Special Report

America's Best and Worst New Cars

On June 24, auto industry review site J.D. Power released its annual Initial Quality Study (IQS) for 2020.

The survey, which measures the number of reported problems new vehicle owners experience within the first three months of ownership, found that owners of a 2020 model experienced an average of 166 problems per 100 vehicles in that time frame. However, individual brands ranged from 136 to over 220 problems per 100 new vehicles. It should be noted that J.D. Power redesigned their survey this year, so all automakers saw an increase in the number of problems reported.

We listed all 31 brands ranked from the fewest reported problems to the most. Quarterly U.S. sales figures data came from goodcarbadcar.net, an aggregator of auto sales figures. The IQS is based on a survey of 87,282 purchasers and lessees of new 2020 model year cars.

In general, American brands scored better than the industry average, while a number of European brands had among the highest rates of reported problems.

Somewhat surprisingly, luxury brands were more likely to have problems because they come equipped with complex technology that is more prone to malfunction, according to J.D. Power. Infotainment technology, J.D. Power said, was the most likely category to give rise to complaints.

Tesla was included in the study for the first time and had more reported problems per 100 vehicles than the worst-ranked brand on the list. However, J.D. Power cautioned that the electric car maker’s score should not be compared to others because it didn’t provide data for some states.

Click here to see America’s best and worst new cars

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