According to the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Vehicle Dependability StudySM, released today, overall vehicle dependability improves 1.5% from 2019. BMW places eight this year in the new reliability ranking. The study, now in its 31st year, measures the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of their three-year-old vehicles. The 2020 study measures problems in model-year 2017 vehicles. A lower score reflects higher quality, and the study covers 177 specific problems grouped into eight major vehicle categories.

At the top of the list sits Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury arm, followed by Lexus and Buick. This is the first year Genesis has been included in the study. Next on the list we find the first German automaker – Porsche. Fifth and sixth on the list is Toyota and Volkswagen, respectively. Just ahead of BMW we find another American automaker – Lincoln. BMW’s traditional competitors – Audi and Mercedes-Benz – rank 16th and 23rd, respectively.


The 2020 U.S. JD Power Vehicle Dependability says that dependability gains driven by crossovers and SUVs: Crossovers and SUVs still have slightly more problems than cars, but the gap is narrowing. On average, owners of crossovers/SUVs experience 134 PP100, compared with 127 PP100 by car owners. This 7 PP100 gap has narrowed considerably from 2019. With crossovers/SUVs now accounting for more than 50% of new vehicle sales annually, it is critical that automakers achieve the same level of quality and dependability as for cars.

Read Also: Who’s More Reliable: BMW or Mercedes-Benz?

In-vehicle technology shows greatest improvement: Audio/Communication/Entertainment/ Navigation (ACEN) is the most improved category (by 2.3 PP100), but still accounts for more problems than any other category in the study. Owners continue to cite problems with voice recognition, Bluetooth® connectivity and navigation systems.

The Most Dependable Model in 2020 is the Lexus ES. The Nissan LEAF is the first all-electric model to receive a segment-level award, for compact car.

The 2020 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from 36,555 original owners of 2017 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership. The study was fielded from July through November 2019.