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America’s Highest-Quality Vehicles

The top-ranked models, by segment, in the 2015 J.D. Power IQS,

by on Jun.18, 2015

Porsche captured the top spot in J.D. Power's most recent Initial Quality Survey. The Boxster is the top choice in the compact sporty car category.

While fuel economy, design and performance are three of the factors that heavily influence the vehicles Americans choose when they go to the showroom, quality is often the deciding factor. The good news is that today’s cars, trucks and crossovers deliver better quality than ever, according to the latest J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.

Just two decades ago, the average vehicle was likely to suffer from as many as three to four “problems” during the first 90 days of ownership, early surveys revealed. But in the latest Power IQS, that’s down to barely one. And among the best models, many owners may find nothing to complain about at all while even the worst vehicles today would have been at the top of the chart at the turn of the Millennium.

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The 2015 Initial Quality Survey delivered some big surprises. For one thing, Kia was the second-ranked brand overall, behind only Porsche, and ahead of all the traditionally high-quality Japanese makers. Hyundai, at fourth, also led traditional quality benchmarks Lexus, Toyota and Honda. But which individual models topped the chart? (more…)

Japanese Automakers Slide, Koreans Surge in New J.D. Power Initial Quality Study

Japanese brands, as a group, post worst performance in 29 years.

by on Jun.17, 2015

Hyundai has scored major gains in quality with products like the 2015 Tucson, according to Power.

This story contains updated information.

If the latest J.D. Power survey is any indication, you might need to re-think just about everything you thought you knew about automotive quality.

The latest Initial Quality Survey, or IQS, finds that Japanese automakers, on the whole, have suffered a significant slide in the quality charts, with only three brands in the Top 10 this year. But the real shocker might be the surge in Korean quality. Kia, a brand long known for cheap, mediocre products, was second, behind top-ranked Porsche, with Hyundai ranked fourth. Jaguar, also struggling to reverse a reputation for poor quality, was third.

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For the Korean brands, which are caught up in a ferocious battle for market, the survey results represent a measure of vindication.  “We are extremely proud of the results,” said Mike Ofiara, a spokesman for Kia, which finished second in the overall ranking. “We’ve come a very long way. It’s representative of a lot of hard work by a lot of people.”


Auto Quality Problems on the Rise, According to Latest J.D. Power IQS

High-tech problems worsen – but weather also created headaches.

by on Jun.18, 2014

Cars like the Porsche Panamera helped position the German maker as the top brand in the 2014 IQS.

While they’re not necessarily connected, the sudden surge in recalls this year comes at the same time the overall quality of new cars, trucks and crossovers has shown an unexpected decline, according to the latest, widely followed J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.

Automakers seem to be having a lot of trouble getting all-new vehicles into production without launch problems, noted the 2014 IQS. Some of the biggest headaches are the result of the latest high-tech gadgetry that has becoming a must on today’s new vehicles. But the report also suggests that the harsh weather that has plagued much of the country over the last year has contributed to some of the problems, especially when it comes to engine and climate control systems.

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“Automakers are trying to give consumers the new features and technology they want without introducing additional quality problems into their vehicles,” said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. “However, almost all automakers are struggling to do this flawlessly with some consumers indicating that the technology is hard to understand, difficult to use, or simply does not always work as designed.”


Imports Retain Lead – but Detroit’s Big Three Closing Quality Gap Fast

Lexus and parent Toyota again top new J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey.

by on Jun.22, 2009

Detroit's Big Three makers made huge strides in quality, according to the latest J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, but the single highest-quality product was the Lexus LX sport-utility vehicle.

Detroit's Big Three makers made huge strides in quality, according to the latest J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, but the single highest-quality product was the Lexus LX sport-utility vehicle.

Despite distracting financial problems, Detroit’s Big Three automakers showed a substantial improvement in off-the-assembly-line quality, according to the latest Initial Quality Survey by automotive gurus J.D. Power and Associates.

Chrysler, Ford and General Motors’ various brands scored a collective 10% improvement on the closely-watched 2009 IQS, though the industry, as a whole, experienced significant improvements.  That means that while the so-called quality gap is closing, imports once again retain the lead.

Among the 37 brands included in the yearly quality report, long-dominant Lexus again took the number one spot with an average of just 84 problems reported per 100 vehicles, (or 84 PP100).  Porsche, which had led the list for the last two years, slipped into the number two spot, while Cadillac jumped from 10th to 3rd.  Significantly, the Korean maker, Hyundai, surged to the 4th position, a major gain for a manufacturer long relegated to the bottom end of the quality charts.

The industry average, for 2009, came to 108 problems – down from 118, last year – which works out to just slightly more than one per vehicle, though Mini, the lowest-ranked maker, suffered from 165 PP100.

“It’s fair to say that new vehicle quality is better than it’s ever been,” said David Sargent, JDPA’s vice president of automotive research, “in terms of the absence of problems.”

Subscribe to TheDetroitBureau.comNotably, four Detroit brands – Cadillac, Ford, Chevrolet and Mercury – ranked above the industry average.  And Power officials reported that on the whole, the Big Three “outpaced (the) industry-wide improvement” in quality.

“Even in the face of unprecedented challenges, the Detroit automakers are keeping their focus on designing and building high-quality vehicles, which is a precondition for long-term success,” noted Sargent.