Premium car brands BMW, Audi and Land Rover occupied the bottom three rankings of JD Power’s annual Vehicle Dependability Survey as Kia and Volvo tied for top spot.
BMW were bottom of the rankings with Audi second and Land Rover third from bottom in the survey which rates manufacturers by the number of faults recorded by owners after 12 to 36 months of ownership, per 100 cars, during the last 12 months.
The two ill-performing German brands registered 198 and 187 fault averages, against an industry-wide average of 131 in the UK, with Land Rover owners reporting 175 faults.
Kia and Volvo rank highest in a tie in vehicle dependability among all brands, with a score of 83, with Škoda ranking third with 89 and Suzuki fourth with 92.
As they stand: The full rankings
Six category winners picked up awards for their dependability, detailed below:
The 2017 UK Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from more than 12,000 owners of new vehicles registered from February 2014 through April 2016.
The study was compiled between February and April.
JD Power’s Survey revealed that premium vehicle owners place a high value on the dependability of their cars.
Among premium owners who experience no problems with their vehicle, 58% said that they “definitely will” purchase/lease the same brand again.
That number declines to 48% among premium owners experiencing one or more problems.
Volume owners experience a steep decline in intended loyalty upon experiencing the first problem (to 40% from 49%), and loyalty steadily declines from there as the number of problems experienced increases.
Mark Lendrich, head of research at JD Power Europe, said: “Minor issues like foggy windows, noisy brakes or navigation systems that are difficult to use can be very frustrating for owners and can negatively affect brand loyalty.
“These design problems aren’t easy to fix at a service appointment and, if the owner has to live with these problems for the duration of time they have the vehicle, they’re less likely to purchase the same brand in the future.”
According to JD Power, owners were most satisfied with their vehicle’s exterior. While the most frequently reported problems are in the exterior category (20.6 PP100), premium and volume owners show high satisfaction with their vehicle’s exterior.
Nearly one-third (31%) of owners indicate that exterior styling was a key reason for the purchase of their vehicle. Satisfaction with exterior among premium owners is 805 points on a 1,000-point scale, compared with 759 among volume owners.
Fuel economy key factor in purchase decision, the survey found. Among the reasons for purchasing, more owners cite fuel efficiency (50%) than any other reason, making this an important area for automakers to fulfill.
Satisfaction with fuel economy is relatively low among owners of premium and volume vehicles alike. Further, it is the category of lowest satisfaction among premium customers (742).
Technology shows room for improvement: Technology problems continue to be common for owners after three years.
Bluetooth phone/device frequent pairing/connectivity issues (3.0 PP100) and voice recognition not recognizing commands (2.2 PP100) are both among the six most common problems in the UK.