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Old 02-14-2019, 06:24 AM   #1
Scooby Guru
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Default Mass-market brands outperform luxury marques in reliability, Power says

Lexus extended its reign as the top brand for long-term dependability while mass-market brands, led by Toyota, outperformed luxury brands for the first time in an annual J.D. Power study.

Power said 2016 models from mass-market brands averaged 135 problems per 100 vehicles surveyed, compared with 141 problems per 100 luxury vehicles studied.

Lexus ranked on top for the eighth straight year even as it was tagged with more problems — 106 per 100 vehicles — than a year earlier (99 per 100).

Porsche and Toyota ranked second in a tie (108 per 100), followed by Chevrolet and Buick. At the bottom of the U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, with an average of more than two problems reported per vehicle: Fiat, Land Rover and Volvo.

J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study
Across all brands, the reliability of 3-year-old vehicles improved 4 percent from last year, Power said. Overall, 13 brands showed improvement while 17 brands, including Porsche and Buick, had more reported problems. Hyundai's results were flat with 2018 but still above the industry average.

The continued rollout of new technology, often embraced first by luxury brands, remains a challenge across the industry.

"Vehicles are more reliable than ever, but automakers are wrestling with problems such as voice recognition, transmission shifts and battery failures," Dave Sargent, head of Power's global automotive practice, said in a statement.

The growing complaints with transmissions coincides with the introduction of 8, 9 and 10-speed transmissions that require automakers to map powertrain software to maximize fuel economy during testing cycles.

"This generally leads to the transmission being in too high a gear or constantly 'hunting' for a better gear," Sargent said in an email. "Consumers like the fuel economy but hate the impact on drivability and smoothness."

Sargent said problems with advanced driver-assist systems such as collision avoidance, park assist, and lane departure warning are also starting to pop up in the survey.

Other top complaints, according to the survey, include built-in Bluetooth connectivity glitches, excessive wind and road noise, navigation systems that are difficult to operate, materials that scuff or soil too easily, inaccurate navigation systems and defective audio systems.

Chrysler, which placed last in 2018, was the most-improved brand, with a decline of 65 problems per 100 vehicles. Other brands with big improvements were Mini, Volkswagen, Jeep, Cadillac, Toyota, Audi and Mitsubishi.

Brands that fell behind with substantially more problems were Fiat, Land Rover, Volvo, Acura, Dodge, Mazda and Lincoln.

The study measures 177 problems grouped into eight major categories per 100 vehicles over the previous 12 months. Original owners of 3-year-old 2016 cars and light trucks were surveyed for the 2019 study.

Other findings:

Vehicle reliability continues to improve but at a slower pace. The industry average for 2019 was 136 problems per 100 vehicles, an improvement of six problems per 100 cars and light trucks from 2018. That's a lower rate of improvement than the 14 problems per 100 vehicles in 2018 compared with 2017.

Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen all improved this year and, with Porsche included, the German brands fared better than the industry average for the first time in 30 years of the study.

The Porsche 911 is the highest-ranked model in the 2019 study.

Top three models per segment

Segment Highest ranked Others ranked

Small Car Chevrolet Sonic Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa

Compact Car Buick Verano Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Cruze

Compact Sporty Car* Mini Cooper Mazda MX-5 Miata

Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle* Kia Soul Toyota Prius V

Compact Premium Car Lexus ES Audi A5, Audi A4

Midsize Car Toyota Camry Buick Regal (Tie), Volkswagen Passat (Tie)

Midsize Sporty Car* Dodge Challenger

Midsize Premium Car* BMW 5 Series Audi A7, Mercedes-Benz E class

Large Car Buick LaCrosse Chevrolet Impala, Toyota Avalon

Small SUV Volkswagen Tiguan Buick Encore (Tie), Kia Sportage (Tie)

Small Premium SUV* Audi Q3 BMW X1

Compact SUV Chevrolet Equinox GMC Terrain, Toyota RAV4

Compact Premium SUV BMW X3 Porsche Macan, Infiniti QX50

Midsize Pickup Nissan Frontier Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon

Midsize SUV Hyundai Santa Fe Chevrolet Traverse, Toyota Highlander

Midsize Premium SUV Lexus GX Lexus RX, Mercedes-Benz GLE

Minivan* Chrysler Town & Country Toyota Sienna

Large SUV Ford Expedition Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban

Large Light Duty Pickup* Toyota Tundra Chevrolet Silverado

Large Heavy Duty Pickup* Chevrolet Silverado HD Ford Super Duty

*No other model in this segment performs above segment average.
There must be at least three models with 80% of market sales in any given award segment for an award to be presented. The Large Premium Car segment did not meet criteria to be award eligible, thus no awards will be issued.
Power said Smart was included but left unranked because of a small sample size.

Tesla is excluded because of an insufficient sample size, Power said. In states that represent about 70 percent of Tesla's U.S. sales, the automaker has not allowed Power to contact customers for the closely watched study. California is among the states with tight privacy laws where Tesla has not granted Power permission to contact owners.

