This week, J.D. Power released its rankings of the most reliable brands based on the number of problems experienced by owners of three-year-old vehicles. Since the list is based on three-year-old cars, Genesis is finally eligible for the survey and they unexpectedly toppled Lexus for the crown!
Reliability has always been Lexus’s selling point, but recently it has come at the expense of its dated lineup. Sales are flat versus other luxury brands as Lexus basically lags behind in every metric. Powertrains, suspensions, technology, etc… Pretty much every Lexus is in need of an update. Even the newer models have an air of “last gen” when you sit in them. Add in the rise in popularity of leasing and Lexus’s advantage is moot. If I am leasing a car for 3 years, everything is covered under warranty anyways so why not just get the BMW with the latest UI that is probably 3-4 iterations ahead of Lexus.
A $38k Lexus IS300 goes from 0-60 in 6.9 seconds and gets 30 MPG on the highway. Meanwhile, a $41k BMW 330i goes from 0-60 in 5.6 seconds and gets 36 MPG. These are enormous performance and efficiency gaps that Lexus has refused to compete with. Since most people in this class or luxury cars in general are leases, people want the latest, fastest, most tech heavy car they can get. This is the same Lexus IS since 2014 with no successor in sight.
But now, Lexus doesn’t even own the reliability crown anymore. While yes, the pool of Genesis cars to survey is extremely limited because of Genesis’s botched release and flawed market strategy, a win is a win. Genesis is coming in hot with the GV80 and updated G80/G70 sedans later this year. They are now a couple steps ahead of Lexus. All that’s missing is brand cache, which Lexus seems to have been riding for many years without actually doing anything.
Other surprises include’s Buick’s strong showing as well as brands that have historically struggled such as VW and BMW. BMW is not even that far from Lexus, so Lexus barely even has that advantage. There is really no reason to get a competing Lexus over BMW, Mercedes, Audi, or even Genesis. On the flip side, Honda and Acura continue their march downwards in quality, something that will surprise many people. Mercedes isn’t doing so hot either. Of course on the bottom are the usual suspects including Jaguar/Land Rover