Special Report

America's Best and Worst New Cars

jetcityimage / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

It is hard to come up with a more frustrating consumer experience than experiencing quality issues with your brand-new car – or truck or SUV – within weeks of driving it off the dealer’s lot. Whether you buy your new set of wheels with cash upfront or using financing, discovering that it has annoying issues before that new-car smell has dissipated can significantly dampen the car buying experience.

Unfortunately, more 2023 model-year vehicle owners experienced issues compared to previous years, with problems in the first 90 days of ownership growing to 192 per 100 vehicles, according to U.S. automotive market research company J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Initial Quality Study. This is an increase  of 12 problems per 100 vehicles from 2022, which already saw an increase of 18 problems from 2021.

“Quality takes a back seat to innovation,” declared the report, adding the decline in quality in the automotive industry is the worst it has been in the 37 years the organization has tracked the quality of recently purchased new automobiles.

Indeed, the greater usage of technologies in newer vehicles appears to be the main culprit.

Setting aside potential safety concerns that can arise from introducing new technologies, such as  electronic gear shifters that have caused death or injury, problems such as overly engineered high-tech door handles, in-vehicle infotainment operating systems that are incompatible with smartphones, and lane-departure or forward-collision warning systems can lead to serious, if not life-threatening, problems — and to car buyer’s remorse. (Also see, the deadliest cars to drive in America.)

To find America’s best and worst new cars, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the recently-released 2023 U.S. Initial Quality Study from J.D. Power. The study measures the quality of new vehicles at 90 days of ownership, taking into account 223 problems that are organized into nine categories such as driving experience, exterior, interior, powertrain, and more. Details can be found here. We used sales to break ties, with brands with higher sales ranking higher. Sales figures came from 2023 US Auto Sales by Brand from GoodCarBadCar. Information about the parent company of each car brand came from Consumer Reports.

Out of the 35 car brands that J.D. Power analyzed, 15 recorded more problems than the industry average of 192 per 100 vehicles, led by 313 problems per 100 vehicles for electric vehicle brand Polestar, and 257 per 100 vehicles for Tesla.

Volvo, the Swedish automaker owned by Chinese car company Geely (which also owns the Polestar brand through its ownership of Volvo), and Chrysler, owned by Italian-American, Netherlands-based Stellantis, were the most problematic of the auto brands that produce traditional vehicles with internal combustion engines.

Thirteen of the car brands listed had fewer problems than in the previous annual study in 2022, led by a 32% decline in problems for luxury brand Alfa Romeo, which dropped from 211 problems per 100 vehicles in 2022 to 143 per 100 vehicles in 2023. Ram was next with a 24% decline in problems for the truck brand, from 186 last year to 141 this year. See if Ram is among the 15 most fuel efficient new trucks.

When it comes to specific models, J.D. Power found the Nissan Maxima to lead this year in highest initial quality in the car segment. Other models that stood out in their segments for highest initial quality are the Buick Encore GX small SUV; the Lexus GX midsize premium SUV; and the Kia Carnival minivan.

Here are America’s best and worst new cars. 

35. Polestar
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 313
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 328 (No. 35 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 9,699, +3,630.4% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +1,053.5% (260 to 2,999)
> Parent Company: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group

[in-text-ad]

34. Tesla
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 257
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 226 (No. 28 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 542,700, +35.9% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +4.1% (163,371 to 170,002)
> Parent Company: Tesla Inc.

33. Volvo
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 250
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 256 (No. 33 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 105,764, -11.0% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +16.7% (22,696 to 26,483)
> Parent Company: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group

32. Chrysler
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 250
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 265 (No. 34 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 115,500, +10.7% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +9.6% (29,113 to 31,899)
> Parent Company: Stellantis NV

[in-text-ad-2]

31. Volkswagen
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 249
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 230 (No. 30 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 253,521, -26.1% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +4.4% (64,991 to 67,851)
> Parent Company: Volkswagen Group

30. Audi
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 221
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 239 (No. 31 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 194,943, +10.9% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +48.1% (35,508 to 52,582)
> Parent Company: Volkswagen Group

[in-text-ad]

29. Infiniti
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 212
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 204 (No. 25 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 51,125, +0.8% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +40.1% (11,246 to 15,755)
> Parent Company: Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance

28. Lincoln
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 208
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 167 (No. 12 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 82,898, +2.8% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: -3.1% (19,148 to 18,560)
> Parent Company: Ford Motor Co.

27. Acura
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 207
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 192 (No. 21 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 107,535, -27.2% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +18.5% (28,236 to 33,465)
> Parent Company: Honda Motor Co.

[in-text-ad-2]

26. Land Rover
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 203
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 193 (No. 22 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 56,897, -34.0% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: -14.8% (17,400 to 14,817)
> Parent Company: Tata Motors Ltd.

