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Industry > Rank

Which cars have the best initial quality in the US market?

Based on JD Power’s survey for first 90 days of ownership

The Hyundai Tucson is the best among small SUVs. PHOTO FROM HYUNDAI

The results of JD Power’s 2018 US Initial Quality Study are out, and the Koreans have aced the survey. The study, which asks car owners in the United States to assess their brand-new vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership, has Genesis, Kia and Hyundai at the top of the rankings. All three brands, of course, belong to the same automotive group from South Korea.

Luxury brand Genesis has an average of just 68 problems per 100 vehicles, while Kia and Hyundai have 72 and 74, respectively. The industry average is 93 PP100. Japanese automakers Toyota, Mazda and Honda find themselves below the industry average with 96, 100 and 102 problems per 100 vehicles. Mazda, however, is the most-improved brand of all with 25 fewer problems PP100 compared to its performance in 2017.

Here are the complete rankings of all 31 brands included in the study.

It’s a Korean lockout at the top of the rankings. IMAGE FROM JD POWER

Problems often cited by new-car owners include the in-car entertainment system (Bluetooth connectivity, for one), the automatic transmission, the wind noise and the interior materials.

Meanwhile, here are the best-performing cars—or those with the fewest initial problems—per segment (segments with an asterisk have tied first-placers).

Top-ranked models by segment

SMALL CARS

  • Kia Rio (1st)
  • Nissan Versa (2nd)
  • Chevrolet Bolt (3rd)

SMALL PREMIUM CARS

  • Acura ILX (1st)
  • BMW 2-Series (2nd)
  • Mercedes-Benz CLA (3rd)

COMPACT CARS

  • Toyota Corolla (1st)
  • Chevrolet Cruze (2nd)
  • Kia Forte (3rd)

COMPACT PREMIUM CARS

  • BMW 4-Series (1st)
  • Infiniti Q60 (2nd)
  • Lexus ES (3rd)

MIDSIZE CARS

  • Nissan Altima (1st)
  • Kia Optima (2nd)
  • Ford Fusion (3rd)

MIDSIZE PREMIUM CARS

  • Lincoln Continental (1st)
  • Genesis G80 (2nd)
  • Lexus GS (3rd)

MIDSIZE SPORTY CARS

  • Ford Mustang (1st)
  • Dodge Challenger (2nd)
  • Chevrolet Camaro (3rd)

LARGE CARS

  • Nissan Maxima (1st)
  • Ford Taurus (2nd)
  • Chrysler 300 (3rd)

LARGE PREMIUM CARS

  • Genesis G90 (1st)
  • BMW 7-Series (2nd)
  • Mercedes-Benz S-Class (3rd)

SMALL SUVS

  • Hyundai Tucson (1st)
  • Kia Sportage (2nd)
  • Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (3rd)

SMALL PREMIUM SUVS*

  • BMW X1 (1st)
  • Mercedes-Benz GLA (1st)
  • Audi Q3 (3rd)

COMPACT SUVS

  • Buick Envision (1st)
  • Ford Escape (2nd)
  • Honda CR-V (3rd)

COMPACT PREMIUM SUVS

  • Lincoln MKC (1st)
  • Porsche Macan (2nd)
  • Mercedes-Benz GLC (3rd)

MIDSIZE SUVS

  • Kia Sorento (1st)
  • Hyundai Santa Fe (2nd)
  • Ford Explorer (3rd)

MIDSIZE PREMIUM SUVS

  • BMW X6 (1st)
  • Lexus RX (2nd)
  • Porsche Cayenne (3rd)

LARGE SUVS

  • Ford Expedition (1st)
  • GMC Yukon (2nd)
  • Chevrolet Tahoe (3rd)

MINIVANS

  • Dodge Grand Caravan (1st)
  • Kia Sedona (2nd)
  • Toyota Sienna (3rd)

MIDSIZE PICKUPS

  • Nissan Frontier (1st)
  • GMC Canyon (2nd)
  • Honda Ridgeline (3rd)

LARGE LIGHT-DUTY PICKUPS

  • Chevrolet Silverado (1st)
  • Ford F-150 (2nd)
  • Ram 1500 (3rd)

LARGE HEAVY-DUTY PICKUPS*

  • Chevrolet Silverado HD (1st)
  • Ford Super Duty (1st)
  • Ram 2500/3500 (3rd)


Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist for 24 years. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. The rest, as they say, is rock and roll. He writes the column ‘Spoiler’.



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