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Tesla Model S Named Top Car in New Quality Study

SAN DIEGO — The Tesla Model S electric sedan has been named the top car in the industry and the Ford F-150 the best full-size pickup in Strategic Vision's latest Total Quality Impact (TQI) ratings.

"The Model S does have its share of minor issues, but the innovation and excitement of the product overpowers any lasting negative feelings regarding those issues," Strategic Vision said in a statement.

The study also found that the F-150's aluminum body has been a plus with buyers.

"The truck's aluminum body does not detract from the driver's impression of its durability," the study said. "In fact, the sense of security that the vehicle provides actually increased when Ford made the switch to aluminum."

Based on owner surveys, the market research firm's data found that the best-quality vehicle in the microcar segment is the Fiat 500, the best small car is the Toyota Corolla, the best multifunction small car is the Mazda 3 hatchback and the best small alternative-powertrain vehicle is the Ford C-Max Energi.

In the midsize segment, the Subaru WRX was named best quality for standard models and the Chevrolet Volt best among those with alternative powertrains, while the full-size group was topped by the Nissan Maxima.

The Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class took top honors in the near-luxury segment, the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid dominated the near-luxury alternative-powertrain category, the Jaguar XJ led the general-luxury segment and BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo topped the luxury multifunction group.

Top-quality in the specialty coupe segment went to the Dodge Challenger, the premium-coupe category was led by the Chevrolet Corvette, standard convertible honors went to the Ford Mustang Convertible and the premium convertible/roadster group was led by the Chevrolet Corvette Convertible.

The GMC Canyon won top quality honors in the standard-pickup category (a separate category from full-size pickups) and the GMC Sierra 2500HD/3500HD topped the heavy-duty pickup group.

The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited was named best quality among entry-level SUVs, the Jeep Grand Cherokee took top honors in the midsize-SUV segment, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Toyota Sequoia tied for 1st in the full-size SUV group, the BMW X4 was named best in the near-luxury SUV category and the Cadillac Escalade dominated among luxury SUVs.

Best among entry-level crossovers was the Subaru XV Crosstrek, and midsize crossover honors were taken by the Kia Sorento, while the BMW X6 and Porsche Macan tied for best quality among luxury crossovers.

Finally, the Kia Sedona and Toyota Sienna tied for best-quality minivan.

Strategic Vision also looked at overall brand quality and named BMW the top luxury nameplate, Buick and Subaru the best mass-market brands and Fiat and Kia the top brands among those with vehicles priced under $26,000.

Strategic Vision says its TQI ratings are based on owner responses to survey questions in four areas: problems with this vehicle, tangible and intangible aspects of the vehicle and the emotional aspects of the ownership experience.

When it comes to the emotional aspects, Strategic Vision says it measures how strongly owners feel about their vehicles, which emotions they feel most prominently, why they feel that way and how likely they are to advocate for their brand and local dealership.

Edmunds says: The Strategic Vision TQI ratings give consumers one more piece of information to consider when shopping for a new car, truck or SUV.

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