Genesis, Tesla Top J.D. Power Tech Experience Study

If you're looking for a budget-friendly tech masterpiece, look at a Hyundai.

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The results are in: J.D. Power has released its 2022 U.S. 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 out-performed Genesis, but its results don’t technically count. Let’s dig in.

The J.D. Power survey awards automakers a certain number of points out of a possible 1,000 in order to create its ranking by surveying vehicle owners after 90 days of ownership and analyzing issues with advanced tech satisfaction. Genesis ranked highest among official brands in the innovation index, scoring 643 points. Tesla outranked it by nearly 40 points.

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

Tesla Motors is included in the industry calculation for the first time, with an Innovation Index score of 681 (on a 1,000-point scale). However, because Tesla Motors does not allow J.D. Power access to owner information in the states where that permission is required by law, Tesla vehicles remain ineligible for awards.

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

J.D. Power found that, as automakers introduce more advanced technology, it opens up the door for a lot of problems and malfunctions with that technology. The biggest culprit is the fingerprint reader, which has been included in this study for the first time. People hate the fingerprint reader more than they hate the interior gesture controls that make you feel like a wizard when you’re changing songs or raising the temperature. J.D. Power notes that that’s incredibly unfortunate, since plenty of people love using fingerprint recognition on their Macbooks or cell phones.

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

And as far as mass-market, non-premium brands go, Hyundai topped the list with a score of 534, totally outranking the second-closest performer, Kia, at 495.

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Finally, J.D. Power offers four categories of award — convenience, emerging automation, energy and sustainability, and infotainment and connectivity. They include:

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