The ranking is determined by the number of problems per 100 vehicles based on the responses from 87,282 purchasers and lessees of new 2020 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study, redesigned this year, measures components that fail and features that are difficult to use, hard to understand or don’t work the way owners want.
Infotainment systems are the most problematic area with almost a quarter of all problems cited by new-vehicle owners. Top complaints include built-in voice recognition; Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity; touchscreens; built-in navigation systems; and Bluetooth connectivity.
Busting an enduring myth about American vehicles, most domestic brands perform better than the overall industry average including Dodge (136 problems per 100 vehicles), Chevrolet (141), Ram (141), Buick (150), GMC (151), Jeep (155) and Cadillac. In fact, this is the best-ever performance by the Detroit automakers collectively in the history of the study.
Koreans remain a benchmark for quality, mind you. Kia (136) is the highest-ranked mass market brand for the sixth consecutive year, while Genesis (142) tops all premium brands for the fourth consecutive year.
This is also the first time that Tesla appears in the ranking. Even though Elon Musk’s company didn’t allow J.D. Power to survey its owners in 15 U.S. states, the firm was able to collect a large enough sample of surveys from owners to calculate a score. With 250 problems per 100 vehicles, Tesla is dead last in the industry.
Here’s a graphic that shows how all the various car brands rank in the 2020 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study:
As for vehicle categories, below are the leading models for quality this year:
- Small car: Chevrolet Sonic
- Small luxury car: Audi A3
- Compact car: Kia Forte
- Compact luxury car: Genesis G70
- Compact sporty car: Hyundai Veloster
- Midsize car: Chevrolet Malibu
- Midsize sporty car: Ford Mustang
- Midsize luxury car: Cadillac CT5
- Full-size car: Nissan Maxima
- Full-size luxury car: BMW Série 8
- Small SUV: Kia Soul
- Small luxury SUV: Jaguar E-PACE
- Compact SUV: Hyundai Tucson
- Compact luxury SUV: Cadillac XT4
- Midsize SUV: Nissan Murano
- Upper midsize SUV: Kia Sorento
- Midsize luxury SUV: Lexus GX
- Upper midsize luxury SUV: BMW X6
- Full-size SUV: Nissan Armada
- Full-size luxury SUV: Cadillac Escalade
- Minivan: Kia Sedona
- Midsize pickup: Ford Ranger
- Full-size pickup: Toyota Tundra
- Full-size heavy-duty pickup: Ford Super Duty