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Car Quality: Toyota Still Tops, Detroit Makes Gains, Mini Cooper at Bottom

Toyota's Lexus brand is the highest-quality vehicle being made, according to the most recent J.D. Power and Associates study released today.

The survey asks owners about mechanical and design problems they experience in the first 90 days of ownership.

At the bottom of the list: The Mini Cooper.

The J.D. Power Top Five goes like this:

1. Lexus
2. Porsche
3. GM's Cadillac
4. Hyundai
5. Honda

The study said that the initial quality of vehicles made by GM, Ford and Chrysler jumped by an average of 10 percent from last year, though their overall numbers still lag behind Japan's.

Which is actually kind of impressive, given what the Big Three have gone through the past year or so.

The Korean Hyundai was a joke of a car when it first hit U.S. shores, proving to be as reliable and safe as a Yugo. But the car company forced itself to build a better car by promising a best-in-industry 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty.

Across the industry, on average, new car owners reported 108 problems per 100 vehicles.

Lexus owners reported 84 problems per 100 new vehicles.

Mini Cooper owners reported 165 problems per new vehicles.

Here are some of the highest-rated vehicles per category:

-- Compact car: Hyundai Elantra.

-- Compact premium sporty car: Nissan Z.

-- Midsize car: Nissan Altima.

-- Midsize sporty car: Ford Mustang.

-- Large car: Mercury Sable (Ford).

-- Large activity vehicle: GMC Yukon.

-- Midsize pickup: Honda Ridgeline.

-- Large pickup (tie): Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  June 22, 2009; 2:28 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler, Cooper Mini, Ford, GM, GMC, Honda, Hyundai  
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