What do the JD Power ratings actually mean?


You’ve probably read reviews or expert comments while shopping for cars online. JD Power could have been one such source. The firm is best known for its work in the automotive industry, but its experts also analyze other sectors, including financial services, insurance, travel and hospitality, and utilities. Learn more about JD Power and its automotive ratings.

What is JD Power?

JD Power is a Michigan-based marketing research, consulting, and data and analytics company. It studies consumer feedback on products and services in various industries. According to The Balance, “the company’s team of experts then translates this information into reports that it sells to client companies.” It also publishes free studies and surveys for consumers. Once the company collects feedback, it categorizes the data into price ranges and vehicle sizes.

What categories does JD Power rate cars in?

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JD Power rates vehicles in the following categories:

  • Quality and reliability: This category measures the number of faults, malfunctions and design flaws reported by car owners. It also covers the entire vehicle, from the exterior to the mechanics inside.
  • Driving Experience: This area reflects the owner’s assessment of the vehicle’s design, performance capabilities, comfort level, safety and other aspects. Newer cars generally score higher than older models in this category.
  • Dealership Experience: This category indicates the owner’s experience with a brand’s dealerships during the process of buying and servicing the vehicle. The quality of work is also a key factor.
  • Resale Value: JD Power predicts the depreciation of a car over the next few years. Lower depreciation means the vehicle will score higher in that category.

What are the JD Power score classifications?

JD Power Score classifications include reliability (40%), driving experience (20%), resale value (20%) and dealership experience (20%). Here’s how JD Power ranks each category:

  • Best (91-100): Vehicles rated as “Best” are rated highest in their class by owners.
  • Excellent (81–90): Models rated “excellent” did not score high enough to rank at the top of their category, but they are better than average.
  • Average (70-80): These models scored equally in their category. For reference, the 100-point score is 80 for the most recent model year. Therefore, older models usually receive an average rating of less than 80.
  • Fair (0–69): This classification represents models rated below average in their category.

Is JD Power reputable?

Yes, the company is a reliable source. JD Power claims that its experts use unbiased information derived from real consumer experiences. They use these reviews to segment the automotive market and create car ratings.

JD Power ratings are a good indicator of customer satisfaction. Consumers looking for a new vehicle might find the company’s analytics useful when shopping and buying a car. Plus, JD Power’s Verified Fair Price is a reliable indicator that helps buyers know they’re not paying too much for the car, truck or SUV they want.

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