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Record car sales amidst increasing dissatisfaction

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For the first time in 15 years, car owners are more dissatisfied with their vehicles. The J.D. Powers Satisfaction survey for new cars shows a 6% increase in problems reported by owners from previous years.
Yet after eight years of lackluster performance, new car sales are booming for almost every maker. Are the two things related?

J.D. Power surveyed 41,000 original owners of 2011 model-year vehicles between October and December 2013. The research firm asked about problems experienced with a vehicle within the past 12 months. It then calculated dependability by examining the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles

The 2014 study also found that problem levels increased by nearly 10 points in vehicles with 4-cylinder engines. “These smaller engines, as well as large diesel engines, tend to be more problematic than 5- and 6-cylinder engines, for which owners report fewer problems, on average,” J.D. Power and Associates said in a statement.

Other contributing factors to consumer dissatisfaction were the high tech infotainment systems common on cars today.

A new car purchase is a big investment so a little bit of research before committing to purchase is wise. Using the J. D. Power’s survey, Consumer Reports, Edmunds or talking with to us about our experiences with a particular vehicle could save you several years of frustration.

Highest-ranked 2011 cars from the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study:

Subcompact: Honda Fit

Compact: Chevrolet Volt

Compact Premium: Lexus ES

Compact Sporty: MINI Cooper

Midsize: Toyota Camry

Midsize Sporty: Chevrolet Camaro

Midsize Premium: Lexus GS

Large: Buick Lucerne

Large Premium: Cadillac DTS, Lexus LS

Highest-ranked 2011 SUVs, vans and pickups from the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study:

Subcompact SUV: Honda Element

Compact SUV: Honda CR-V

Compact Premium SUV: Acura RDX

Compact MPV (Wagon): Scion xB

Midsize SUV: Honda Crosstour

Midsize Premium SUV: Lexus RX

Midsize Pickup: Honda Ridgeline

Minivan: Toyota Sienna

Large SUV: GMC Yukon

Large Premium SUV: Cadillac Escalade

Large Light-Duty Pickup: GMC Sierra 1500