Power said the 2019 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from 32,952 original owners of 2016 models after three years of ownership. The study was conducted in October, November and December.

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Old 02-14-2019, 07:06 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Default Subaru On “Most Improved List”

Cadillac is the most improved of all the premium brands this year,” said Sargent, who also placed Mini, Subaru and Volkswagen on the “most improved” list

Toyota, Lexus May Still Rule, But Japanese No Longer Dominate Vehicle Reliability

The Prius is one of the vehicles that helped Toyota lead the latest J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study.

Toyota and its luxury arm Lexus captured the top spots among mainstream and premium brands in the latest J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study, but the 2019 VDS also delivered more than a few surprises when it comes to how three-year-old vehicles are holding up.

The study placed Lexus at the top of the charts, followed by Porsche and then Toyota, but Chevrolet nabbed the fourth spot, a significant turnaround for a brand struggling to convince potential buyers it has overcome the quality and reliability issues of the past.

The new Power VDS shows that Japanese automakers no longer have a lock on vehicle dependability. Tellingly, only Toyota and Lexus landed in the top 10 this year, while the list also included two American brands, four from Germany and both of the South Korean carmakers operating in the U.S.: Hyundai and Kia.

Overall, the 2019 VDS found owners reporting 4% fewer problems with their vehicles this year – the study looking at problems with 2016 model-year cars, trucks and crossovers.

“Vehicles are more reliable than ever, said Dave Sargent, Power’s vice president of automotive research, though he added that the study showed some key issues remain, notably with voice recognition systems, transmission shifts and battery life.

The latter problem, Sargent explained, reflects all the new technologies being loaded into vehicles that can over-tax conventional vehicle batteries. He also warned that some of the new advanced driver assistance systems, like Lane Departure Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking, that automakers have begun rolling out are causing headaches that could show up in lower scores on the VDS in the years ahead.

The 2019 study had some surprises, starting with Chevy’s strong performance. “They’re the star of the GM line-up now,” said Sargent, noting that Chevrolet owners surveyed for the VDS reported having an average of just 115 problems per 100 vehicles – 115 PP100 in Power-speak – compared to 108 for Toyota. (And, putting things another way, that translates into an average of just 1.15 complaints about absolutely anything going wrong with an average Chevy vehicle over those three years of ownership.)

GM’s Buick brand also did well, slipping into fifth place, but the automaker’s two other North American brands didn’t fare nearly as well. GMC clocks in at a weak 161 PP100 – compared to an industry average of 136 – while lofty Cadillac fell into the bottom third of the industry, at 166.

Even so, “Cadillac is the most improved of all the premium brands this year,” said Sargent, who also placed Mini, Subaru and Volkswagen on the “most improved” list. British-based Mini actually managed to outperform its own parent, BMW, this year, coming in just behind Buick as the number six brand.

One of the year’s bigger surprises came from Honda. With a score of 146, it was well below average and barely mid-pack while its own luxury brand, Acura, landed sixth from the bottom, something that Sargent attributed to problems with all-new products that came to market three years ago with some serious problems. That includes the then-new 2016 Honda Civic.

Three European brands anchored the 2019 Power VDS, with Fiat at a rock bottom average 249 problems per 100, or nearly 2.5 times the headaches of a typical Toyota. Land Rover and Volvo scored only slightly better, with Fiat Chrysler’s Dodge and Ram finishing out the bottom five.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:32 PM   #3
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Member#: 161333
Join Date: Oct 2007
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Seattle
'18 Golf R
'14 Outback


Didn't read the full article, but with the number of electronic gizmos and gadgets in the current luxury cars, you're bound to get more "issues". The less crap you put in the car, the more reliable it will be. The vast majority of R owners who have had the cars into the dealers often, it's for electronic crap. The headunit going wonky, adaptive cruse control radar sensor needing calibration, sensors going bad, etc. It's not mechanical issues anymore that are plaguing the more luxury car manufacturers, it's electronics. And on top of that, the people buying those cars want them to be apple-esque, that is, turn on and work every time without the driver having to think about it. Instead of doing a hard re-set on the headunit, they bring it to the dealer.
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:23 PM   #4
Merci Buckets
Member#: 88606
Join Date: Jun 2005
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Michigan
2016 Cayman GTS
Dark Blue Metallic


Agreed. The luxury cars generally come outfitted with more features as standard. It's more stuff to break, or in some cases to have been poorly designed or poorly implemented. I also see most of the manufacturers using their "lower" brands to test new ideas and new platforms. If those create positive results then it's a great step for the lower brand which will filter into the luxury name plate at some point.
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:54 PM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Chapter/Region: W. Canada
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
2018 M2 LCI


What the hell is going on with Honda? I can't recall ever seeing them ranked below average. It seems all the transmission issues and poorly built Civics have finally caught up to them. Having the same amount of problems/100 vehicles as Ford is a major fail.
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