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J.D. Power tech survey names Hyundai, Genesis among top brands

Breadcrumb Trail Links Technology & Innovation Safety More Features Awards and surveys The 2021 U.S….

The 2021 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) study found gesture control the least satisfying new piece of tech

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The brands under the Hyundai Motor Group umbrella dominate the market when it comes to integrating technology in their cars, according to a new J.D. Power study, with Genesis earning the best Innovation Index score in the premium segment, and Hyundai taking top mention in the mass-market segment.


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The data analytics company early October released the results of its 2021 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) study, which looks at new-vehicle technology and how it’s received and used by motorists. 

Other brands named in the survey include Cadillac, Volvo, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Kia, Nissan, Subaru, and GMC. Tesla was also included, though not officially, as the EV maker does not grant J.D. Power permission to survey its owners in 15 states — its unofficial score of 668 would’ve made it the winner, though.

The TXI Study puts 36 “advanced” technologies under the microscope, dividing them into four categories – convenience, emerging automation, energy and sustainability, and infotainment and connectivity – and measuring them on “how much owners like the technologies and how many problems they experience while using them.” 


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In order to track the new tech’s level of adoption and quality of execution, a total of 110,827 responses were tallied from owners of 2021 model-year vehicles who’d had their vehicles for 90 days. 

Here’s which brands were called out for what technologies, including their Innovation Index scores out of 1,000.

Genesis — 634/1,000

2022 Genesis GV70 3.5T Sport Plus AWD
2022 Genesis GV70 3.5T Sport Plus AWD Photo by Peter Bleakney

Hyundai’s luxurious big bro Genesis took the top prize in the premium segment for its plethora of well-designed advanced tech across its product lineup, including the Highway Driving Assist that comes standard with lane-centering and lane-changing functions in the 2022 Genesis GV70 .

Cadillac — 551/1,000

GM’s upscale automaker snagged second prize in the premium segment, with the Cadillac Escalade receiving the convenience award for its “camera rear-view mirror technology.” This isn’t the first time Caddy has been ahead of the curve with its implementation of new tech


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Volvo (550), BMW (545), and Mercedes-Benz (523) rounded out the top five in the premium segment.

Hyundai — 519/1,000

2021 Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai also dominated the mass-market segment with its mass-market brand of the same name. J.D. Power named the Elantra as the winner of the emerging automation award for its use of front cross-traffic warning technology, just one of the features that makes it a great commuter option .   

Kia — 510/1,000

2021 Kia K5
2021 Kia K5 Photo by Clayton Seams

South Korea’s other major automaker slid into second place in the mass-market segment with a score just nine points under its national competitor-slash-sibling. The brand’s virtual assistant system is one of the best, according to the survey, with the Kia K5 earning the infotainment and connectivity award. 


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The other winners in the mass-market segment were Nissan (502), Subaru (499), and GMC (498). 


2021 Lexus IS Wax

Though not listed in the Innovation Index top five, Lexus did earn multiple mentions in the premium segment study for its IS. The sedan took home the emerging automation award for its reverse automatic emergency braking system, as well as the award for infotainment and connectivity for its virtual assistant’s connective abilities. 

On top of listing the main winners, the American data giant also called out a slightly concerning (and growing) trend in vehicle technology: that many vehicles are stocked with tech suites that go largely unused.  

According to the report, fewer than half of all owners fail to use at least one in three advanced technologies within the first 90 days of ownership. With a problem-per-100-vehicle rating of 41, gesture control remains the least satisfying of all technology features.  

“New-vehicle prices are at an all-time high, partly as a result of an increased level of content,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of human machine interface at J.D. Power. “This is fine if owners are getting value for their money, but some features seem like a waste to many owners.”

Check out the full press release here for more details


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