The Best Automaker in Initial Quality is a Big Surprise

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For the first time in 27 years, the leader in the JD Power Initial Quality Study is a non-premium brand. 

Kia, tops the list this year, with the Korean brand scoring the highest overall with 83 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), followed closely by Porsche with 84 PP100. Kia was the best non-premium brand in 2015 and now it has moved on to score highest of all car brands. Hyundai (92 PP100), Toyota (93 PP100) and BMW (94 PP100) round out the top five.

This information is based on a 233-question survey that 80,000 new car buyers are given, asking them to identify problems experienced in the first 90 days of ownership, with a lower numerical score representing higher quality.

At the very bottom of the list this year is Smart (216 PP100). The small car brand traded the second-last position for the bottom with Fiat (174 PP100), which had a worse score than it did last year but was saved from being last by the poor performance of Smart. Volvo (152 PP100), Land Rover (132 PP100) and MINI (127 PP100) round out the bottom five on the list.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Most Dependable Cars of 2016: J.D. Power

The most improved award is a tie between the Chrysler and Jeep brands, both of which improved by 28 PP100 this year. American automakers in general performed well, with J.D. Power saying that for the first time in 30 years, the Detroit three achieved a combined average of less that than the combined average of import brands. The entire industry is also up, with new vehicle quality improving by six percent year-over-year.

In a theme demonstrated by Kia, this is also the first time since 2006 that non-premium brands have fewer issues that premium brands.

In the individual vehicle category, GM scooped up seven top awards, Toyota took six while Hyundai and Volkswagen both took four each.

JD-Power-IQS-2016-Chart
  • smartacus

    not surprised FIAT and smart are the worst.
    Who in their right mind would buy a FIAT?

    And smart’s partnership with Renault-Nissan has resulted in utter disappointment.
    The old one was superior for its time.

  • εδω εγω

    I have had 4 fiats the last 15 years. None of them ever had a single problem…
    One of them “Panda multijet” is a Lessons car since I own a driving school…. but obviously you know better…

  • smartacus

    yes you are correct. I DO KNOW BETTER.
    But i did not know until your post proved it.
    For that i thank you 🙂

    4 FIATs in 15 years???

    That’s less than 4 years per FIAT

  • εδω εγω

    still have them mister know it all… you know nothing

  • smartacus

    still on the bottom of the list.
    But thank you for addressing me by my proper name

  • εδω εγω

    Of a list … I don’t think i should address you with the right name for you in public…

  • smartacus

    oh i see, 1+1=2 but you know better.
    OK you win 🙂
    I am convinced by your facts. I will change the list tomorrow.

  • smartacus

    ^^^LOL he took it seriously and departed

  • εδω εγω

    your so smart I cant confront your facts ….

  • smartacus

    yes, that just about sums it up

  • εδω εγω

    you are the great guru of cars thanks for sharing your great knowledge.

  • εδω εγω

    I am so lucky I have met you
    after the facts and all the lists around the world that you presented us …
    now I must thank the god of cars for sending to as his child….YOU pfffff

  • εδω εγω

    go to sleep…you need it

  • smartacus

    FYI , it is not my list. i do not own JD Power
    yes consider yourself lucky to have met me

  • smartacus

    any time

  • smartacus

    i make sure i always get more than 2 hours of sleep

  • εδω εγω

    να κοιμασαι περισσοτερο σου λειπει υπνος

  • εδω εγω

    και την χρησιμοποιείς όπως οι εξτρεμιστές το κοράνι διαβασε και ναενα αλλο βιβλιο πηγαινε και κανενα ταξιδι αγορασε και κανενα αλλο αυτοκινητο απο το φολκς βαγκεν σου….

  • εδω εγω

    δεν εχω χρονο για σενα αλλο θα ξοδεψω οσο χρειαζεται για ενα συνανθρωπο με προβλημα οπως το δικο σου

  • smartacus

    i could have said the same about you, it’s getting late over there

  • smartacus

    you are the one who should worry. You will be living in the Eurabian Caliphate within 20 years. and you will be begging the Americans to help you…yet again

  • smartacus

    i always end up listening to your psychosexual issues.
    I have no sweets to give you on the way out.

  • RS6

    My friend. You being an American have enough problems in your own country to sort out first before you look at others.

  • smartacus

    My friend, Your not being an American, you don’t have the cerebral fortitude to deduce i am not the one looking at others, they are looking at me first.
    (because i am so beautiful)

  • RS6

    You don’t need cerebral fortitude to see the problems Americans have currently

  • smartacus

    ok watch this:

    what would you say… are some of the reasons for these um, American problems?

