The J.D. Power 2017 India Initial Quality Study (IQS) is out and it reveals that the number of problems reported per 100 vehicles (PP100) by new-vehicle owners has declined this year vis-à-vis past five years. The survey finds the average to have dropped to 95 PP100 in 2017 as opposed to 115 PP100 in 2013.
For the uninitiated, the J.D. Power study measures problems experienced by new-vehicle owners during the first two to six months of ownership. The survey aims at examining over 200 problem symptoms in eight problem categories - engine/ transmission; heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC); driving experience; vehicle exterior; features, controls and displays; vehicle interior; audio, entertainment and navigation (AEN), and seats.
As per the survey, there’s a significant decline across all problem categories except heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) category this year. The data shows that the problems in the engine and transmission category remain the most frequently reported issues, albeit there has been a significant improvement of 9 PP100 during the past five years - 39 PP100 in 2013 vs. 30 PP100 in 2017. On the flip side, problems in HVAC system have gone up - 22 PP100 in 2017 vs. 15 PP100 in 2013.
The 2017 India Initial Quality Study (IQS) is based on the feedback received from 8,578 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between November 2016 and July 2017. As many as 83 models from 17 makes were part of this year’s survey. The study was carried out from May-September 2017 across 40 cities in the country.
The data shows the Hyundai Grand i10 and new Ford Figo rank highest in the upper compact segment with 71 PP100 each. In the midsize sedan segment, it’s a tie between the Hyundai Verna and Honda City as both average 70 PP100. The SUV segment also witnessed a draw between the Hyundai Creta and Maruti Suzuki S-Cross with 76 PP100 each.
The entry-level hatchback segment has the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 emerge as the best with 103 PP100 while its elder sibling, the Maruti Suzuki Wagon R, ranks highest in the compact segment with 85 PP100. In the premium compact hatchback segment, it’s surprisingly the Volkswagen Polo range that has come out on top with a minimum number of problems per 100 vehicles (69 PP100) as compared to its rivals.
The Toyota Etios may not be the most preferred car in the entry mid-size sedan segment, but those who buy it will swear by its reliability for sure. And that’s why it’s been adjudged the best in its segment with just 56 PP100. The Toyota Innova Crysta has straightaway gone for the top honours in the MUV segment in its debut year with 77 PP100.
Here are some of the other keys findings of the study
- Diesel models have surpassed petrol models in initial quality as the rate of improvement for diesel models is much higher at 37 PP100, compared with petrol models, which have only improved by 8 PP100.
- Audio and navigation problems remain the same as in 2013, albeit the type of problems reported by new-vehicle owners in 2017 is mainly because of difficulty in understanding/ using of Bluetooth, hands-free communication, touchscreen displays and navigation.
- Owners who received detailed explanations on the operation of their vehicle features at the time of the purchase of the vehicle report fewer problems than those who do not (95 PP100 vs. 103 PP100).