While Kia and Volvo are tied for the highest ranking in vehicle dependability, the likes of Audi and BMW have hit rock bottom, according to a latest study.
The J.D. Power 2017 UK Vehicle Dependability study measures problems experienced during the past 12 months by owners of vehicles in the UK, after 12-36 months of ownership.
No fewer than 177 problem symptoms across eight categories are examined: vehicle exterior, driving experience, features/controls/displays, audio/communication/entertainment/navigation, seats, heating, ventilation and air-con, vehicle interior, plus engine and transmission.
While 58% of premium car owners who experienced no problems with their vehicle say they “definitely will” purchase or lease the same brand again, only 48% of premium owners experiencing one or more problems want to keep the badge long term.
Furthermore, there’s a steep decline in intended loyalty for volume owners who experience their first problems with the car (from 49% to 40%), with loyalty then decreasing from there as the number of problems increase.
“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,” said Mark Lendrich, head of research at J.D. Power Europe. “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.”
Among the study’s other key findings is the fact that premium car owners tend to be highly satisfied with how their car looks (exterior styling being a key reason for their purchase). Another key factor for purchasing a car is of course fuel economy, while connectivity issues and problems with voice recognition are both among the six most common problems in the UK.
As for overall brand rankings, Kia and Volvo got the highest scores, with Skoda coming in third, followed by Suzuki and Hyundai. The bottom five are Dacia, Fiat, Land Rover, Audi and BMW – the latter having the worst score in terms of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100).