The results of J.D. Power’s annual Initial Quality Study are in and for the second year in a row Kia has come out on top.
Kia owners reported 72 problems per 100 vehicles sold, less than any other automaker in the study. Kia took the top spot by quite a wide margin, with the runner-up, Hyundai’s Genesis luxury brand, having 77 problems reported per 100 vehicles. Impressively, the two Korean brands beat out Porsche for the top two spots – the German manufacturer was ranked third with 78 problems per 100 vehicles.
Ford and Fiat Chrysler’s Ram truck brand complete the top five, each returning an average of 86 problems per 100 vehicles. The research firm notes this is a strong result for both brands, with neither Ford nor Ram having ranked that high in the study since 2011.
The biggest gains in regards to initial quality were related to in-car infotainment systems. Ford, for example, worked its way from 11th in last year’s study to fourth in this year’s, with its gains largely chalked up to its new Sync3 infotainment system. Automakers still have a long way to go in regards to technology, however, with active safety systems such as adaptive cruise control and forward collision alert proving to be consistently buggy.
That’s not to take away from the quality of new cars in 2017. This year’s study showed the highest average levels of initial quality in the study’s 30-year history – this despite the fact that cars are more tech-laden and advanced than ever before. This year’s industry average was 97 problems per 100 vehicles, down from 105 a year ago.
“Automotive manufacturers are responding to consumer feedback and producing vehicles of the highest quality,” said Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. “The industry has improved significantly in each of the past three years. Today’s vehicles have more things that could go wrong but fewer things that actually do go wrong.”
The full results of the study are below.