The car market in India is slowing maturing. Gone are the days when car makers could get away with shoddy build quality. In fact, as per the recently released JD Power 2016 India Vehicle Dependability Study, cars in India continue on improving on long term dependability for the third consecutive year.

In its 9 year this time, the study measures problems experienced by original owners of cars which are 2.5 to 3.5 years old. JD Power evaluated these vehicles in over 169 problem symptoms across 9 vehicle categories. (Hint: A lower PP100 rating is better).

Overall vehicle dependability has made huge gains over the last three years with total reported problems standing at 185 PP100 in 2016, improving from 206 PP100 in 2015 and 218 PP100 in 2014. The proportion of owners who had taken their cars in for unexpected repairs has also declined since 2014. It is now down to 27 per cent as against to 37 per cent back then. While diesel vehicles still have more problems than petrol cars, but gap between them as reduced from 29 PP100 to 27 PP100.

JD Power 2016 VDS

To prove the point further deeper, the incidence of unexpected repairs for diesel vehicles has decreased to 29 per cent in 2016 from 41 per cent in 2014. In the case of petrol powered vehicles, it has fallen to 25 per cent in 2016 from 35 per cent in 2014. Out of the 9 problem categories checked in this study, driving experience accounts for more than 20 per cent of all problems.

Compared to 2015, vehicle owners report fewer problems with driveability in 2016, with fewer issues related to strut/suspension/shock absorber and excessive or uneven tyre wear being reported.

And here is the 2016 Vehicle Dependability Study Ranking:

  • Entry Compact: Maruti Suzuki Alto 800
  • Compact: Maruti Suzuki Alto/Alto K10
  • Upper Compact: Honda Brio
  • Premium Compact: Volkswagen Polo
  • Entry Midsize: Toyota Etios
  • Midsize: Skoda Rapid
  • MUV/ MPV: Toyota Innova
  • SUV: Mahindra XUV 500

Interestingly, one particular observation from the JD Power 2016 VDS really caught my eye. Compared to repeat buyers (197 PP100), first time vehicle owners report fewer problems (177 PP100).


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