Buick was ranked the top mass-market brand in the 2020 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study.
As in previous years, this year’s Vehicle Dependability Study saw J.D. Power survey owners of three-year-old vehicles, asking them to report the number of problems they had experienced in the past 12 months. J.D. Power then takes the data and ranks brands and models based on a score that reflects the number of reported problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). Owners are asked to identify “problem symptoms” in eight categories, J.D. Power says, which include exterior, features/controls/displays, seats, interior, driving experience, technology, HVAC and engine/transmission.
With 103 problems reported per 100 vehicles, Buick outperformed every other mainstream brand in the study and even outclassed many luxury brands, including Porsche, BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. The best-ranked brand overall was Hyundai’s Genesis luxury brand, which had a PP100 score of 89, while Lexus was second with a score of 100.
In addition, Buick also received two segment awards for vehicle dependability, with the Buick Encore ranked the best small SUV in the study and the Buick Regal (which will be discontinued after 2020) ranked the best midsize car.
Buick has typically performed very well in the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study, though it still improved over last year, dropping 15 PP100 and moving to first in the mass-market brand ranking, up from second. Chevrolet finished first of the mass-market brands in last year’s study, but dropped to fourth this year and is now just ahead of Ford in fifth.
General Motors performed well in the 2020 study overall. In addition to Buick’s strong showing, Cadillac also showed a “considerable improvement,” J.D. Power says, with a reduction of 35 reported problems per 100 vehicles. Cadillac was the sixth best-ranked luxury brand and the 12th ranked brand overall. This represents a major step forward from the 2019 edition of the study, when the American luxury brand finished near the bottom of the vehicle dependability pile. The Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Silverado and Chevrolet Tahoe were also the best-ranked brands in their respective segments, as well.
J.D. Power said it found the dependability of three-year-old vehicles is improving, though the industry’s rapid introduction of new technology is hampering some brands’ ability to keep reported problems under control.
“There’s no question that three-year-old vehicles today are better built and more dependable than same-age vehicles were in previous years,” said Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. “However, the rapid introduction of technology is putting increased pressure on dependability, so it would not be surprising to see problem levels plateau, or even increase, over the next few years.”