The most interesting thing is that the graphs don't have the same scale; they all look the same, but mislead. I'm disappointed this wasn't highlighted in the article.

Perhaps it's a fluke, perhaps it's related to the virus - but look at the numbers:

In 2017, the number of problems per hundred cars was 70-163
In 2018, it was about the same - 68-163
In 2019, it was 63-130 - perhaps incrementally better, perhaps statistically the same

In 2020, it was 136-250, Yep, across the board more than double the previous year

That tells me not which car to buy from the 2020 model year, but rather to avoid 2020 models across the board since the best car in 2020 is worse than the worst car in 2019.
@bryane, from the article:
IQS has been redesigned for 2020, previous year scores are no longer directly comparable - it asks additional questions that allow owners to cite more of the problems
This is based on completely subjective data from owners with various biases and diverging expectations. Additionally, when I think reliability I don't think first 90 days, I think over a period of 10 years.
These number seem to be all over the place, and they certainly do not reflect any of my or my friend's real world experiences. There is nothing as reliable as a Toyota or a Honda, or as unreliable as a Range Rover or a Jaguar. I'd rather have a Lexus that still works perfectly after 20 years than a Dodge that works well the first week...
Could part of the issue with luxury brands scoring lower be that their owners have higher expectations, or tend to nit-pick and complain about small things? I don't own one, just wondering if they take the owner into account. One owner might be happy to have a new car and not sweat some issues, the other owner might expect a perfect new car and take it back to the shop for the smallest of things.
Bill S.
"Initial quality" is meaningless. Its long term that counts. I made the mistake of buying a Dodge product. In less than 50K miles I had to replace the transmission THREE times. The car was nothing but trouble, and it was purchased new. Purchased a used Lexus and in 14 years, not a single problem....none.
J.D. Power is a PR and advertising firm. And in 2020, they ranked lowest among PR and advertising firms. Corporations pay J.D. Power for data and they will skew the data in anyway way they see fit.
As in another comment, initial quality is pretty much meaningless for something you plan to use for many years. New cars are far more complex than older ones, which means more things to go wrong. My 1985 Toyota Pickup is still running fine, and I can do most maintenance myself. I don't expect many 2020 models to be running fine in 2055.

I expect that the 'extra questions' are just a way for the PR firm to make a car company look better in some meaningless way.
Jean Marc Tixhon
It is well known that the worst cars in the world are Mercedes, Porsche, Audi, Jaguar, LandRover ....No surprise as it is US based but credibility =0000!
Gene Preston
Stop listing Tesla software upgrades as problems. Tesla owners are the happiest owners of their cars.