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2015 Initial Quality Study: 10 Most Important Factors in Vehicle Purchase

2015 Initial Quality Study: 10 Most Important Factors in Vehicle Purchase

By Philly Murtha, July 13, 2015

When shopping for a new car, truck, SUV, or van, buyers choose a particular brand or model for a variety of reasons, but according to J.D. Power research, the expected reliability of a new car or light truck continues to be the most important factor in the decision-making process. In fact, among the 84,000+ vehicle owners surveyed for the 2015 Initial Quality Study, 50% cite "expected reliability" as their top purchase reason, compared with 49% in 2014, underlining the importance of long-term dependability.

The next two most important factors in a buyer's choice of vehicle are "exterior styling" (45% vs. 47% in 2014) and "previous experience with the brand or a particular model" (42% vs. 41% in 2014).

One reason related to initial quality that has been keenly watched during the past few years is fuel economy/driving range. This is important to a smaller percentage of vehicle owners in the 2015 IQS than in the 2014 IQS (37% vs. 38%, respectively).

The remaining six reasons that factor into a shopper's purchase decision are (in order of importance) "reputation and reviews" (40% in both years); "ride and handling" (39% vs. 40%); "price or payment" (38% in both years); "safety" (37% in both years); "quality of workmanship" (34% in both years); and "4-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive capability" (30% vs. 29%). Note: Survey respondents may choose multiple reasons for purchase.

Additional Research:

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