Scores are measured in "problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100)", so the lower the score, the more dependable the vehicle, although problems can include anything from powertrain malfunctions to paint flaws and wonky Bluetooth connections.
Lexus and Porsche came out on top as both had 100 problems or less for every 100 vehicles. Lexus had 99 reported problems while Chrysler had 211. The focus of this year's study was vehicles from the 2015 model year.
Consumers who own three year-old vehicles are happier with their cars than ever before, according to the J.D. Despite that lingering issue, the overall industry improved to 142 PP100 in this year's study, down from 156 PP100 in 2017.
"For the most part, automotive manufacturers continue to meet consumer' vehicle dependability expectations", Sargent said in a statement.
"Improving dependability ultimately supports new vehicle sales and provides a better perception of the brand".
"The results of the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study demonstrate Kia's continued commitment to quality and in building world-class products that offer tremendous value to our customers", said Greg Silvestri, head of service operations, Kia Motors America (KMA).
Buick ranks highest in overall vehicle dependability among Mass Market brands with a score of 116 PP100.
Other findings in the study included Fiat being identified as the most improved brand, with its owners reporting 106 fewer problems per 100 cars over 2017 than they did over 2016. Fiat, Nissan, Ford, Kia and Dodge also showed significant improvements. Winning vehicles include the Toyota Prius, which was a top compact auto, and the Lexus RX, which was the top midsize SUV.
The Dodge Challenger, Ford Super Duty, Ford Expedition, Honda Odyssey, Hyundai Tucson, Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, and Audi Q3 also were singled out for segment awards.