Initial Quality Study Reports Best and Worst New Cars and Trucks

The pandemic has caused a setback in vehicle quality, according to a study released Tuesday.

Driving the news: The number of problems in new vehicles has reached an all-time high in the 36-year history of JD Power’s Initial Quality Study, a closely monitored annual assessment of the performance of new cars and trucks.

Why is this important: This challenges the long-held assumption that vehicles only improve over time.

  • The number of problems per 100 vehicles increased by 11% to 180 in the 2022 JD Power IQS survey.

What they found: JD Power attributed the quality reversal to “supply chain issues, record vehicle prices and shifts in personnel.” In some cases, automakers have shipped vehicles without certain features that people expect.

  • The rating is based on a 223-question survey of 84,165 buyers or lessees of 2022 model year vehicles in areas including infotainment systems, powertrain performance and climate control.
  • Infotainment systems – namely the touchscreens that have become ubiquitous in new cars – “remain the most problematic area”, with an average of 45 issues per 100 vehicles. The most common infotainment issues were connectivity issues with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and misfires with the on-board voice recognition systems.
  • Electric vehicles were more problematic than gasoline-powered cars, with 240 and 175 problems per 100 vehicles, respectively.

Yes, but: That doesn’t mean the 2022 vehicles are any worse than cars from the late 1980s, when the study began. The default standard and people’s expectations have increased over time.

  • “In general, initial quality has shown steady improvement throughout the history of this study, so this year’s decline is disappointing – but understandable,” said David Amodeo, director of global automotive at JD Power. , in a press release.
  • “Automakers continue to release increasingly technologically complex vehicles at a time when there have been many shortages of critical components to support them.”

To note : The five highest quality brands, in order, were Buick, Dodge, Chevrolet, Genesis and Kia. The five lowest quality brands were, starting with the worst, Polestar, Chrysler, Volvo, Maserati and Audi.

The highest quality individual vehicle was the Chevrolet Corvette, also a winner in the premium sports car segment. Other segment winners:

  • Small car: Hyundai Accent
  • High-end small car: BMW 2 Series
  • Compact car: Kia Forte
  • Compact premium car: Lexus IS
  • Compact sports car: Mini Cooper
  • Mid-size car: Chevrolet Malibu
  • Upper mid-size premium car: Genesis G80
  • Large premium car: BMW 7 Series
  • Small SUV: Buick Encore GX
  • Small premium SUV: BMW X1
  • Compact SUV: Chevrolet Equinox
  • Premium compact SUV: BMW X3
  • Midsize SUV: Nissan Murano
  • Premium Midsize SUV: Lincoln Nautilus
  • Upper-middle-range SUV: Toyota 4Runner
  • Upper mid-range premium SUV: Cadillac XT6
  • Large SUV: Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Large premium SUV: Cadillac Escalade
  • Minivan: Honda Odyssey
  • Midsize Pickup: Ford Ranger
  • Large Light Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado
  • Heavy Duty Big Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado HD

Editor’s note: This report has been updated with data corrected in JD Power’s initial report. Gas-powered cars averaged 175 problems per 100 vehicles, not 173 as JD Power originally reported.

About Melanie Tweed

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