Data accumulation firm J.D. Power has published its annual US-based Initial Quality Survey study for 2021, showcasing which car brands have the least and most problems in the first 90 days of ownership.
The 2021 edition of the study surveyed 110,827 people with new cars from the 2021 model year. From the survey it calculated the problems per 100 vehicles sold (a figure J.D. Power refers to as a PP100 figure), with a lower number signifying a better result.
While some of the names at the pointy end of the field were what regular J.D. Power study readers would consider ‘the usual suspects’, the name at the very top was a bonafide surprise.
For the first time ever, Ram topped the list with a 128 PP100. Dodge’s second place (139 PP100) could be seen as a surprise, too, given how American brands normally perform in these kinds of studies.
Lexus, a typical mainstay in these kinds of studies, came third equal with a 144 PP100, tied with Mitsubishi. Nissan rounded out the top five (146 PP100). Kia, Genesis, Hyundai, Jeep, and Chevrolet completed the top 10.
Toyota and Ford narrowly missed out on the top 10, ending up 12th and 13th, with Ford equaling J.D. Power’s reported industry average of 162 PP100.
The list of those ranked on the wrong side of the average features a few surprise names. Porsche and Honda, for example, recorded 163 PP100 and 164 PP100, respectively. Mazda and Subaru struggled, too, with 177 and 182.
Then, there’s the bottom five. Chrysler is the top of the bottoms, with a PP100 of 251. Audi (240), Volkswagen (213), Volvo (210), and Alfa Romeo (205) are listed by J.D. Power as the five worst performers.
There’s a few curious points to note here, none less bizarre than the fact that Ram and Dodge (the best performers) share the same parent company as Chrysler and Alfa Romeo; Stellantis. Vehicles produced by the foursome share components, so it’s interesting to see them generate such wildly different results.
One of the other points to bring up is Tesla. The brand would not allow J.D. Power to poll Tesla owners in 15 of America’s states. But the data company notes that out of the remaining states, Tesla polled a 231 PP100, placing it in the middle of the aforementioned bottom five.