Do the J.D. Power Initial Quality Results Matter? (Part One) [News]

2015 Chevrolet Malibu
2015 Chevrolet Malibu

Every year, J.D. Power does its initial quality study, where cars in each segment are ranked based on the number of problems experienced by owners in the first 90 days of ownership.

The cars are ranked by problems per 100 cars, with the top cars in each segment given the initial quality award.

But does this matter when a buyer signs on the dotted line? Does the initial quality ranking of a car lead to more sales?

In the midsize sedan segment, the Chevrolet Malibu was ranked the best for initial quality, followed by the Kia Optima and the Toyota Camry. But in overall sales, the Malibu ranked fifth and the Optima eighth, with the Camry taking the top spot.

2014 Ford Escape
2014 Ford Escape

In the growing compact SUV segment, Chevrolet’s Equinox tied with the Ford Escape for first place, with the Chevy’s sister vehicle, the GMC Terrain, taking the third spot. In year-to-date sales, the Equinox and Escape are second and third, respectively, with the Terrain in ninth spot.

To determine if the initial quality awards contribute to sales, these numbers will serve as a baseline. In one month, part two of this story will see if the cars that received initial quality awards showed any increase in sales.

The following is a list of all J.D. Power initial quality award winners for 2015:

City Car: Chevrolet Spark
Small Car: Hyundai Accent
Small Premium Car: BMW 2 series
Compact Car: Nissan Sentra
Compact Sporty Car: Mazda MX-5 Miata
Compact Premium Car: BMW 4 series
Compact Premium Sporty Car: Porsche Boxster
Midsize Car: Chevrolet Malibu
Midsize Sporty Car: Dodge Challenger
Midsize Premium Car: BMW 5 series
Midsize Premium Sporty Car: Porsche 911
Large Car: Chrysler 300
Large Premium Car: Lexus LS
Small SUV: Hyundai Tucson
Small Premium SUV: Audi Q3
Compact SUV: Chevrolet Equinox/Ford Escape (tie)
Compact Premium SUV: Porsche Macan
Compact MPV: Kia Soul
Midsize SUV: Kia Sorento
Midsize Premium SUV: Infiniti QX70
Midsize Pickup: Toyota Tacoma
Minivan: Nissan Quest
Large SUV: Toyota Sequoia
Large Premium SUV: Infiniti QX80
Large Light Duty Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado
Large Heavy Duty Pickup: Ford Super Duty

Check out this TFLcar preview video of the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox: