Kia takes top spot in 2016 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study
In a year when survey respondents indicated that overall new-vehicle quality is up by 6 percent over 2015, Kia emerged at the top of the manufacturer stack. Moving up from its second overall rating last year, the Korean automaker supplanted Porsche at the top of the list, marking the first time in 27 years that a non-premium nameplate has grabbed the top ranking. There was plenty of good news to spread around, as for just the second time in 30 years, the three U.S. domestic brands collectively had a lower Problems Per 100 index (103) than their import brand rivals (106), which reflects a 10 percent improvement over 2015. And for the first time since 2006, owners of non-premium brands reported fewer problems (104 PP100) than their luxury-owning counterparts (108 PP100).
The annual Power IQS measures issues encountered by owners of new cars during their first 90 days with their vehicles measured in problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) using a 233-question survey. To snare its top spot, the Kia brand earned an 83 PP100 score compared to Porsche’s 84. Hyundai (92 PP100) Toyota (90 PP100) and BMW (94 PP100) rounded out the top five. Power also noted that Chrysler and Jeep were the most improved brands for 2016, each bettering their 2015 scores by 20 percent.
Overall quality is on the rise
“Manufacturers are currently making some of the highest-quality products we’ve ever seen,” said Renee Stephens, vice president of U.S. automotive quality at J.D. Power. “Tracking our data over the past several years, it has become clear that automakers are listening to the customer, identifying pain points, and are focused on continuous improvement. Even as they add more content, including advanced technologies that have had a reputation for causing problems, overall quality continues to improve.”
Other notable results include General Motors posting seven individual best-in-segment awards (Buick Cascada, Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Silverado HD pickup, Chevrolet Spark, Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Terrain) followed by Toyota with six category toppers (Lexus CT 200h, Lexus GS Class, Scion tC, Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla and Toyota Highlander). Hyundai’s standouts included the Accent and Azera as well as the Kia Soul and Sportage while Volkswagen AG earned top marks for the Audi Q3 and TT as well as the Porsche 911 and Macan.