The J.D. Power initial quality rankings are out again this year, and for the first time a non-premium brand topped the list.
Remember when Hyundai and Kia were synonymous with cheap transportation and so-so quality? Well, they aren’t any more, as Kia topped the list with 83 problems per 100 vehicles, narrowly beating out Porsche with 84. Hyundai came in third with 92, beating out Toyota, a company known for their high-quality vehicles.
But what exactly is the initial quality study, and why should anyone care? According to J.D. Power, the survey looks at 233 problem areas after the first 90 days of ownership. The problem areas are grouped into eight categories:
- Driving Experience
- Features/Controls/Displays (FCD)
- Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
- Audio/Communication/Entertainment/Navigation (ACEN)
TFLcar looked at J.D. Power initial quality rankings and looked to see if a high rank equals more sales, especially when the company advertises their rankings. While not a scientific study by any means, there seemed to be no correlation between J.D. Power initial quality rankings and any increase in sales.
Still, the study is another tool that someone looking to buy a new car can use to help them decide what to buy.
In this year’s study, American companies did well. Chrysler and Jeep were the most improved over 2015, and General Motors received the most individual segment awards. American brands fared better than import brands 103 to 106.
Non-premium brands also fared better on average than premium brands, with 104 vs. 108.
For the full list of brands and their rankings, visit the J.D. Power website.
Here is a list of the segment winners for 2016:
- Midsize SUV: Toyota Highlander
- Midsize pickup: Nissan Frontier
- Midsize premium SUV: BMW X5
- Large SUV: Chevrolet Tahoe
- Large premium SUV: Lincoln Navigator
- Large heavy-duty pickup: Chevrolet Silverado HD
- Small car: Hyundai Accent
- Compact premium SUV: Porsche Macan
- Midsize sporty car: Dodge Challenger
- Midsize car: Toyota Camry
- Large car: Hyundai Azera
- Compact premium sporty car: Audi TT
- Small premium car: Lexus CT
- Compact premium car: Lincoln MKZ
- Compact multi-purpose vehicle: Kia Soul
- Compact sport car: Scion tC
- Large light-duty pickup: Chevrolet Silverado
- Small SUV: Kia Sportage
- Midsize premium car: Lexus GS
- Compact SUV: Chevrolet Equinox
- Midsize premium sporty car: Porsche 911
- City car: Chevrolet Spark
- Minivan: Chrysler Town & Country
- Compact car: Toyota Corolla
- Small premium SUV: Audi Q3
Check out this TFLcar first-drive video of the small SUV winner, the Kia Sportage: