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Are Chinese EVs, PHEVs well-built? BYD, Zeekr star in quality study


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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.

  • tesla-model-3-model-y-2.jpg

    Tesla Model 3 and Model Y

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.

  • 2024-byd-seal-1.jpg

    BYD Seal

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.

  • zeekr-x.jpeg

    Zeekr X

“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.

  • 2024-BYD-Dolphin-review-05.jpg

    BYD Dolphin
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.

  • 2024-BYD-Atto-3-review-92.jpg

    BYD Atto 3
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.

  • nio-et5.jpeg

    Nio ET5
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.

  • xpeng-g6-7.jpeg

    Xpeng G6

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.

  • 2023-Zeekr-001-FR-1.jpg

    Zeekr 001
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.

  • 2024-BMW-iX3-M-Sport-review-5.jpg

    BMW iX3
ModelProblems per 100 vehicles
Nio ES8177
Zeekr 009181
Segment average 199
BMW iX3209

Mass-market PHEV SUV​

  • gwm-tank-500-phev-1.jpeg

    GWM Tank 500 PHEV
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