J.D. Power has released its 2018 Initial Quality Study which found new vehicle quality has improved for the fourth consecutive year.
The well-regarded study measures the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership. Eight different categories are measured and a lower number of problems indicates a higher level of quality.
In the latest study, overall quality climbed four percent from 2017 and quality improved in six of the eight different categories. As J.D. Power’s Vice President of Global Automotive, Dave Sargent, noted “There’s no question that most automakers are doing a great job of listening to consumers and are producing vehicle quality of the highest caliber.”
Jumping right into the data, Korean brands were the best in this year’s study as Genesis, Kia and Hyundai secured the top three spots. They were followed by Porsche, Ford and Chevrolet.
At the bottom of the list was Land Rover which had 160 problems for every 100 vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership. For comparison, the industry average was 93 problems in the same period of time.
Land Rover wasn’t the only luxury brand to find itself at the bottom of the list as the brand was just behind Jaguar and Volvo.
Of course, not all vehicles are created equal even when they come from the same brand. That can be seen in the class rankings where some companies with mediocre scores walked away with a win.
Starting with smaller vehicles, the Kia Rio was deemed the best small car while the Toyota Corolla won top honors in the compact car class. On the luxury side, buyers looking for quality should check out the Acura ILX and BMW 4-Series.
Moving onto larger vehicles, the Nissan Altima was deemed the best mid-size sedan while the best premium mid-size model was the Lincoln Continental. Nissan racked up another win with the Maxima which was dubbed the best large car. Likewise, the Genesis G90 beat out the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes S-Class in the large premium car segment.
Crossovers remain popular with buyers and mainstream models with the best initial quality are the Buick Envision, Kia Sorento, Hyundai Tucson and Ford Expedition. On the luxury side, winners include the Mercedes GLA and Lincoln MKC. BMW also racked up wins for the X1 and X6.
Other class wins went to the Chevrolet Silverado and Silverado HD, Ford Mustang and F-Series Super Duty as well as the Dodge Grand Caravan.
Among the key takeaways from this year study were improvements from Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors. The Porsche 911 also had the lowest number of overall problems this year and infotainment systems are getting better. Unfortunately, there are an increasing number of problems with driver assistance systems.
While all three domestic automakers saw improvements in initial quality, the most improved brand was Mazda. It was followed by Mitsubishi, Cadillac and Infiniti.
Note: A few models tied for class wins