Subaru Quality Score Lags In Latest J.D. Power Ranking

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - June 24, 2019

Take a road trip to the Northeast and you’re sure to come across a number of Subarus. For better or worse, the automaker has become a niche brand for consumers seeking the safety of all-wheel drive without having to fork over extra money. It’s something the Japanese automaker has been trying to change, but is struggling to do. Despite Subaru’s continued growth, the brand is also wrestling with low quality scores, as well, as the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Initial Quality Study puts the automaker toward the bottom of the pack.

In J.D. Power’s latest study, Subaru’s vehicles had 113 problems per 100 vehicles in 26th place out of 32. While this is an improvement over last year – in 2018, J.D. Power’s data claimed that Subaru’s cars had 115 problems per 100 vehicles – the automaker is well behind the industry average of 93 problems per 100 vehicles.

More troublingly, Subaru is behind its Japanese rivals. Nissan had the best score out of all of the Japanese brands with 86 problems per 100 vehicles. Lexus and Toyota were close behind with 90 problems. Mazda, Honda, and Acura were further down the list with 94 problems, 98 problems, and 106 problems, respectively.

According to Automotive News, Subaru’s problems don’t lie with its engines or transmission, but with the electronics. “It’s more to do with electronic features on the vehicle, the infotainment system and some of the other features sometimes just not working the way consumers are used to,” Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power, told the outlet.

Subaru Ascent

It’s an issue Subaru is now facing because the brand has new consumers coming to the automaker and they’re not used to the way things work in its vehicles. Auto News claims that Subaru has been steadily climbing in popularity over the past decade, as the automaker went from ranking in at number 20 in U.S. sales to reach number 7 last year. New SUVs, like the three-row Ascent and redesigned Forester have helped Subaru grow.

To get its scores, J.D. Power scores measures the number of problems owners experience per 100 vehicles over the first 90 days of ownership. A lower number means a fewer number of problems and is better. For 2019, J.D. Power based its data from responses from 76,256 owners of cars from the 2019 model year. Respondents have to answer 233 questions across eight categories: exterior, seats, driving experience, engine and transmission, interior, HVAC, audio and navigation, as well as features, controls, and displays. The 2019’s industry standard of 93 problems per 100 vehicles didn’t change from 2018.

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, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website

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