J.D. Power released the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Initial Quality Study. Kia was top rated while overall quality continued to improve. The last place ranking went to smart with Fiat ranking slightly better.
U.S. domestic brands collectively have lower problem levels than all their import counterparts combined.
For the first time since 2006, non-premium brands have fewer problems (104 PP100) than premium brands (108 PP100).
Highest-Ranked Nameplates and Models
Kia ranks highest in initial quality with a score of 83 PP100, the first time in 27 years that a non-premium brand has topped the rankings. It is also the second consecutive year that Kia, which ranked second in 2015, has led all non-premium makes in initial quality.
Porsche (84 PP100) ranks second among nameplates, followed by Hyundai (92 PP100), Toyota (93 PP100) and BMW (94 PP100).
Chrysler and Jeep are the most improved brands, each reducing the number of problems by 28 PP100 from 2015.
General Motors receives seven model-level awards, followed by Toyota Motor Corporation with six and Hyundai Motor Company and Volkswagen AG, each with four.
- General Motors models that rank highest in their respective segments are the Buick Cascada; Chevrolet Equinox; Chevrolet Silverado HD; Chevrolet Silverado LD; Chevrolet Spark; Chevrolet Tahoe; and GMC Terrain.
- Toyota Motor Corporation models that rank highest in their segment are the Lexus CT; Lexus GS; Scion tC; Toyota Camry; Toyota Corolla; and Toyota Highlander.
- Hyundai Motor Company models that rank highest in their segment are the Hyundai Accent; Hyundai Azera; Kia Soul; and Kia Sportage.
- Volkswagen AG models that rank highest in their segment are the Audi Q3, Audi TT, Porsche Macan and Porsche 911.
Plant Quality Awards
Toyota Motor Corporation’s Georgetown 3 (Kentucky) plant, which produces the Lexus ES, and its Kyushu 2 (Japan) plant, which produces the Lexus ES and Lexus RX, each receive the Platinum Plant Quality Award in a tie for producing models with the fewest defects or malfunctions. Plant quality awards are based solely on defects and malfunctions and exclude design-related problems.
Porsche’s Stuttgart (Germany) plant, which produces the Porsche 911 and Porsche Boxster, receives the Gold Plant Quality Award in the Europe/Africa region.
The 2016 U.S. Initial Quality Study is based on responses from more than 80,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2016 model-year vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study is based on a 233-question battery organized into eight problem categories designed to provide manufacturers with information to facilitate the identification of problems and drive product improvement. The study was fielded from February through May 2016.
Expected reliability remains the most important consideration when purchasing a new vehicle, cited by 49% of owners. J.D. Power has studied consumer behavior from when they purchase or lease their new vehicle through when they are back in the market for their next vehicle in order to measure the impact initial quality has on brand loyalty. Among owners who experience no problems with their vehicle in the first 90 days, 54% stay with the same brand for their next vehicle. Loyalty drops to 50% among owners who experience one problem with their vehicle and to 45% among those who experience three or more problems.