, with an average score of 143 problems per 100 vehicles, continue to close the gap with luxury brands which have an average score of 136.

We've featured some of our favourite offers this week from brands ranked highest in vehicle dependability. If you don't find an offer that suits you, be sure to check out the new Globe Drive Build and Price Tool to see the latest incentives and discounts on any new car, truck or SUV.

2018 Lexus ES 350 Front-Wheel Drive Sedan

Lexus ES.

Lexus led the 2018 VDS for its seventh consecutive year with four of its models winning category awards. The Lexus ES won the top spot in the Compact Premium Car category. The 2018 Lexus ES 350 is powered by a 3.5-litre, V-6 engine that produces 268 horsepower and 248 lb.-ft. of torque. Its interior highlights include an eight-inch infotainment system, an eight-speaker audio system, a 4.2-inch multi-information display, parking assist with a backup camera and sensors, heated and ventilated front seats and push-button ignition. In addition to safety features such as rain-sensing wipers and LED headlights and taillights, every Lexus ES trim also comes standard with Lexus Safety System+ which includes a precollision system, automatic high beam, dynamic radar cruise control and lane departure alert with steering assist.

  • MSRP: $43,950
  • Manufacturer cash incentive: $4,000 (applied after tax)
  • Estimated dealer discount: $1,750
  • Freight, PDI, government fees: $2,185
  • Cash purchase price before tax: $40,845
  • Finance for 60 months at 3.9-per cent interest for $848 per month including tax, which includes a $4,000 manufacturer incentive (applied after tax, as compared to $3,000 in February) and assumes zero down payment
  • Lease for 48 months at 3.9 per cent interest for $607 per month including tax, which includes a $4,000 manufacturer incentive (applied after tax, as compared to 4.9 per cent interest and $3,000 incentive in February) and assumes a 20,000 annual kilometre allowance and zero down payment

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2018 Buick Envision Essence All-Wheel Drive

Buick Envision.

Up one spot from last year's study, Buick unseated Toyota as this year's highest ranked mass-market brand. The 2018 Buick Envision Essence is equipped with a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder engine that produces 197 horsepower and 192 lb.-ft. of torque. Its interior features an eight-inch infotainment system available with navigation, active noise cancellation technology, an acoustic windshield for a quieter cabin, tri-zone climate control and rear park assist with a rearview camera. Other notable features include remote ignition, engine start-stop functionality for improved fuel efficiency, an electronic parking brake and safety features such as lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert and an electronic stability control system.

  • MSRP: $43,895
  • Manufacturer cash incentive: $4,000 (as compared to no incentive in February)
  • Estimated dealer discount: $1,000
  • Freight, PDI, government fees: $2,374
  • Cash purchase price before tax: $41,269
  • Finance for 72 months at zero-per-cent interest (as compared to 0.99 per cent in February) for $710 per month including tax and assumes zero down payment
  • Lease for 48 months at 0.5 per-cent-interest (as compared to 0.9 per cent in February) for $656 per month including tax, which includes a $1,500 manufacturer incentive and assumes a 20,000 annual kilometre allowance and zero down payment

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2018 Infiniti QX60 All-Wheel Drive CVT

Infiniti QX60.

Infiniti made the largest improvement in ranking by jumping into fourth place this year, up from 29th out of 32 brands surveyed in 2017. The 2018 Infiniti QX60 outputs 295 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque through a 3.5-litre, V-6 engine. It features an eight-inch Infiniti InTouch display, an available 15-speaker Bose surround sound system, leather-appointed seating and a leather-wrapped and heated multifunction steering wheel in its interior. On its exterior, the QX60 features automatic bi-xenon HID headlights, LED daytime running and tail lights and UV reducing solar glass.

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  • MSRP: $48,195
  • Manufacturer cash incentive: $3,000 (as compared to $1,000 in February)
  • Estimated dealer discount: $1,000
  • Freight, PDI, government fees: $2,185
  • Cash purchase price before tax: $46,380
  • Finance for 60 months at 3.99-per-cent interest for $1,027 per month including tax and assumes zero down payment
  • Lease for 48 months at 3.29-per-cent interest (as compared to 3.59 per cent in February) for $794 per month including tax and assumes a 20,000 annual kilometre allowance and zero down payment

Get Local Price on Globe Drive

2018 Kia Rio 5-Door EX Tech Navi Automatic

Kia Rio.

Not only did Kia place in the top five on this year's VDS, it also earned the top spot in the Small Car category with the Kia Rio and topped J.D. Power's most recent Initial Quality Study. The 2018 Kia Rio 5-door hatchback comes standard with a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine with gasoline direct injection, achieving an output of 130 horsepower and 119 lb.-ft. of torque. A key feature on the EX Tech Navi trim is the UVO Intelligence service, which allows the driver to monitor the vehicle's health and maintenance cycle, control certain vehicle functions such as remote ignition and climate control, and call for help in case of an emergency, all through a mobile app available for compatible Apple and Android devices.

This trim also features a seven-inch infotainment display with integrated navigation, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, a six-speaker audio system, leather seating surfaces with heated front seats, a leather-wrapped and heated multifunction steering wheel, push-button ignition, solar glass and a power sunroof. Safety features on the EX Tech Navi trim include autonomous emergency braking, a rearview camera, a brake assist system and electronic stability control.

  • MSRP: $23,745
  • Manufacturer cash incentive: $1,500 (as compared to $750 in February)
  • Estimated dealer discount: $250
  • Freight, PDI, government fees: $1,725
  • Cash purchase price before tax: $23,720
  • Finance for 60 months at zero-per-cent interest for $475 per month including tax and assumes zero down payment
  • Lease for 48 months at 2.99-per-cent interest for $421 per month including tax and assumes a 20,000 annual kilometre allowance and zero down payment

Get Local Price on Globe Drive

Andrew Tai is CEO of Unhaggle. Follow on Twitter @ahytai

Manufacturer incentives and pricing calculations are based on Ontario customers and subject to availability of inventory. Dealer discounts shown are estimates for illustrative purposes only, may vary by region and are given at the discretion of individual dealers. Please note that while every effort is made to ensure the information above is accurate at the time of publication, pricing, incentives and discounts are subject to change or discontinuation at any time. Vehicle images may not represent the exact model featured in the pricing provided. Consult your local dealership for details.

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