New car technology improving, with these 25 vehicles among the best

Most of us have been there.

Either as a purchaser or passenger in a vehicle bursting with new car technology.

Including in-car audio, communication, entertainment and navigation (ACEN) intended to make your driving experience more satisfying and complete but which sometimes doesn’t.

Indeed, in-car multimedia technology is “perennially the leading source of complaints among new-vehicle owners,” according to J.D. Power, an automotive information and analysis company.

New car technology
Photo credit: Kia via NewsPress USA
The Kia Rio’s in-car technology ranks No. 1 for mass-market small cars.

But things are improving, reports J.D. Power in its 2018 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study, although some automakers are better at it than others. The company identified 25 models across eight segments, “with several technology standouts emerging among manufacturers.”

But the standouts may not be the manufacturers – think luxury vehicles – that first come to mind.

In fact, mainstream automakers Kia and Chevrolet lead the top 25 with four models each, followed by Ford and, yes, Porsche and BMW with three apiece and Lincoln with two.

Acura, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Nissan, Genesis and Cadillac made the list with one model each.

Photo credit: Ford via NewsPress USA
The Mustang’s in-car technology rated best overall by J.D. Power.

Top 10 Overall

  1. Ford Mustang
  2. Kia Sorento
  3. Lincoln Continental
  4. Chevrolet Corvette
  5. Porsche 911
  6. Kia Rio
  7. Porsche 718
  8. Nissan Frontier
  9. Chevrolet Bolt
  10. Kia Forte

Following are the top-performing vehicles by segment followed by the number of problems reported per 100 vehicles, according to J.D. Power:

Mass Market


Kia Rio – 9.3

Chevrolet Bolt – 9.9

Kia Sportage – 10.9


Kia Forte – 10.2

Chevrolet Cruze – 12

Hyundai Ioniq and Volkswagen Beetle – 12.3


Ford Mustang – 7.3

Kia Sorento – 8.5

Nissan Frontier – 9.7


Ford Taurus – 12.5

Ford Expedition – 12.6

Chevrolet Silverado – 13.1



BMW 2 Series – 16.7

Acura ILX – 18.4

BMW X1 – 19.4


Porsche 718 – 9.3

Porsche Macan – 12.5

Lincoln MKC – 13


Lincoln Continental – 8.8

Chevrolet Corvette – 8.9

Porsche 911 – 9.1


BMW 7 Series – 10.5

Genesis G90 – 15.1

Cadillac Escalade – 16.1

“In-car multimedia has been a problematic category for automakers for several years, as ever-more elaborate navigation, voice recognition and entertainment systems have proliferated in vehicles of every type,” said Brent Gruber of J.D. Power’s Automotive Quality Practice.

“While the area is still the leading cause of new-vehicle complaints – with voice recognition technology continuing to lead the way as the number one complaint for a sixth consecutive year – we are seeing some serious improvement across the board, with some manufacturers really raising the bar on delivering quality multimedia technology experiences for their customers.”

The Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study, which measures the experiences and opinions of vehicle owners about the quality, design and features of their ACEN systems in the first 90 days of ownership, is based on J.D. Power’s annual Vehicle Quality Survey.

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