Though Ford – as a brand – ranked below average in the newly released J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS) – the news hasn’t been all bad for The Blue Oval, as the Ford Ranger managed to top the mid-size pickup segment in that same study this time around. It wasn’t alone in that category, however, as the Ford Maverick – which is fresh off being added to Consumer Reports‘ recommended vehicles list – also managed to rank third in that same category, even though it’s a compact pickup – not a mid-sizer.
It’s unclear why J.D. Power lumped the Ford Maverick into this category, but most likely, it’s because the organization simply hasn’t added a compact pickup category to its list yet – which, in all fairness, that segment had essentially disappeared prior to the launch of the Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz. Regardless, it ranked behind the Ranger and Gladiator in terms of initial quality in this new study.
In terms of the overall market, this year’s IQS found that the industry faces some challenges as new vehicles are becoming more problematic for owners. Problems per 100 vehicles – or PP100 – have increased by 30 points over the past two years, which is a record for the 37-year-old study, and it also represents a 12 point increase, year-over-year. The majority of these issues are stemming from technology, audio systems, safety features, and door handles, interestingly enough.
“The automotive industry is facing a wide range of quality problems, a phenomenon not seen in the 37-year history of the IQS,” said Frank Hanley, senior director of auto benchmarking at J.D. Power. “The industry is at a major crossroad and the path each manufacturer chooses is paramount for its future. From persistent problems carrying over from years past to an increase in new types of problems, today’s new vehicles are more complex – offering new and exciting technology – but not always satisfying owners.”