When it comes to the usefulness of technology inside of vehicles, satisfaction among car buyers has increased.
According to the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study, released Wednesday, overall satisfaction with new-vehicle technology among owners of luxury vehicles averages 766 (on a 1,000-point scale), while satisfaction among owners of mass-market vehicles is 765. This is a 16-point and 15-point improvement, respectively, from last year.
J.D. Power said that this year's increase in the overall satisfaction is due to gains across all categories in the study. Now in its third year, the study measures owners' experiences, usage and interaction with 38 vehicle technologies after 90 days of ownership.
“Owner satisfaction with their vehicle technology experience is a strong indicator of advocacy, as demonstrated by the positive relationship between overall satisfaction scores and likelihood to recommend," the company said.
Of the 23 percent of owners who are highly satisfied with the technology in their vehicles, most (94 percent) told J.D. Power that they "definitely will" recommend their vehicle to family and friends, according to J.D. Power data.
This year, scores for comfort and convenience improved the most, followed by collision protection smartphone mirroring, driving assistance and navigation.
As for individual models, here is a list of this year's top rank model in their specific segments:
- Hyundai Kona, small segment,
- Volkswagen Tiguan, compact segment,
- Kia Stinger, compact premium segment,
- Kia Optima, midsize segment
- Lincoln MKX, midsize premium segment
- Ford Expedition, large segment
When it comes to what is in demand, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have become popular among many consumers in just a few years, while other technologies aren’t being embraced in the same manner, according to J.D. Power.
Drivers using Apple CarPlay have significantly higher satisfaction with the system than those using Android Auto (777 vs. 748, respectively). Among owners who use their own navigation system, Google technology is desired the most.
“Both are showing rapid year-over-year penetration increases. In contrast, many technologies that have been around much longer are not nearly as sought-after by new-vehicle owners,” the company said.
J.D. Power data shows that factory-installed navigation systems are often overlooked for another device. In fact, 19 percent of new-vehicle owners who have factory-installed navigation don’t use it. And 70 percent of the same owners use another device instead.
Hardly any Android owners use Apple Maps, and even iPhone owners are more likely to use Google Maps than Apple Maps, according to J.D. Power.
While only 23 percent of respondents use Apple Maps most often, 56 percent of respondents use Google Maps most often, and 16 percent use Google-owned Waze most often.
Furthermore, the study also looked into how owners most often use specific aspects of their systems such as lane-keeping, adaptive cruise control voice recognition systems.
Interestingly, J.D. Power found that owners may find the systems to be more of a problem than a benefit. In fact, 23 percent of owners said that their lane-keeping/centering system is annoying or bothersome.
The TXI study is based on a survey of nearly 20,000 vehicle owners and lessees from February through July of this year.