When buying new or used cars, reliability plays a big role in decision-making. The last thing you want is to purchase a vehicle that lives in repair shops and drains your bank account. This is why various organizations offer studies that look into vehicle reliability so you can make an educated buying decision.

One such organization that’s done reliability studies for many years is J.D. Power. Below, we evaluate J.D. Power’s findings on three-year-old SUVs to help you find the most reliable SUVs in Canada.

How the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study Works

Annually, J.D. Power releases its Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), a survey that helps determine the most reliable vehicles in the industry. The VDS surveys people who own three-year-old vehicles to uncover the problems they experienced during the past year. J.D. Power then uses this data to assemble a list of the most reliable vehicles from that model year — in this case, it would be all vehicles from the 2020 model year.

The study looks at 184 problems areas spanning nine categories, including:

  • Exterior
  • Driving Experience
  • Features/Controls/Displays (FCD)
  • Driving Assistance
  • Infotainment
  • Seats
  • Climate
  • Interior
  • Powertrain

In this study, J.D. Power surveys thousands of vehicle owners, asking for reports of any problems they experienced with their vehicles throughout the past calendar year. J.D. Power then categorizes and ranks the vehicles based on the problems per 100 (PP100) vehicles. In the 2023 VDS of vehicles from the 2020 model year, the average reliability score was 186 PP100 vehicles.

Based on the study results, we've created a list of the most reliable SUVs in Canada for 2023. Let’s review all the top-rated SUVs in the 2023 J.D. Power VDS.

Most Reliable SUVs in Canada for 2023

Looking for the most reliable SUVs in Canada for 2023? You're in luck! We've done all the research to provide you with the top vehicles to consider. These SUVs were chosen based on the J.D. Power Dependability Study, which looks at the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles during the first three years of ownership.

Surprisingly, Japanese automotive reliability stalwarts such as Honda, Nissan, Mazda, and Subaru failed to make this list of the SUVs with the highest predicted reliability.

Source: CarBuzz

Compact SUV: 2020 Kia Sportage

The 2020 Kia Sportage is a compact SUV that perfectly blends practicality and style. Its bold design and impressive features make it an excellent choice for those who want to make a statement on the road.

Some of the highlights of the 2020 Kia Sportage include its relatively spacious interior for a compact footprint, supportive seats, plenty of seating and cargo flexibility, and respectable fuel economy. The Sportage also features an easy-to-use infotainment system with a responsive 8-inch touchscreen display that provides quick access to all the key features, such as navigation, audio, climate control, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The 2020 Sportage is also all about safety. It has a huge suite of standard stay-safe bits that includes lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alerts, automatic emergency braking, and active lane control. Optionally, buyers can add blind-spot monitoring too.

The 2020 Kia Sportage takes home the No. 1 spot in the compact SUV segment in the 2023 J.D. Power VDS.

Other Compact SUV Models to Consider

The Kia Sportage isn’t the only reliable compact SUV on the road from the 2020 model year. Two other models ranked at or above the segment average in dependability are the 2020 Buick Envision and the 2020 Jeep Cherokee.

Source: Guide Auto

Compact Premium SUV: 2020 Lexus NX

Do you want a small footprint but also crave top-notch luxury SUV features, this is where a compact premium SUV can fit the bill. In the 2023 J.D. Power VDS, the 2020 Lexus NX is the top dog in dependability.

The 2020 Lexus NX is a sharp-looking luxury compact SUV with a seamless blend of performance, comfort, and style. The NX is a great option for drivers who want an SUV that stands out and delivers an exciting driving experience.

A lot stands out about the 2020 Lexus NX, but its best feature is its refined interior, which features plenty of room, high-quality materials, and a sleek and modern design. The seats are comfortable and supportive, and passengers have plenty of legroom and headroom in the front and rear. It also has many high-end features, including an 8-inch infotainment display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, synthetic leather upholstery, power front seats, and more.

