Porsche vs. Lexus: Reliability

Both Porsche and Lexus have always been at the very top-end of the car industry when it comes to reliability and dependability. J.D. Power positioned Lexus as the number one most reliable brand on the market with 106 problems on average, and tied for second place is Porsche and Toyota with 108 problems on average.

For the past eight years in a row, Lexus has been the undisputed reliability champion, even though the number of reported problems per vehicle has kept on climbing, from 99 up to 106. The Lexus parent brand Toyota has also been at the very top for a long time.

Porsche, on the other hand, was a mixed bag up until a decade ago or so. Since then, Porsche has managed to uphold its steady reliability in more recent years, and the Porsche 911 is often named the most reliable car model on the planet.

Between the two, Lexus is a more reliable brand, but Porsche is a really close second. So much so that the maintenance of both of these brands is essential for proper reliability. If you to take care of your car, it will take care of you.

Lexus: Reliability and luxury combined

The main reason why Lexus is so reliable is that it shares lots of its parts with its parent company Toyota. Because of the fact that Lexus is a luxury brand, the levels of execution and development are considerably higher when compared to Toyota.

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When cars are being made, they go through lots of testing and quality control checkpoints. A luxury brand carries a higher price tag, which means that the brand has more money to play with during such testing and stages of development.

Toyota makes some of the best engines ever to see the light of day, and a major reason why Lexus is always topping the charts is that lots of other luxury brands are not as reliable. Toyota prioritizes reliability and longevity over luxury and complexity.

When you combine such a reliable and dependable platform with luxury and technological complexity, you get a Lexus. Another reason why Lexus is so reliable is that Lexus is not keen to change its systems with every newer generation. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Porsche is a new king of reliability

Not all that long ago, Porsches were not reliable. Only in the last decade or so, has the brand managed to climb its way up the reliability charts. According to people who actually worked at Porsche, it’s because Porsche staff tries really, really hard to be reliable.

Even though you might expect that every luxury brand does this, it’s simply not true. Most luxury brands are primarily focused on efficiency, technology, and moving units. They don’t care about long-term reliability as much as Porsche does.

That’s because the Porsche customer base is different. People who buy Porsches, especially 911s are car enthusiasts and they tend to care for their cars way more than an average Mercedes Benz S-Class owner does.

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In that sense, an S-Class is something like a tool that gets replaced after the newer model comes out, while a 911 will almost always be valued and held onto by an enthusiast. This means that the levels of tender love and care a 911 gets are off the charts when compared to the vast majority of other luxury German brands.

How expensive are Porsche and Lexus to maintain?

Reliability does not come cheap. Both Lexus and Porsche models are known to cost a small fortune when it comes to maintenance. This might not be an issue in the first 3 years or so when the car is covered by warranty, but later the maintenance costs associated with Porsche and Lexus are really high.

Between these two, Porsches are more expensive to maintain in most scenarios. Porsches are more expensive to buy and to maintain, especially the more performance-oriented models. Throughout the ranges, both of these brands offer similar vehicles.

For example, the Porsche 911 is a grand tourer sports car with a 3-4L flat-six engine, and the Lexus LC500 is also a sports grand tourer offered either with a naturally aspirated V8 or a hybrid powertrain. Both of these are expensive, but the 911 has oversold the LC500 dozens of times, and overall, the 911 is way better.

FAQ

What are the most and least reliable Lexus models?

Even though Lexus is generally reliable, there is quite a bit of disparity between certain models. The most reliable Lexus models are the Lexus IS, Lexus GS, and the Lexus LS. All three of these are the flag bearers of Lexus reliability and the reason why Lexus is held in such high regard when it comes to reliability.

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On the other hand, the Lexus RX, for example, is not as reliable as any of these three. However, the RX is still above the industry standard reliability-wise, which only further reiterates the fact that other luxury brands are nowhere near Lexus in terms of reliability.

What are the most and least reliable Porsche models?

The Porsche Boxster was and still is somewhat of a mixed bag when it comes to reliability. A compact Porsche sports car roadster with a mid-engined configuration does seem like a problem gatherer, but the levels of issues are also not as bad as with some competing models from other brands.

On the other hand, the king of Porsche reliability is the 911. And this is rather expected as the 911 platform is decades old, and an average 911 owner maintains a 911 appropriately.

How accurate are brand reliability index charts and surveys?

Some question the legitimacy of such surveys because they are way too widespread to be applicable to a single individual. And after all, all we care about is how reliable our car is. And that’s highly dependent on several different aspects.

But rest assured, if you do maintain your car correctly, a Lexus or a Porsche sports/luxury car should never leave you stranded. If they do, make sure you report it so the surveys can reflect the true state of affairs.

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    Marko Mikulic

    Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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