Gas-Powered Car iPhone & Android Apps Have Connectivity Issues: Hyundai, Subaru & Nissan Rank Best

Nearly one third (29%) of owners with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles say that they have experienced a connectivity-related issue when utilizing their manufacturer’s mobile app, according to the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. OEM ICE App Report,SM released today. Of the connectivity-related issues experienced by ICE vehicle owners, 64% say that they at least occasionally experience a slow app connection. These connectivity issues hinder overall usage of manufacturers’ mobile apps for ICE vehicles, which remains flat year over year at 73%.

“Smartphone apps remain a highly problematic vehicle feature, even as manufacturers continue to focus on resolving connectivity-related issues,” said Jason Norton, senior manager of global automotive consulting at J.D. Power. “It’s clear that customers will have a better overall ownership experience if they have a better smartphone app experience.”

Following are some key findings of the 2023 report:

  • Vehicle status desirability: Two of the top three most desired features among owners are related to overall vehicle status: diagnostic data/vehicle health information (e.g., tire pressure) and the ability to check the vehicle lock, door and window status. These desired features underscore the need for accurate vehicle information to be conveyed to the owner.
  • Speed of mobile app and executing vehicle commands: Among the key performance indicators (KPI), owners indicate that the speed of the vehicle app—specifically the execution of remote controls and vehicle status-related functions—is the most important. However, this KPI has the lowest level of owner satisfaction at 6.3 on a scale of 1-10.
  • Dealership assistance remains vital for app usage: Owners who were provided dealership support are more likely to remain users of their brand’s mobile app, with nearly 87% of current mobile app users stating that they received dealership support regarding the app when picking up their new vehicle. This remains unchanged from 2022.
  • Lacking mobile app capabilities: Among owners who are no longer using their brand’s mobile app, 35% said that the app lacked the desired feature capabilities.

Report Rankings

MyHyundai with Bluelink ranks highest overall and highest among mass market manufacturers’ ICE vehicle mobile apps with a score of 803 (on a 1,000-point scale). MySubaru (783) ranks second and MyNISSAN (767) ranks third.

Mercedes me connect (800) ranks highest among premium manufacturers’ ICE vehicle mobile apps. My BMW (798) ranks second and Genesis Intelligent Assistant (797) ranks third.

The U.S. OEM ICE App Report, formerly the U.S. OEM ICE Benchmark Study, gauges ICE vehicle owners’ experience with their brand’s mobile app. Insights are derived from surveying ICE vehicle owners and an assessment of the most relevant ICE vehicle mobile apps. Results are based on a standardized assessment approach relying on more than 270 best practices for vehicle apps that include more than 150 mobile app functionality specific attributes.

The report includes apps from the top 33 award-eligible branded apps that sell ICE vehicles in the United States. Additionally, almost 1,504 ICE vehicle owners in the United States were surveyed in October-November 2023 to gather insights on app connectivity issues; app usage; feature desirability; and app overall execution.