The 2020 Lexus NX also includes solid safety technology for its year, including standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist.

On top of all this, J.D. Power found owners experienced fewer issues than in other compact premium SUVs.

Other Compact Premium SUV Models to Consider

The Lexus NX is a great option for folks seeking a reliable and upscale compact SUV, but other models also landed above the segment average in J.D. Power’s study. These include the 2020 Cadillac XT4 and 2020 BMW X3.

Source: Toyota

Small SUV: 2020 Toyota C-HR

The 2020 Toyota C-HR is a subcompact SUV that caters to urban drivers’ needs by offering a small footprint, so it’s easy to maneuver in tight spaces and delivers good fuel economy. On top of this, the C-HR boasts bold exterior styling with sharp body lines and a sporty stance that makes it stand out from other subcompact SUVs.

The C-HR also offers a comfortable cabin with plenty of features, including a standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, and a six-speaker audio system. Want more features? Higher trims include a premium JBL audio system, satellite radio, and wireless smartphone charging.

Another standout quality of the 2020 C-HR is its safety technology. Toyota Safety Sense comes standard and includes lane-departure warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and more.

On top of all these excellent qualities, the 2020 Toyota C-HR offers, it’s extremely dependable. It’s one of the best SUVs for dependability and is tied for the most reliable car among all 2020 model-year vehicles.

Other Small SUV Models to Consider

Like other categories, the C-HR wasn’t the only small SUV with above-average dependability. J.D. Power also lists the 2020 Buick Encore and 2020 Chevrolet Trax as models to consider as some of the best cars in this segment for reliability.

Source: Edmunds

Small Premium SUV: 2020 BMW X2

Are you looking for a small SUV that’s big on luxury and dependability? Look no further than the 2020 BMW X2. This luxury subcompact SUV offers powerful engine options, superior handling, and a loaded interior.

The 2020 BMW X2 includes a long list of standard features, such as a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, power front seats, Apple CarPlay (no Android Auto), synthetic leather upholstery, and more.

The X2 also has standard automatic emergency braking, but all the other safety tech is buried in a dizzying collection of optional packages.

In addition to these premium features, the 2020 BMW X2 is the top-rated small premium SUV in dependability in J.D. Power’s VDS.

Other Small Premium SUV Models to Consider

While the BMW X2 is a great option for dependability in its class, it’s far from the only option. Other small premium SUVs J.D. Power recommends considering include the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and the X2’s little brother, the 2020 BMW X1.

Source: MotorTrend

Midsize SUV: 2020 Chevrolet Blazer

The Chevy Blazer was once a rugged, full-size, go-anywhere SUV. But its most recent iteration is more crossover than an off-road traveller. But that doesn’t take away from its dependability, as J.D. Power’s research shows the 2020 Chevrolet Blazer is the most dependable midsize SUV from its model year.

Beyond being dependable, the 2020 Chevy Blazer offers a roomy cabin, a comfortable ride, and plenty of standard features. The latter includes an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and more.

It also has many available advanced safety features, including lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, and rear cross-traffic alert, so it’s safe and dependable. Unfortunately, none of these safety features are standard.

Wonder what your car is worth?

Other Midsize SUV Models to Consider

If the 2020 Chevy Blazer isn’t your style, J.D. Power lists two options that scored above average in dependability. These are the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe and 2020 Ford Edge.

Source: CNET

Midsize Premium SUV: 2020 Lexus RX

Want a more premium midsize SUV that’s also highly reliable? Look no further than the 2020 Lexus RX. This luxury midsize SUV offers a refined ride, a comfortable interior, and a long list of standard features. These upscale features include a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, acoustic glass, heated and ventilated front seats, synthetic leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats, a nine-speaker audio system, tri-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and much more.

The 2020 Lexus RX also has advanced safety features such as lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, oncoming traffic detection, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorcycle detection.

The Lexus RX wasn’t only the most reliable midsize premium SUV in 2020. It tied with the Toyota C-HR as the most dependable vehicle from the 2020 model year.

