The Buick Encore was rated the Best Small SUV in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study.
The popular premium crossover beat out two key rivals in the U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study to earn top honors in its segment: the Kia Niro and the Volkswagen Tiguan. It’s worth noting the VW Tiguan is actually classified as a compact like the Chevrolet Equinox, rather than a subcompact like the Encore and Niro, though J.D. Power’s survey only specified this category had to be a “small SUV.”
For this study, J.D. Power surveyed owners of three-year-old vehicles and asking them to report the number of problems they had experienced in the past 12 months. The company then uses this data to rank brands and models based on the number of reported problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). Potential problem areas covered in the survey include exterior, features/controls/displays, seats, interior, driving experience, technology, HVAC and engine/transmission.
With this study, J.D. Power found that crossovers and SUVs like the Buick Encore “still have slightly more problems than cars, but the gap is narrowing.” The research company found that crossover and SUV owners experience problems at a rate of about 134 per 100 vehicles, compared to 127 per 100 vehicles for car owners. It also warned automakers that is “critical” that they learn to “achieve the same level of quality and dependability,” for crossovers, as they now account for more than 50% of new vehicle sales annually.
As we reported this week, Buick outperformed every other mainstream brand in the 2020 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study. Owners experienced 103 problems per 100 vehicles, placing the American brand ahead of many other rival automakers, including Ford and Lincoln. The best-ranked brand in the study overall was Hyundai’s Genesis luxury brand, with owners of the Korean vehicles reporting 89 problems per 100 cars, while Lexus was second with 100 problems per 100 vehicles.
In addition to the Buick Encore, the Buick Regal also topped the mid-size SUV segment in the study. The Regal nameplate will soon be no longer, however, with the sedan set to go out of production after the 2020 model year.