Kia Tops J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, Fiat Finishes Last

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J.D. Power has released its Initial Quality Study which found that new-vehicle quality has risen eight percent to its highest level ever recorded.

The well-regarded study examines the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership. It looks at eight different categories in total, while a lower score reflects a higher quality rating.

According to the results, Kia had the highest level of initial quality in the United States with just 72 problems experienced out of 100 vehicles. The brand was closely followed by Genesis and Porsche.

Fiat isn't exactly known for quality and the study once again found the brand near the bottom of the pack. Jaguar came in second to last, while Volvo wasn't far behind. A few notable standouts include five Kia models which were ranked the highest in their segment. The models include the Cadenza, Forte, Niro, Sorento, and Soul.

Other segment winners include the BMW 2-Series, Chevrolet Silverado, and Chrysler Pacifica. The study also found the Ford Mustang, Porsche 911, and Toyota Camry to be the top models in their segment.

As for problem areas, J.D. Power notes that infotainment systems are still problematic and driver assistance systems - such as adaptive cruise control and collision avoidance systems - have seen an increase in complaints.

In a statement, J.D. Power's Dave Sargent said “Automotive manufacturers are responding to consumer feedback and producing vehicles of the highest quality." He went on to say the quality level has improved significantly in each of the past three years despite increased complexity and the addition of new technologies.

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