Other Midsize Premium SUV Models to Consider

Do you want other options for a reliable midsize premium SUV? One other model scored above average in dependability in 2020, and that’s the Lexus RX’s larger, body-on-frame sibling, the Lexus GX.

Source: The Drive

Upper Midsize SUV: 2020 Toyota Highlander

Upper midsize SUVs are slightly larger than midsize SUVs but aren’t large enough to fall into the full-size category. In 2020, the Toyota Highlander reins supreme in upper midsize SUV reliability. But it’s more than just reliable. It also offers a comfortable ride, a spacious interior, and a long list of standard features that include a six-speaker audio system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, four USB charging ports, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 7-inch multi-information display, heated front seats, a power driver’s seat, and more.

It also has many advanced safety features, such as lane-departure warning, automatic emergency braking with bicyclist and pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, lane-centring assist, automatic high-beam headlights, left-turn intersection support, adaptive cruise control, and more.

Get pre-approved in minutes.

Other Upper Midsize SUV Models to Consider

Do you want some options in a reliable upper midsize SUV? J.D. Power lists two other models in this class with above-average reliability ratings: the 2020 Kia Sorento and 2020 Toyota 4Runner.

Source: The Car Connection

Upper Midsize Premium SUV: 2020 BMW X5

Is the Toyota Highlander not quite premium enough for you? According to J.D. Power's research, if you need a more upscale upper midsize SUV, the 2020 BMW X5 is your best option.

This luxury midsize SUV has powerful engine options to suit all types of buyers, a comfortable ride with sharp handling, and an upscale and nicely laid-out interior. It also has a wide range of high-end standard features, including a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, synthetic leather upholstery, and much more.

Safety is also key in this segment, and the 2020 BMW X5 has some standard advanced safety tech, including automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning. Buyers can get more safety gear, but they are all included in various at-cost packages.

Other Upper Midsize Premium SUV Models to Consider

Is the BMW X5 not your cup of tea due to its design, price, limited standard safety gear, or another reason? J.D. Power also lists the 2020 Cadillac XT6 and 2020 Volvo XC90 and alternatives that received above-average dependability ratings.

Source: CarBuzz

Large SUV: 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe

Large SUVs are a fading species, as fuel economy has become critical in this segment. However, a handful still exist, and the most dependable model from 2020 is the Chevrolet Tahoe. This full-size SUV boasts a spacious interior, three seating rows, tons of cargo space, a comfortable ride, and a long list of standard features. The latter includes an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple Carplay, Android Auto, five USB ports, a power driver’s seat, and more. Moving into higher trims adds tons of premium goodies to this large SUV.

As for safety gear, the 2020 Tahoe LT — the second trim level — comes standard with automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and more. The base LS trim has none of these as part of its standard equipment.

Other Large SUV Models to Consider

The only other large SUV to offer above-average dependability in the J.D. Power survey was the Tahoe’s cousin, the 2020 GMC Yukon.

Shop for your next SUV online.

Save Big on the Most Reliable SUVs in Canada at Clutch

Ready for a new SUV that’s safe and reliable but has a tight budget? Stretch your dollar by opting for one of the most reliable SUVs in Canada, according to J.D. Power. These used SUVs have proven durability and offer many of the same features as a new car for thousands of dollars less.

Plus, every used SUV Clutch sells endures a 210-point inspection and reconditioning process to ensure it’s in top-notch condition. We back up every SUV with a 90-day or 6,000-km warranty and a 10-day or 750-km test-own period. If you don’t love your used SUV within the test-own period, you can exchange it for a different one or get a no-questions-asked refund.

Do you have an old vehicle you need to offload in the process? Clutch accepts trade-in vehicles, and you can get a fast, no-obligation offer on your trade-in vehicle online. You can also secure financing and complete your purchase 100% online — no need to set foot in a dealership.