the fewest problems off the lot

These 10 Car Brands Gave New Car Buyers the Least to Complain About


June 25, 2020 Cars By
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Esteemed survey organization J.D. Power has just released the results of its 2020 Initial Quality survey. General Motors had a strong showing, with four of its brands featuring in the top 10. Hyundai Motor Group also got each of its three brands in the top ten, with Genesis scoring as the highest-rated luxury brand. One Japanese brand featured in the top ten, but it’s not the one you would have anticipated.

For 2020, J.D. Power redesigned the study to factor in technology more, which seemed to hurt premium marques. The organization defines initial quality as the number of problems reported in the first 90 days of ownership per 100 vehicles, with “problems” stretching across a wide swatch of criteria, from fit and finish to infotainment.

Note that this does not necessarily indicate long-term reliability. An epic failure could occur on the 91st day of ownership and not be counted. (It’s also one factor to consider among many, so don’t consider this our endorsement to rush out and buy the top-rated Chevy Sonic.)

We’ve pulled together the top 10 brands below…as well as some of the ones who did not score so well.

1. Dodge (136 complaints per 100 cars)

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1. Kia (136 complaints per 100 cars)

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3. Chevrolet (141 complaints per 100 cars)

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3. Ram (141 complaints per 100 cars)

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5. Genesis (142 complaints per 100 cars)

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6. Mitsubishi (148 complaints per 100 cars)

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7. Buick (150 complaints per 100 cars)

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8. GMC (151 complaints per 100 cars)

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9. Volkswagen (152 complaints per 100 cars)

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10. Hyundai (153 complaints per 100 cars)

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Brands That Did Not Do So Well

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Luxury brands — Jaguar (190), Mercedes-Benz (202), Volvo (210), Audi (225), and Land Rover (228) — rounded up the bottom five in the survey.

And then there’s Tesla. The Silicon Valley-based electric car company did not participate in the study to the extent the other brands did; they refused to provide owner contact information in the 15 states where it’s required by law. But J.D. Power did compile data from Tesla owners in the other 35 states…and determined Tesla would have scored a 250, the worst of any brand.

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Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol's Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He's based outside Detroit.

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