Skip to main content

The good news is, well, there isn’t any when it comes to new car brands’ quality. In fact, it is the worst it has been in over 30 years, according to consumer site JD Power. Each year it compiles its Initial Quality Study, which this year finds the influx of tech features adding to last year’s quality issues related to supply chain issues and remote work. 

The study examined quality issues between February and May of this year and involved over 93,000 respondents. While some car brands saw quality improvements over last year, overall, there were more issues than last year. The average number of quality issues per 100 cars for 2023 is 192. Last year, it was 180; for 2021, it was 162 per 100 cars. 

Why is quality down in 2023?

Gray 2023 Dodge Charger, Dodge is a top car brand for quality.
2023 Dodge Charger | Stellantis

JD Power attributes this year’s increase to the amount of new tech taking over inside vehicles. The more there is, the more there is to go wrong. And even what were once basic and manual functions are now electronic, raising the possibility of malfunction. “You’re taking something like the charging pad that should be a surprise and delight for a customer, and you’re turning it into a problem for them,” Frank Hanley, senior director of auto benchmarking at J.D. Power, told Automotive News.

Almost across the board, Stellantis brands have seen increases in quality. Partly, this is attributed to its vehicles being continuations of previous years. Things tend to get sorted out as production remains relatively the same. “The work they put in definitely has brought them to the top of the rank chart, and they earned where they’re at,” said Hanley

Which brands have the highest quality?

Black 2023 Ram 1500
2023 Ram 1500 Rebel | Stellantis

Both Dodge and Ram were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. These were followed closely by Alfa Romeo, Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Porsche, Cadillac, Kia, and Lexus in the top 10. The most improved was Maserati, going from 182 problems to 73. 

All of GM’s brands ranked above average in quality. “This is the third time in four years we’ve had the highest initial quality among all automakers, and that sort of consistency shows a customer-first culture,” Juan Carlos Jimenez, vice president of quality for GM North America, told Automotive News. “It also says a lot about the efforts of the entire GM team to design, build, sell, and service a diverse selection of gas and electric vehicles.”

What automaker had the worst quality for 2023?

Red 2023 Ford Explorer, the Blue Oval is one of the worst car brands for quality.
2023 Ford Explorer | Ford

At the other end was Ford. Its quality ratings dropped the most. Though not ranked the worst, its Lincoln brand had over 200 problems. And sister brand Ford was not far behind.

A surprising drop was Toyota, generally known for superior quality. It dipped just below the average. While the new Tundra full-size pickup initially had several issues, they were mostly rectified, raising it above last year’s rating. Much of those problems are due to the Tundra’s audio system. 

Gold 2024 Polestar
2024 Polestar EV | Polestar

These 3 Brands Offer the Best Quality According to J.D. Power

At the bottom was Polestar, followed by Tesla, Volvo, Chrysler, and Volkswagen. Continuing problems with Volkswagen’s ID.3, not sold in the U.S., and ID.4 EVs have been the biggest source of dropping quality ratings