Kia Scores a Repeat in 2017 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study | Edmunds

Kia Scores a Repeat in 2017 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study

Kia is the highest-ranked automotive brand for the second consecutive year, according to the 2017 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.

The other brands that rounded out the top 10 are, in order: Genesis, Porsche, Ford, Ram, BMW, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Lincoln and Nissan. The lowest-ranking brands, starting at the bottom, are: Fiat, Jaguar, Volvo, Mitsubishi, Land Rover, Mazda, Audi, Subaru, Jeep and Infiniti.

To arrive at its rankings, J.D. Power measures the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership, with data gathered from 80,000 purchasers and lessees of new vehicles. And this year, the research firm notes, overall results are the best ever for automakers, with quality scores improving since 2016 in seven of the eight categories measured.

Those categories include overall mechanical quality, powertrain mechanical quality, body and interior mechanical quality, features and accessories mechanical quality, overall design quality, powertrain design quality, body and interior design quality, and features and accessories design quality. In addition, there's a rating for overall quality.

"Automotive manufacturers are responding to consumer feedback and producing vehicles of the highest quality," said Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive for J.D. Power, in a statement. "The industry has improved significantly in each of the past three years. Today's vehicles have more things that could go wrong but fewer things that actually do go wrong."

J.D. Power divides individual models into more than 20 size and type segments and then ranks them according to 223 potential problems. This year's parent companies with the most 2017 model-year segment leaders include Hyundai (Kia Cadenza, Kia Forte, Kia Niro, Kia Sorento and Kia Soul), General Motors (Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Silverado HD, Chevrolet Sonic and GMC Terrain), and BMW (BMW 2 Series, BMW 4 Series, BMW X6 and Mini).

Other segment leaders include the Chrysler Pacifica, Ford Expedition, Ford Mustang, Infiniti QX80, Lexus GS, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Nissan Frontier, Porsche 911, Porsche Macan and Toyota Camry.

Mini is the most improved brand, with owners reporting 33 fewer problems than in 2016, followed by Ram (28 fewer problems), Acura (19), Volvo (18) and Ford (16).

Also worth noting is that the Detroit Three outperformed import brands for the second consecutive year, but for only the third time since the study was first published in 1987. In 2017, domestic brands received a score of 93 problems per 100 vehicles, compared to 99 for import brands. Last year, domestic brands also had fewer problems (103 problems per 100) than import brands (106).

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