25. Mazda
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 203
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 180 (No. 15 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 302,715, -8.7% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +9.5% (82,268 to 90,074)
> Parent Company: Mazda Motor Corp.

[in-text-ad]

24. Mercedes-Benz
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 201
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 189 (No. 19 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 347,494, +12.5% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +6.7% (69,172 to 73,779)
> Parent Company: Daimler AG

23. Ford
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 201
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 167 (No. 10 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 1,814,956, +5.4% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +11.6% (410,026 to 457,481)
> Parent Company: Ford Motor Co.

22. Toyota
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 194
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 172 (No. 14 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 1,673,929, -8.2% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: -10.3% (433,439 to 388,583)
> Parent Company: Toyota Motor Corp.

[in-text-ad-2]

21. Mitsubishi
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 193
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 226 (No. 29 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 80,342, -19.8% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: -20.7% (26,398 to 20,935)
> Parent Company: Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance

20. BMW
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 192
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 165 (No. 9 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 339,708, +0.2% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +11.1% (73,712 to 81,877)
> Parent Company: BMW Group

[in-text-ad]

19. Jeep
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 191
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 199 (No. 23 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 644,860, -15.6% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: -20.6% (193,283 to 153,530)
> Parent Company: Stellantis NV

18. Honda
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 190
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 183 (No. 16 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 894,061, -27.8% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +5.4% (238,182 to 251,042)
> Parent Company: Honda Motor Co.

17. Hyundai
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 188
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 185 (No. 17 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 749,038, +7.6% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +21.1% (152,322 to 184,449)
> Parent Company: Hyundai Motor Group

[in-text-ad-2]

16. Jaguar
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 185
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 210 (No. 26 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 9,436, -40.7% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: -8.2% (2,816 to 2,584)
> Parent Company: Tata Motors

15. Subaru
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 185
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 191 (No. 20 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 567,611, -0.5% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +8.3% (132,346 to 143,376)
> Parent Company: Subaru Corp.

[in-text-ad]

14. Maserati
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 182
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 255 (No. 32 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: N/A
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: N/A
> Parent Company: Stellantis NV

13. Nissan
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 180
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 167 (No. 11 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 712,968, -15.4% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +15.9% (189,839 to 220,058)
> Parent Company: Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance

12. MINI
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 179
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 168 (No. 13 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 29,908, -16.4% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +5.9% (6,875 to 7,283)
> Parent Company: BMW Group

[in-text-ad-2]

11. Genesis
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 176
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 156 (No. 5 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 58,179, +9.5% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +16.9% (11,723 to 13,704)
> Parent Company: Hyundai Motor Group

10. Lexus
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 171
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 157 (No. 6 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 262,323, -17.3% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +6.0% (64,365 to 68,254)
> Parent Company: Toyota Motor Corp.

[in-text-ad]

9. Cadillac
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 170
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 163 (No. 8 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 142,811, +30.8% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +28.7% (28,216 to 36,320)
> Parent Company: General Motors Corp.

8. Kia
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 170
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 156 (No. 4 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 713,569, +6.0% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +23.5% (149,069 to 184,153)
> Parent Company: Hyundai Motor Group

7. Porsche
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 167
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 200 (No. 24 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 74,427, +14.8% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +33.6% (13,051 to 17,442)
> Parent Company: Volkswagen AG

[in-text-ad-2]

6. GMC
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 167
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 162 (No. 7 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 526,076, +11.3% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +7.6% (121,339 to 130,606)
> Parent Company: General Motors Corp.

5. Chevrolet
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 166
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 147 (No. 3 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 1,567,374, +16.3% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +15.9% (342,619 to 397,118)
> Parent Company: General Motors Corp.

[in-text-ad]

4. Buick
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 162
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 139 (No. 1 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 122,461, -21.4% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +99.2% (19,145 to 38,138)
> Parent Company: General Motors Corp.

3. Alfa Romeo
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 143
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 211 (No. 27 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 11,945, -29.3% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: -27.3% (3,288 to 2,390)
> Parent Company: Stellantis NV

2. Ram
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 141
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 186 (No. 18 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 535,764, -13.9% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: -6.8% (138,153 to 128,722)
> Parent Company: Stellantis NV

[in-text-ad-2]

1. Dodge
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2023: 140
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles, 2022: 143 (No. 2 in 2022)
> Unit sales in 12 months through March 2023: 201,277, +4.4% YOY
> Change in sales, Q1 2022 to Q1 2023: +24.2% (41,045 to 50,975)
> Parent Company: Stellantis NV

URGENT – New Seats Available (sponsored)

Top financial advisors are now accepting new clients for 2024! Finding the right advisor can be the difference between retiring early, or working forever. Don’t waste a moment matching with the right advisor for you. Every moment today can mean riches tomorrow, with the right advisor by your side.

Use the advisor match tool below, or click here now, to find your financial freedom!

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.