According to J.D. Power’s 2017 Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study, non-luxury and luxury new vehicle owners are equally satisfied with the technology in their cars. However, “lost value” is still present because many consumers don’t understand and use all of their vehicle’s features.

"User experience is an influential differentiator in technology acceptance and in perceived automotive quality. While owners are excited by new vehicle technology, they are also often confused by it," said Kristin Kolodge, Executive Director of Driver Interaction & HMI Research at J.D. Power.

The 2017 Tech Experience Index Study

in-vehicle technologyStudying a group of 19,500 new vehicle owners and lessees, J.D. Power measured drivers’ experiences, usage, and interaction with in-vehicle technology. It focused on the following categories: entertainment and connectivity, comfort and convenience, driving assistance, collision protection, navigation, and smartphone mirroring.

Understandability, trust, and usability are important when it comes to vehicle technology for car buyers. Where this can fail is when a car buyer purchases a vehicle with a certain technology, but doesn't use it because they don't understand it. Researchers found the more a consumer uses a specific technology, the higher their level of satisfaction with it is. The opposite is also true.

Overall, the satisfaction of new car owners with their vehicle's technology averages 750 on J.D. Power's 1,000-point scale.

Key Findings

One of the most important findings was the dealer’s role in owner satisfaction with technology. If a dealer understands and teaches the car buyer how to operate the technology, buyer satisfaction increases. The downside is that car buyers aren’t willing to sit at the dealership for long.

According to the 2016 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index Study by J.D. Power, after 25 minutes, sales satisfaction generally declines. So, it’s important to choose which features require extra time to explain to new car buyers.

Some other key findings include:

  • Highest satisfaction: collision protection systems
  • Least satisfaction: navigation systems
  • Less is more: Systems such as seat controls, HVAC, phone, and entertainment controls are basic. There is an average decline of 83 points in overall satisfaction among owners who couldn’t understand these vehicle technologies compared to those who could.
  • Highest vehicle rankings: The Chevrolet Camaro (midsize segment), Kia Niro (small segment), Audi A3 (small luxury segment), Hyundai Elantra (compact segment), Lincoln MKC (compact luxury segment), Audi Q7 (midsize luxury segment), and Chevrolet Tahoe (large segment) all scored the highest in their respective segments.

Bottom Line

Car buyers are looking for the easiest way to understand vehicle technology. Dealers who take the time can benefit from teaching these buyers how the technology works because their understanding increases their satisfaction with the vehicle.

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