There is something to be said for brands that get it right, time after time. Whether it’s a top class gaming site that is known for handing out a big casino bonus on a regular basis, or a brand like Apple that’s famous for releasing cutting edge smartphones every year, there are some things that always hit the sweet spot. As far as cars go, it is pretty clear by now that, whether its Brand VW or Brand Germany, some manufacturers and countries know what they are doing, and they do it well.
The 2018 US Vehicle Dependability Study, published recently by consumer analysts J.D. Power, contained the results of its quizzing 36 896 consumers about their automobiles. It measured the number of problems per 100 2015-model vehicles over a 12-month period to find the most reliable make. Coming out on tops was none other than Toyota’s luxury offering, Lexus, followed by Porsche, Buick, Inifiniti, and KIA.
Mass Market Brands Improve
Data also revealed that the discrepancy between the number of problems per 100 mass market car brands and the same number of luxury vehicles had continued to grow smaller. According to the report, mass market makes experienced only 7 more issues.
The companies whose performance improved the most since last year’s survey were Fiat, Infiniti, Nissan, Ford, KIA, and Dodge. Among the segment award winners were Toyota and Audi. Not only does this read like a who’s who of the motor industry, it is also a testament to Germany, Japan, the US, and other countries with a longstanding reputation for leading the way.
Brits Have Their Say
An online poll of visitors to a UK-based motoring site to determine the most reliable makes of 2018 echoed many of the J.D. Power report’s findings. Lexus also reached the number one spot, but was followed by Alfa Romeo, Honda, Nissan, and Volkswagen. Again, German and Japanese companies are among the cream of the crop, but are here joined by Italy.
Lexus drivers gave top marks for comfort, vehicle interior, quality, and safety. The quality of the build of their vehicles, as well as efficient running costs were other reasons for their appreciation. However, most agreed that the company needed to focus on improving its infotainment offerings.
Alfa Romeo’s appearance in second place came as a surprise, as its name did not even appear in 2017’s poll. Drivers gave good ratings to its engines, gearboxes, car exteriors, handling, and steering. The gap between Alfa Romeo and Lexus may have been much narrower, had it not been for the Italian brand’s build quality and reliability scores.
Honda’s placing in third spot was thanks to excellent feedback regarding its boot space, practicality, its vehicles’ mpg, and the low cost of running them. Drivers also appreciated the quality of the build, as well as the Japanese make’s reliability. The areas mentioned as needing the biggest improvement were exteriors, infotainment, and handling.
Fellow Japan-based manufacturer Nissan saw a drastic improvement in consumer appreciation. This was led by its electronics, connectivity, infotainment, and other user-friendly tech. It also scored high marks for safety and exteriors. However, drivers felt its engines, gearboxes, build quality, and reliability needed working on.
Famous German company Volkswagen earned its spot among the top results with its engines, gearboxes, infotainment options, interiors, practicality, handling, reliability, and safety. The biggest criticism was that its high-performance engines were not economical.
Even though manufacturers based in countries traditionally known for the excellence of the motor vehicle industries once again achieved the top places, their positions are not unchallenged. South Korea’s KIA, France’s Citroën, and Romania’s Dacia, are gaining ground among motorists as names they can trust. Next year’s survey and poll results may be a whole lot more interesting.