J.D. Power has put the magnifying glass on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) to see which are the most trouble-free.

    The 2024 China New Vehicle Energy Initial Quality Study SM is based on responses from 9791 vehicle owners across 81 Chinese cities who purchased their cars between July 2023 and January 2024.

    Owners who had had their vehicles for between two and six months were asked about defects and malfunctions, but also design-related problems. These were across everything from the infotainment system to the powertrain.

    While 105 vehicles were included from 48 different brands, only 74 models had sufficient sample sizes. That also meant only vehicles built in China ended up featuring.

    The study found an overall average quality rating of 210 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), up 37 PP100 from last year – driven by an increase in the number of design-related problems (up 35 PP100).

    Vehicles manufactured by domestic startups had the fewest quality problems (201 PP100, up 31 PP100), while international brands had the most (218 PP100, up 54 PP100).

    Complaints about infotainment systems were up 6.9 PP100, with owners grumbling about unresponsive touchscreens and inaccurate voice recognition.

    Driver assist system-related complaints were up 7.2 PP100, with owners complaining about issues such as loud radar alerts and poor-quality reversing cameras.

    J.D. Power notes the main quality complaints, for the sixth consecutive year, are around interior smell and excessive road noise – though the number of complaints for these decreased.

    “The competition in the NEV market is intensifying, with automakers constantly launching new models to capture market share,” said Elvis Yang, general manager of auto product practice at J.D. Power China. 

    “This has led to significant challenges in quality management as development cycles shorten. 

    “This year’s study shows that design-related problems significantly outnumber defects.

    “Automakers must prioritise user experience and perceived quality during R&D and focus on thoroughly validating high-tech features to enhance the user experience.”

    Many of the vehicles included in the study aren’t sold here or are sourced from other countries. 

    Below, we’ve included the Chinese-built vehicles either already on sale in Australia, confirmed for launch here, or otherwise expected to land here. 

    We’ve also included how they compare with the average score for their respective segments, and the highest-performing vehicles for each segment – regardless of whether they’re coming here or not.

    Compact EVs

    There wasn’t a large enough sample size for the MG 4 to be included.

    ModelProblems per 100 vehicles
    Geometry A Pro180
    BYD Dolphin205
    Segment average207

    Compact EV SUVs

    The BYD Atto 3 was tied with the Aion V Plus for the top spot in this segment.

    ModelProblems per 100 vehicles
    Aion V Plus196
    BYD Yuan Plus (Atto 3)196
    Segment average203

    Mid-sized EVs

    Nio has yet to announce an Australian launch, though it has entered the European market.

    ModelProblems per 100 vehicles
    Nio ET5185
    Segment average 205
    Tesla Model 3212
    BYD Seal223

    Mid-sized EV SUV

    While the Audi Q4 e-tron is coming to Australia, it won’t be sourced from China.

    Leapmotor has also yet to confirm which vehicles it’ll bring to Australia.

    ModelProblems per 100 vehicles
    Audi Q4 e-tron188
    Xpeng G6196
    Zeekr X221
    Segment average222
    Tesla Model Y225
    Leapmotor C11233
    Smart #1236

    Large EV

    Zeekr has yet to confirm the 001 for Australia, while Xpeng hasn’t locked in the G9 yet.

    MG has previously indicated it plans to bring models from fellow SAIC Motor brand IM to our market.

    ModelProblems per 100 vehicles
    Zeekr 001171
    Segment average184
    Xpeng G9206
    IM LS6223

    Premium EV

    The Zeekr 009 is due in Australia this year, while the BMW iX3 is already on sale. It’s BMW’s only Chinese-sourced vehicle in Australia.

    ModelProblems per 100 vehicles
    Nio ES8177
    Zeekr 009181
    Segment average 199
    BMW iX3209

    Mass-market PHEV SUV

    ModelProblems per 100 vehicles
    (GWM) Wey Lanshan DHT PHEV185
    GWM Tank 500 PHEV196
    Segment average 211
    BYD Song Plus (Sealion 6)242

    Other segment winners

    Small EVGeely Panda Mini202
    Small EV SUVGeometry E219
    Premium PHEVLi L9 (EREV)174
    Mass-market PHEV BYD Seal PHEV191
    Mass-market PHEV MPVDenza D9 PHEV191
    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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