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Are Subaru JDM Models Higher Quality That Those Made In The U.S? J.D. Power Says No

How do Subaru vehicles made in Japan rank in initial vehicle quality compared with their U.S. models? Check out the new 2022 J.D. Power Japan Initial Quality Study results.

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How does the U.S.-made 2022 Subaru Impreza's quality rank with its Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) counterpart? According to the new J.D. Power 2022 Japan Initial Quality Study (IQS), the Impreza made in Japan wins the midsize car category for initial quality above all other models.

The 2022 Subaru Forester also won its segment as the best midsize SUV, and the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek was the third highest ranked midsize SUV in the J.D. Power IQS study.

2022 Subaru Forester JDM

In the J.D. Powers' 2022 U.S. IQS rankings, Subaru did not score any of its U.S.-made models in any of the top new vehicles per segment. Does it mean that the Japanese cars are of better quality than the U.S. models? J.D. Powers says no.

Even though the Impreza, made in the U.S. factory in Lafayette, Indiana, did not achieve a high ranking in the U.S. IQS study, it doesn't mean U.S. models are lower quality than their Japanese counterparts.

2022 Subaru Forester JDM

The 2022 Forester and 2022 Crosstrek score high with owner responses from purchasers of the new vehicles in Japan in the first two to 13 months of ownership. Those models are made in the same factory in Japan and shipped to U.S. customers. But Forester, Crosstrek, and Impreza models did not get top awards from U.S. owners.

Where did the Subaru brand score in the Japan IQS study?

Power's Initial Quality Study is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality. Among mainstream (non-luxury) car brands, Subaru scored 145/PP100, eight points below the mass market average of 137/PP100, similar to the U.S. study results.

Daihatsu, Honda, Suzuki, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Nissan scored above Subaru in the Japan study. Subaru scored better than Toyota, Mini, and Volkswagen.

The study reveals the problems owners are reporting are specific to Japan. J.D. Power says lane departure warning/lane keeping assistance is the most frequently cited problem this year.

Power says the problem with lane departure warning/lane-keeping assistance alerts is annoying or bothersome and is more frequently reported in Japan. "This suggests that it is necessary to improve these features given road and traffic conditions specific to Japan," says Power.

The findings in the U.S. IQS study revealed infotainment systems remain the most problematic area for U.S. customers. Six of the top 10 problem areas in the survey were infotainment-related, including Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity, built-in voice recognition, difficulties with touchscreens/display screens, built-in Bluetooth systems, not enough power plugs/USB ports, and inconsistent audio volume.

The new 2022 J.D. Power Japan Initial Quality Study reveals Subaru owners of the 2022 Subaru Forester compact SUV, 2022 Subaru Impreza compact car, and 2022 Subaru Crosstrek small SUV in Japan are reporting the fewest problems with their vehicles. In the U.S., it's the Chevrolet Equinox (compact SUV), Kia Forte (compact car), and Buick Encore GX (Small SUV) that win their segments.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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