Special Report

America's Best and Worst New Cars

Source: chrysler.com

26. Chrysler
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2020): 189 (industry avg. – 166)
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2019): 113 (industry avg. – 93)
> U.Q. sales, 12 months through Q1 2020: 125,326
> 1-year change in sales, Q1 2019 to Q1 2020: -5.2% (31,591 to 29,945)
> Parent Company: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Chrysler is the lowest American brand in the initial quality rankings, with 189 issues per 100 vehicles. That puts the Michigan-based companybrand 6th from the bottom this year, and well below the other “Big 3” main brands, General Motors and Ford. But in the same corporate family, the Dodge brand makes up for Chrysler’s quality shortcomings. Dodge tied for the No. 1 spot in this year’s rankings.

Source: Jaguar

27. Jaguar
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2020): 190 (industry avg. – 166)
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2019): 130 (industry avg. – 93)
> U.Q. sales, 12 months through Q1 2020: 00
> 1-year change in sales, Q1 2019 to Q1 2020: +!Unexpected End of Formula% (10,222 to 00)
> Parent Company: Tata Motors

In releasing its 2020 rankings, J.D. Power notes that premium brands typically rate below average. The issue is that more expensive cars typically come with more complex technology, which can cause problems for some new owners in the first 90 days. Jaguar is no exception, with a reported 109 issues per 100 vehicles this year. But the Indian-owned British car maker improved from last year’s rankings, when it rated dead last.

Despite its overall poor quality ranking, Jaguar bested the small premium SUV category in the study. The Jaguar E-Pace was the highest-ranked vehicle in this class.

Source: mbusa.com

28. Mercedes-Benz
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2020): 202 (industry avg. – 166)
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2019): 94 (industry avg. – 93)
> U.Q. sales, 12 months through Q1 2020: 348,727
> 1-year change in sales, Q1 2019 to Q1 2020: -4.3% (78,667 to 75,265)
> Parent Company: Daimler AG

The iconic Mercedes-Benz has tumbled mightily on the initial quality scale, according to the survey. In 2010, the German luxury brand had the third highest J.D. Power Initial Quality ranking. But this year, it’s fourth from the bottom of the list, with 202 problems per 100 vehicles. The company did excel in one category, compact premium cars. In that category, the Mercedes-Benz C Class tied for the second highest ranked vehicle, behind the Genesis G70.

Source: Bryan Mitchell / Getty Images

29. Volvo
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2020): 210 (industry avg. – 166)
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2019): 114 (industry avg. – 93)
> U.Q. sales, 12 months through Q1 2020: 105,654
> 1-year change in sales, Q1 2019 to Q1 2020: -11.7% (22,058 to 19,485)
> Parent Company: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group

For the last few years, Volvo hasn’t fared well in this annual initial quality study. This year, 210 problems were found in the first 90 days per 100 vehicles. A decade ago, Volvo fared much better, with only 109 problems per 100 new vehicles. This was near the industry average in 2010. 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.

Source: Courtesy of Audi data-id=

30. Audi
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2020): 225 (industry avg. – 166)
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2019): 106 (industry avg. – 93)
> U.Q. sales, 12 months through Q1 2020: 217,367
> 1-year change in sales, Q1 2019 to Q1 2020: -14.0% (48,115 to 41,371)
> Parent Company: Volkswagen Group

Over time, Audi’s initial quality has dropped, according to the J.D. Power study. Ten years ago, the German luxury brand ranked near the industry average (at that time 109 problems per 100 vehicles). But this year, Audi is second to last, with 225 issues reported in the first 90 days of ownership for 2020 models. The industry average for 2020 was 166. One bright spot: the Audi A3 is ranked highest in the small premium car segment, besting the Acura ILX and the BMW 2 Series.

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