The results are out for the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study, which “focuses on the user experience with advanced vehicle technology as it first comes to market and is an early measure of problems encountered by vehicle owners.” Its measurement metric is problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), same as with the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS). The takeaway this year isn’t that owners aren’t using advanced technologies, as was the case with the 2022 study, or that they’re having more problems with them overall. It’s that owners of battery-electric vehicles are having more problems with advanced tech than owners of ICE-powered vehicles. According to the study, 17 of 21 features that can be had on both propulsion types — such as remote parking assistance and gesture controls — get lower satisfaction ratings by owners of BEVs, in some cases nearly 20 PP100.
The survey organization says this tracks with what its found in the IQS, where total vehicle problems were “46% higher among BEVs (excluding Tesla) than ICE vehicles and satisfaction is lower among owners of BEVs across nine of 10 APEAL categories than among owners of ICE vehicles.”
Findings regarding biometric measurements are among those that go against the overall study findings. Whether a fingerprint reader or an eye tracker, car owners in general said “they do not consider them to be useful.”
In terms of ease-of-use and satisfaction, plug-and-charge capability on EVs gets good marks. This allows EV owners to plug into a public charger and have payment taken care of automatically; the vehicle communicates with any charging station compatible with an automaker’s plug-and-play system, so the vehicle can automatically submit a bill for the charging session to a central owner account with no further action needed at the station. Survey respondents noted a mere 6 PP100 and an 88.9% satisfaction.
Among manufacturers, repeat winners took the top prizes. Genesis earned the highest rank for innovation overall and among premium brands for the third straight year. Hyundai not only won the tech innovation banner for mass market brands for the fourth straight year, ahead of Kia, GMC, Ram and Subaru, Hyundai finished in second in the overall standings. On that overall chart, the top five are Genesis, Hyundai, Cadillac, Lexus and BMW.
On the premium chart, Genesis is followed by Cadillac, Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the top five. It wasn’t close from the first to the rest, though. Genesis scored 656 on a 1,000-point scale, the average among premium manufacturers was 588, Cadillac and Lexus both scored 533. It’s a strong showing for the American luxury brand, however, Cadillac coming second in the overall two of the past three years and second in the premium segment for three years in a row.
EV-specific brands like Tesla, Lucid, Rivian and Polestar get great marks for tech inclusion but have more problems that most legacy OEMs. The four newer brands aren’t officially classified due to manufacturer-imposed limitations on getting answers from owners in certain states. If Tesla had been ranked, its score of 773 would make it the leader overall and among premium brands. Polestar’s score of 591 would put it second on both charts.