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Over the last decade, our friends in Korea have made some dramatic progress in automotive manufacturing and design since the days of buy one, get one free Kia sales. In fact, Kia, Hyundai, and Genesis landed three of the top five slots n the newly redesigned J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS). Toyota and Buick also made the list of brands with the most reliable cars after three years of ownership. 

2022 Kia Telluride got Consumer Reports highest score
2022 Kia Telluride | Kia

What is the most reliable car brand? 

Reliability has always been one of the most important factors for picking a car to buy. However, reliability is taking on new value as the supply chain issues continue to slam automotive supply. 

“Many owners are holding on to their vehicles longer, so long-term dependability is even more critical,” said David Amodeo, director of global automotive at J.D. Power. “Some automakers are performing much better than others at preventing problems from occurring. These problems include the vehicle’s mechanicals, exterior, and interior—but also infotainment systems, driver assistance systems, and all the other electronic systems in today’s vehicles.”

With this in mind, finding the most reliable car brand is more important than anything else in the automotive industry at the moment. Although it’s a first for the company, the J.D. Power study lists Kia as the highest-ranked car company for reliability. Last year’s study had Kia in at third, so something must be changing with the brand. Hyundai came in at third while Genesis followed closely behind in fourth. 

How reliable are Genesis cars? 

A maroon 2022 Genesis G90 in front of a house
2022 Genesis G90 | Genesis

Although Genesis still feels like an obscure brand to many drivers, the brand’s popularity is growing quickly, and for good reason. Overall, J.D. Power listed Genesis in fourth place, but it was the highest-ranked luxury car for reliability. 

Even the mighty Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus fell to second place, followed by Porsche and Cadillac respectively. 

What were the most important takeaways of the J.D. Power study? 

Aside from the brand rankings, the study pointed out some pretty interesting bits of data. On the less surprising side of things, the study found that mass-market vehicles had fewer issues across the board than premium brands. This is mainly due to the increased electronics and new technologies found in premium brands. The mass-market cars tend to be simpler and, in turn, less likely to break, at least on a large scale. 

One of the more interesting bits of information is that issues with infotainment screens and systems are the most troublesome areas, according to the survey. In fact, infotainment problems are nearly twice as common as the next highest areas. 

Seven of the top 10 problem areas in the study are infotainment-related. This includes built-in voice recognition, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity, built-in Bluetooth system, not enough power plugs/USB ports, navigation systems that are difficult to understand/use,  touchscreen/display screen, and inaccurate/outdated map. 

Take a bow, Kia

As we said at the beginning, Kia has come a long way. What was once a roughly-hewn economy car company has fully transformed into a world-class automaker that builds millions of strong models a year.