Land Rover Ranked the Least Dependable Brand in 2023 by J.D. Power
British brand Land Rover has enjoyed its status as one of automotive history’s most revered brands. Their typically utilitarian nature meant their four-wheel drive vehicles found purpose in rescue and recovery, exploration, and as military runabouts. However, things have changed in the company’s nine-decade manufacturing run. Unfortunately, Land Rover’s dependability is now in question as they are some of the least reliable vehicles money can buy.
Who says Land Rovers aren’t dependable?
Constant battles are fought on off-roading and overlanding forums between the merits of Land Rover SUVs and offerings from Toyota. While the Land Rover faithful may have emotional connections with their older Defender 110 and 90 models, newer versions catch the most flak for lack of dependability. In 2023, the standard Land Rover Range Rover is flanked by the athletic Sport variant and the luxurious Velar and Evoque. Although the Discovery, Discovery Sport, and Defender models have more off-road credentials, they’re still as tastefully opulent as those mentioned above.
Nevertheless, a sky-high MSRP and rare wood accents on the dashboard don’t mean a vehicle is dependable. J.D. Power’s 2023 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) found that Land Rover owners weren’t impressed with their products.
How does J.D. Power rank vehicle dependability?
J.D. Power took 30,062 examples pulled from its 2020 U.S. Initial Quality Study to analyze vehicle and brand dependability. After three years of owner use, the agency identified 184 types of consumer complaints, classifying them into various categories. They include Climate, Driving Assistance, Driving Experience, Features/Controls/Displays (FCD), Exterior, Infotainment, Interior, Powertrain, and Seats.
The vehicles and their brands were given a score represented as the number of issues per 100 model vehicles (PP100). Models and brands with a lower score have a higher dependability than their competitors. For 2023, the auto industry standard is 186 PP100.
Where did Land Rover rank in this year’s VDS?
To start, comparable brands like Lexus and Genesis scored 133 PP100 and 144 PP100, respectively. Regrettably, Land Rover ranks far, far below two of the best luxury brands.
J.D. Power placed Land Rover at the very bottom of the 2023 VDS. With a 273 PP100, the British Brand ranks five places below its corporate cousin Jaguar, which scored 229 PP100.
Why is Land Rover such an undependable brand?
One of the issues with modern Land Rovers is their highly sophisticated but ruinously expensive to fix air suspension. Repair Pal reports that the $1,174 average annual repair cost across all Land Rover models is double the average vehicle. Moreover, the frequency and severity of repairs are much higher than luxury and mass-market auto brands. However, most of the issues seem to lie within its electronics, according to owner reports.
J.D. Power found issues with electronics a widespread issue in the VDS across all brands. Six of the top 10 problem areas in modern vehicles originate within the infotainment system—making up 49.9 PP100 per model. The consumer analysis agency explains built-in voice recognition systems, Bluetooth connectivity, touchscreens, navigation systems, and USB ports are top contributors to issues with long-term dependability. Regardless, Land Rover has a lot of work to do in all areas of their vehicles to improve for next year’s test.