Photo Credit: Lexus, Porsche, Kia
Lexus, Porsche and Kia are the three highest ranked brands in the new 2021 J.D. Power Dependability study. Toyota ranks fourth, while Buick and Cadillac tie for fifth. Overall, the study shows vehicles keep getting more reliable, which is good news for car buyers. The 2021 study, based on 2018 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership, found that vehicles are more dependable than ever, with vehicle dependability at an all-time high. Researchers say the overall level of problems cited by owners dipped 10 percent from a year ago.
�The study results validate what we have known for some time,� said Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. �Automakers are making increasingly dependable vehicles�but there are still some problem areas that need to be addressed and some warning signs on the horizon.�
This is the 32nd year for J.D. Power Reliability Study. It measures the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of three-year-old vehicles. The lower the score the better because it reflects fewer problems and higher dependability. The study covers 177 specific problems grouped into eight major vehicle categories:
The 2018 model-year vehicles measured in this year�s study were first examined in the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS), when new-vehicle quality had improved for the fourth consecutive year and reached its best level ever. Six of the 10 brands that ranked highest in that study also appear among the ten highest ranked in the 2021 VDS.
�Today�s three-year-old vehicles are of higher quality and more dependable than in previous years,� Sargent said. �Most owners aren�t experiencing their vehicles breaking down or falling apart but, for many, vehicle technology continues to function poorly or inconsistently. If an owner can�t rely on a system to work as they expect, it is also considered a lack of dependability. It affects their overall view of the vehicle and their likelihood of staying loyal to their automaker. In the future, dependability will partially be determined by the ability to solve problems through vehicle updates and the avoidance of technology obsolescence.�
Following are key findings of the 2021 study as noted by J.D Power in its press release:
NOTE: I bring you this list annually because many of you believe in this study. I warn you, however, that for me, this study should not be used as the whole criteria for choosing a vehicle. My issue is that the rankings are based on the number problems per 100 vehicles. The problem is a broken radio knob counts as one problem, and a complete transmission failure also counts as one problem. Keep that in mind.
- Jerry Reynolds, CarProUSA Radio Show Host
When it comes to the highest-ranked brand, it probably won�t surprise you to learn that Lexus tops the list with a score of 81 PP100. It�s the ninth time in 10 years that Lexus ranks highest.
J.D Power experts say Kia shows considerable improvement, with a reduction of 35 PP100 from 2020. This is also the first time Kia ranks highest overall among mass market brands. Other brands above industry average showing the greatest improvement in PP100 are Cadillac, Acura and Hyundai (all by 31 PP100), and Mitsubishi (by 30 PP100).
Check out the J.D. graph below full brand rankings.
The Consumer Ratings featured on JDPower.com, the car-shopping site, are generated using data from verified owners who have participated in J.D. Power automotive studies including U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS); U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) Study; U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS); U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study; and U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study.
�The insights uncovered about vehicle dependability are valuable not only to automakers but to car shoppers,� said Tanya Parkes, vice president of the consumer division at J.D. Power. �Shoppers who visit JDPower.com can also learn how a vehicle compares to others, which brings more clarity to the shopping experience. The J.D. Power 100-Point Scores are based on independent and unbiased insights from consumers who have actually owned these vehicles, and that�s something in which shoppers are keenly interested.�
The 2021 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from 33,251 original owners of 2018 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership. The study was fielded from July 2020 through November 2020.
For more information on the J.D. Power 2021 Vehicle Dependability Study click here.
February 24, 2021