Genesis, Tesla Top JD Power Tech Experience Survey

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The results are in: JD Power has released its 2022 US Tech Experience Study, and Genesis tops the list of the most innovative automakers whose vehicles you can buy here in America — but there’s one caveat. Tesla actually outperformed Genesis, but the results didn’t technically count. Let’s dig.

The JD Power survey awards automakers a certain number of points out of a possible 1,000 to create their rankings by surveying vehicle owners after 90 days of ownership and analyzing issues with advanced technical satisfaction. Genesis was the highest of the official brands in the innovation index, with 643 points. Tesla surpassed it by nearly 40 points.

Here’s the logic behind why Tesla is considered an unofficial ranking:

Tesla Motors is included in the sector calculation for the first time, with an Innovation Index score of 681 (on a scale of 1,000 points). However, because Tesla Motors does not provide JD Power with access to owner information in the states where such permission is required by law, Tesla vehicles are not eligible for awards.

Polestar, which is also ineligible for an official ranking, would have finished in third place with a score of 608.

JD Power found that as automakers introduce more advanced technology, it opens the door to many problems and failures with that technology. The biggest culprit is the fingerprint reader, which was included in this study for the first time. People hate the fingerprint reader more than they hate the internal gesture controls that make you feel like a wizard when you change tracks or raise the temperature. JD Power notes that’s a shame as many people like to use fingerprint recognition on their Macbooks or cell phones.

It also found that people were more satisfied with their technology when a dealer taught a new owner about it after the purchase. After all, if you’ve never used that form of technology before, how are you supposed to know how it works?

And as for the mass-market, non-premium brands, Hyundai topped the list with a score of 534, completely surpassing the second best performer, Kia, with 495.

Finally, JD Power offers four categories of awards: convenience, emerging automation, energy and sustainability, and infotainment and connectivity. They contain:

  • Convenience: Cadillac Escalade (rear view camera technology) and Subaru Ascent (rear view camera technology)
  • Emerging automation: Lexus IS (front intersection warning) and Mitsubishi Outlander (automatic reverse emergency braking)
  • Energy and durability: Mini Cooper (one-pedal driving)
  • Infotainment and connectivity: BMW X3 (phone-based digital key)

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