  • RS6

    The US is all but broke – partly due to Military actions in Middle East….

    A country that has “almost” elected Trump as president – well that speaks for itself…

    You call yourselves the “land of the free”…if the US idea of freedom is arming everyone with a gun so you can massacre each other then you can have that.

  • smartacus

    give me three examples of countries that are better than the US
    and three that are also problematic like the US

  • RS6

    Why would I waste my time doing that for you?

  • εδω εγω

    το πραγματικό πρόβλημα είναι ότι νομίζεις πως με ακούς …. σε λυπάμαι να ξέρεις …

  • εδω εγω

    ούτε καν …

  • εδω εγω

    μπορει και ζητησουμε βοηθεια μπορει και οχι εσυ παντως πρεπει να διαβασεις και κανενα αλλο βιβλιο πηγαινε και κανενα ταξιδι αγορασε και κανενα αλλο αυτοκινητο απο το φολκς βαγκεν σου…. μηπως και ετσι καταλαβεις οτι δεν εισαι τιποτα παραπανω απο ενα γλυκουλη αμερικανακι που μαζι σου γελαει ολος ο κοσμος ….

  • εδω εγω

    για ανθρωπιστικούς λόγους

  • J.R.

    Mini, Land Rover, Volvo, FIAT…… shame on you. Smart… I forgive, bcus it is not a car… it is a child’s toy.

  • PattybManning

    I basically get paid about $6,000-$8,000 /month with an online job i found on internet. For anyone looking to do simple online work for 2-5 hours every day from your living room and earn good paycheck in the same time… Try this job 5fa5b.ULINKS.NET
    dskfn

  • Yal100

    I don’t put much salt in JDPowers but that is quite an impressive feat by Hyundai with its Kia and Hyundai brands. Talk about crushing the memory of the old Hyundai Excel…Bravo! Boy how far has Honda/Acura fallen? Wow.

  • smartacus

    OK i see your point, it would require time and effort to find examples of three countries better than US.

  • smartacus

    Thank God for German loans 🙂

  • smartacus

    i think you were talking to the person in the mirror just now

  • smartacus

    the real problem is your soccer team 🙂

  • smartacus

    don’t forget to hug yourself today and accept your life

  • εδω εγω

    You must be so very young… This is Greece it’s never late.

  • εδω εγω

    These days we ask help from China and Russia… Maybe we buy guns from them from now on… And you lose your job … What a pity..

  • εδω εγω

    Champions…

  • smartacus

    only in the eyes of someone high on hallucinogenics

  • smartacus

    haha! you will lose your country to them 🙂
    and it WILL NOT BE ANY PITY .
    GO AHEAD, I WISH YOU WOULD JOIN THEM!!!

  • smartacus

    You must be so very high on drugs, This is not Sparta

  • εδω εγω

    Σκέψου καλύτερα…

  • εδω εγω

    Να σταματήσεις να τα Παίρνεις…

  • εδω εγω

    Δεν χρειάζεται να μας γράφεις τι λες το πρωϊ στο εαυτό σου…

  • εδω εγω

    Ασυναρτησίες…

  • εδω εγω

    Ασυναρτησίες….

  • εδω εγω

    11000 σχόλια στο disqus … πρέπει να είσαι πραγματικά δυστυχισμένος στη χώρα σου… Αγόρασε ενα FIAT και πήγαινε κανένα ταξίδι στη νότιο Αμερική

  • εδω εγω

    Κι εδώ ασυναρτησίες…

  • smartacus

    that is what they told you in school
    But you only attended 8 grades of school

  • smartacus

    now you are repeating what your mother told you

  • smartacus

    like your money 🙂

  • smartacus

    no need to tell us the love letters you write to your hand for the lovely night you two had together 🙂

  • εδω εγω

    μιλώντας για μητέρες το ξέρει η μαμά σου πως χρησιμοποιείς το ίντερνετ;

  • εδω εγω

    περισσότερες ασυναρτησίες τα 12000 τα σχόλια είναι κοντά γράφε

  • smartacus

    at least my country will not be part of Arabia in 10 years 🙂

    even South America can teach you financial lessons

  • εδω εγω

    φτύσε τα μπούτια σου ….

  • εδω εγω

    stronger than yours sweet child…

  • smartacus

    if it were jibberish you would not reply to it

  • smartacus

    spit your mother’s milk

  • smartacus

    does your mom know about the secret pictures you have of her in your computer?

  • smartacus

    not after the Brexit sweet child

  • εδω εγω

    i dont

  • εδω εγω

    boring

  • smartacus

    that’s what the Germans said about you when they were having second thoughts about loaning you the relief money 🙂

  • εδω εγω

    just go

  • smartacus

    thank you!
    you just admitted you reply to yourself

  • smartacus

    that’s what she said to you 🙂

  • εδω εγω

    quit drugs

  • smartacus

    no i will not just go to South America.

  • smartacus

    quit spanking

  • εδω εγω

    μην σχολιάζεις πράγματα που δεν γνωρίζεις βρε χαζούλη………… δηλαδή σταμάτα σχολιάζεις

  • εδω εγω

    χαχαχαχαχαχαχαχαχαχαχαχαχαχαχαχαχα farage is that you?

  • εδω εγω

    μαζι τις διαλεξαμε

  • εδω εγω

    idiotacus

  • εδω εγω

    after she left from you idiotacus

  • smartacus

    i feel for you. i would be upset if my favorite brand was lowest on the list too.

  • smartacus

    hahahahahahahahahaha Soros is that you?

  • smartacus

    oh then she does know

  • smartacus

    your new name

  • εδω εγω

    αυτο το καταλαβες…… καιρος ηταν

  • εδω εγω

    μην σχολιάζεις πράγματα που δεν γνωρίζεις βρε χαζούλη………… δηλαδή σταμάτα σχολιάζεις

  • smartacus

    she was not that good.
    she was too loose from all those Africans

  • εδω εγω

    my favorite is Honda …

  • smartacus

    i don’t care what the weather is like

  • εδω εγω

    fail

  • smartacus

    you already said that

  • εδω εγω

    2nd fail

  • εδω εγω

    your real name

  • smartacus

    fail like the drachma 🙂

  • smartacus

    like the 2nd bailout

  • smartacus

    which you hope to afford someday

  • εδω εγω

    until you get it μην σχολιάζεις πράγματα που δεν γνωρίζεις βρε χαζούλη………… δηλαδή σταμάτα σχολιάζεις

  • εδω εγω

    since 2001 when you were born

  • εδω εγω

    have 3 allready

  • εδω εγω

    jazz “fit” hrv and legend

  • smartacus

    i thought it was Farage

  • εδω εγω

    so it is you…boring boring when you reach 12000 comments talk to me we celebrate your non life together goodbye

  • smartacus

    until you think of something else to say

  • smartacus

    oooh so that’s why you are talking to me.
    you think i’m a young hairless 15 year old boy.

    You are a fat hairy man who wants my seed all over his beard.

  • smartacus

    which you hope to pay off someday

  • smartacus

    i understand the jazz “fit” ,
    but i would not give driving lessons to young kids with a Legend.

  • smartacus

    you did get me closer to 12,000…if that was your intent

  • James

    It’s not a surprise. SMH! I knew years ago. Owned a 2011 Kia Forte SX, 2012 Kia Soul+, 2013 Kia Sorento, 2014 Kia Sorento SXL, and now a 2016 Kia Sorento SX. I rented a 2016 Mercedes Benz GLE SUV and drove it from TX to FL (2500+ miles). The MB quality, ride, options, comfort, engine, and transmission DID NOT EVEN COMPARE to our KIA and the KIA was 20K less price. People need to get their heads out of their ass and do their own research and get off the Toyota/Lexus bandwagon. That stuff is crap also. KIA all the way! Next for me is a KIA Cadenza Limited!

  • RS6

    Better in what way? Safety, wages,quality of life maybe

  • smartacus

    take your pick.
    journalistic freedom, gun control, whatever…

  • RS6

    Australia, NZ, Netherlands

  • smartacus

    now pick three that are just as bad as US

  • RS6

    I don’t know of too many that are as bad. Maybe Brazil

  • smartacus

    Where would Russia, Mexico, and UK post Brexit stand in comparison to US?

  • RS6

    Have been to UK and Mexico I would say UK better apart from weather ( but is starting to go down hill). Mexico is a slum. Have t been to Russia but with weather like that I’m not interested

  • smartacus

    how about France?
    Where does the land of cheese and wine fall in comparison to US?

  • RS6

    Who cares? Not me. They can have all the frogs they like

  • smartacus

    how about… Romania.
    Would they be better than US?

  • RS6

    The survivors in Florida prob think so.

  • smartacus

    Floridian survivors think Romania is better than Florida? or better than US?

  • RS6

    Both prob

  • smartacus

    How to tell them life is better in Romania, Australia, NZ, and Netherlands?
    Internet campaign? Will those places accept US immigrants?

  • RS6

    I doubt those places would want US immigrants

  • smartacus

    you raise an important point.
    US has allowed all kinds of immigrants to come in without properly establishing their potential for crime.

