Ford’s new Ranger midsize pickup truck is paying off for the automaker.
The Ranger scored the best ranking among midsize pickups in the 2019 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study. The report measures the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership. The lower the score, the better the ranking.
The Ranger topped the Nissan Frontier and the Toyota Tacoma as the midsize pickup truck with the fewest problems in the first 90 days after purchase. The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Sierra followed.
Overall – including SUVs and sedans – Ford Motor Co. did well in the study. J.D. Power gave it an 83 score. That was fourth after Hyundai’s luxury Genesis brand, 63; Kia, 70; and Hyundai, 71. Ford’s luxury brand Lincoln rounded out the top five with a score of 84. The industry average was 93.
The bottom five brands are Jaguar, 130; Land Rover, 123; Mitsubishi, 121; Alfa Romeo, 118; and Volvo, 114.
When Ford launched sales of the Ranger last year some analysts wondered if it would cut into the automaker’s giant F-150 pickup truck business. The F-Series pickup truck is the best-selling vehicle in the U.S.
Ford sold 9,421 Rangers during the first three months of this year, grabbing a 7 percent slice of the U.S. midsize pickup truck market. The automaker also sold a market-leading 214,611 F-Series full-size pickups in the first quarter, a slight gain from the same period a year earlier. That gave Ford combined pickup truck sales of 224,032 so far this year. Ford has 34 percent of the pickup truck market, up from 33 percent a year ago.
NISSAN TITAN WINS
However, the automaker didn’t win J.D. Power’s initial quality award in the full-size pickup segment. That went to the Nissan Titan. The F-150 came in second, followed by the Toyota Tundra.
“It is rewarding to see Nissan’s continuous improvement in the J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality Study over the past several years,” said Health Holtz, Nissan North America’s senior vice president, manufacturing.
The Chevrolet Silverado HD won the heavy-duty pickup truck category. Ford’s F-Series Super Duty ranked second.
Looking at all types of vehicles, automakers continue to make progress in removing flaws from their infotainment systems, said Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. Problems in that area create a lot of consumer frustration, he said.
But at the same time, “some traditional problems crept up this year including paint imperfections, brake and suspension noises, engines not starting and the ‘check engine’ light coming on early in the ownership experience,” Sargent said.
Consumers also reported problems “with their advanced driver-assistance systems, which are critical for building consumer trust in future automated vehicles,” he said.