Lexus is back on top after last year’s disappointing result.
Kia is the best generic brand.
The industry’s average is lower, which is good.
The J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) was released this week. And for 2023, Lexus is back on top (133 PP100), just ahead of Genesis (144 PP100), which continues to surprise even though the brand isn’t even ten years old. Third in the study is Kia (152 PP100), the highest-rated generic manufacturer in 2023.
The study looks at several aspects of three-year-old vehicles. So, the models involved this year are from the 2020 model year. J.D. Power’s research examines current vehicle performance in terms of quality, component replacement and appeal and helps automakers design and build better vehicles to stand the test of time and promote higher resale value.
Last year, the dependability study was revised to include features and technologies available in today’s vehicles. J.D. Power’s staff now examines 184 issues scattered across nine trouble categories: climate, driver assistance, driving experience, exterior, features/controls/displays, infotainment, interior, powertrain, and seating.
The findings of the 2023 study are positive, with the automotive industry recording an average of 186 PP100 (Problems Per 100 Vehicles), an improvement of 6 PP100 over last year. The organization also noted that generic manufacturers made the most progress with an average score of 182 PP100, a gain of 8 since last year. Luxury brands, meanwhile, averaged 205 PP100, an improvement of 23 PP100. As J.D. Power notes, this bigger gap between popular and luxury manufacturers is due to the higher technology content in high-end models, which “increases complexity and the inherent likelihood of additional problems,” in the eyes of the U.S. firm.
Infotainment systems topped the list of most frequently cited problems with an average of 49.9 PP100. Among the troubles listed in this category, voice recognition (7.2 PP100), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity (5.5 PP100) and Bluetooth connectivity (4.0 PP100) are just some of the issues highlighted by the study.
Toyota also boasts the two most reliable vehicles in the 2023 study, the Toyota C-HR and Lexus RX, which each record an average of 111 PP100.
On the noteworthy improvement side, there’s Ram (with 77 PP100 less than in 2022), Volvo (with a 41 PP100 improvement) and Nissan (with a 35 PP100 improvement).
J.D. Power also allowed Tesla to be included in the study for the first time, which explains its presence on the list with an average of 242 PP100, well below the industry average of 186 PP100. However, the fact that the purely electric manufacturer does not allow J.D. Power access to owner information in states where such permission is required by law, Tesla vehicles cannot be rewarded.
Finally, we must also talk about the losers in this study. Land Rover came in last with an average of 273 PP100, followed by Lincoln with 259 PP100 and Audi with 252 PP100.