    I just read a 5 year old girl in Idaho was raped by Sudanese and Iraqi immigrants who peed on her, peed on her clothes, and peed in her mouth.

  • RS6

    Chances of being raped are prob below the chances of your children being shot in a US school thou

  • smartacus

    i admit, i don’t know why FBI didn’t stop them.
    FBI even dropped their investigation of the Orlando lone wolf…twice.
    They investigated him twice and were ordered to stand down and not risk discriminating against a muslim. Even when he bought the gun. They did nothing.

  • RS6

    There again is the problem – guns.

  • smartacus

    The problem is bad guys will ALWAYS get guns.
    Not enough people to shoot back.
    Guns are already recognized as a Constitutional right, so why don’t more people have guns?

    Gay community has woken up to this fact, you should see them buying guns now in the most unexpected places like California.

  • RS6

    20 yes ago Australia tightened guns so much that it made next to impossible to buy one for most people and guess what? No one massacre since then. The US says all citizen have the “right” to arm themselves and we all know how badly that has gone.

  • smartacus

    I’m afraid i have to correct you because that is inaccurate. Besides; multiple accounts of gunman opening fire in public, there has been a massacre since 1996:

    Do you remember 2002 Monash University. 7 people shot by gunman. When you outlaw guns, only outlaws have guns.

    There was a report by the University of Melbourne in 2008 that analyzed firearms deaths for a period of 100-years in Australia. It concluded that the new laws did not have any significant effects on firearm homicides and suicides.

    I am going to quote David Leyonhjelm, a Liberal Democratic Party member of the Australian Parliament. “The full truth is that Australia’s close neighbor New Zealand – a country very similar to Australia in history, culture, and economic trends – has experienced an almost identical time period with no mass shooting events despite the ongoing widespread availability of the types of firearms Australia banned,” he wrote that in a piece for the Australian Finance Review.

  • RS6

    Sorry. I stand correct. There was one in 2002….

  • Hugh

    Have you ever watched matilda? You know noting about your car in a few months, actual problem starts just after 6 months and when you sell the car (you will surprised how your car’s value dropped in a 3 years for those Korean cars). My friend bought Hyundai Sonata three years ago. Legendary year 1995 Mitsubishi technology based GDI engine now making crazy noise and it is not covered by insurance… If it was a Camry… I feel sorry for him…

  • smartacus
  • Effilya De

    kia and hyundai are well on the way to the top of the automotive world. i just chuckle when these dough heads rant on about kia junk….ya right. the people that buy them know different. You cannot beat kia for quality and price point, and it won’t be too long until they will win just on quality regardless of price point. i just bought a 2017 Sportage SX with the turbo motor. A quality ride any way to slice it. Solid, quiet and beautiful inside and out.

  • dsa127

    Weird I thought this was the case for a while. German luxury hasn’t been more “reliable” in years. They are getting cocky with dozens of different variations of dozens of models in production. It’s asking for the same trouble GM ran into in the 2000’s although they simply had too many brands/models all together. I think the overall trend will be that the asian brands will be the new luxury in a few years.

  • TIE

    Let us know if you still feel this way in 8 years with 200K miles under your Kia’s belt. There’s a big difference between ‘initial quality’ and long-term reliability.

  • TIE

    So you’ve traded your Kias on pretty much an annual basis!!?? You have no clue to their long-term reliability, then – right?

  • James

    More than one driver in the house. Kept them anywhere from 2-4 years and put between 60k-140k during that time period. So if long term is over 4 years and 140k miles….no.

  • James

    More than one driver in the house. Kept them anywhere from 2-4 years and put between 60k-140k during that time period. So if long term is over 4 years and 140k miles….no.

  • James

    TIE – This is an IQS study. When was the last time you purchased a KIA? If you are referring to the quality that it was 10 years ago, you may have a point. Thus the reason they weren’t on the top of this list 10 years ago. Their quality, styling, dependability, etc has increased 10 fold each year, while brands like Toyota or Lexus has decreased just as fast. SMH dude!

  • Bug S Bunny

    Thanks – we’ll take it.

  • smartacus

    one month later, i was right.
    France has some of the strictest leftist socialist gun laws in the world and the Muslim trucker had a gun to shoot at police with
    BAD GUYS WILL ALWAYS GET GUNS!!!!

  • smartacus

    when you outlaw guns
    only outlaws have guns

  • RS6

    enjoy – while you still can.

  • kaffekup

    “None of them has ever had a single problem” is a statement I can not believe for a second. Maybe if you covered them and put them in storage. All cars have problems, and Fiat? Give me a break!!!

  • εδω εγω

    I will not try to convince you. You can bielieve what you want…