Mainstream brands top luxury for dependability: survey
You might think buying a more expensive, premium brand would guarantee you better reliability, but that’s no longer the case, according to the annual JD Power survey of how motor vehicles fare in the real world.For the first time in 30 years, mass-market vehicles beat luxury cars in the widely watched Vehicle Dependability Study.
You might think buying a more expensive, premium brand would guarantee you better reliability, but thatu2019s no longer the case, according to the annual JD Power survey of how motor vehicles fare in the real world. For the first time in 30 years, mass-market vehicles beat luxury cars in the widely watched Vehicle Dependability Study. The JD Power survey, which tracks problems with three-year old vehicles, was a huge win this year for mainstream brands including Toyota, General Motors (which trades as Holden in Australia, at least for now) Kia and Hyundai, all of which had a combined average of 135 problems per 100 vehicles, which was six fewer than the average for luxury marques, including BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Dave Sargent, JD Poweru2019s vice president of global automotive, pointed out that the result was a reflection of mass-market brands catching up to the premium brands in terms of overall quality, and the fact those cheaper cars have less new technology in them, the kind that can commonly cause problems for top-end marques. u201cPartly, itu2019s just a lot of hard work and learning, and partly, itu2019s lower penetration with some of these features,u201d Sargent told Bloomberg. u201cThere is no inherent reason why a more-expensive car should be better or worse in terms of reliability than a less-expensive car, so my guess is theyu2019ll track each other fairly closely going forward.u201d The news was good across the board as well, with the entire industry averaging six fewer issues per 100 vehicles than the year before. u201cVehicle dependability continues to improve, but I wouldnu2019t say that everything is rosy,u201d Sargent said. u201cVehicles are more reliable than ever, but automakers are wrestling with problems such as voice recognition, transmission shifts and battery failures. u0022Flawless dependability is a determining factor in whether customers remain loyal to a brand, so manufacturers need to help customers who are currently experiencing vehicle problems and address these trouble spots on future models.u201d To be fair, the top two performing brands on the list were, once again, Lexus, and Porsche, although both recorded falls in quality. Lexus, Toyotau2019s luxury brand, was the top performer for the eighth year in a row, but its score of 106 problems was down from 99 the year before. Porsche, a genuine case of getting the quality you pay for, recorded 108 problems per 100 vehicles, which was down from 100 the year before. The Most Dependable Model award in the study went to the Porsche 911. Global giant Toyota actually tied for second with Porsche, in another case of mass-market success, while GMu2019s Chevrolet and Buick brands rounded out the top five in the JD Power survey, which covers the US market. The J.D. Power report is based on responses from 32,952 original owners of 2016 model-year vehicles. It measures 177 problems in eight major categories experienced over the past year. Volvo (204 problems), Land Rover (221) and Fiat (249) were the bottom three performers in the survey. Had problems with your new luxury car? Tell us in the comments below.