Highest Quality Cars of 2016: J.D. Power Initial Quality Study

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

The J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Initial Quality Study results are in and there are quite a few surprises.

The annual study is now in its 30th year and examines the number of problems experienced by vehicle owners during the first 90 days. An initial quality score is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score representing higher quality.

SEE ALSO: The Best Automaker in Initial Quality is a Big Surprise

This year’s study also marked the first time that a non-premium brand ranked at the highest, with Kia scoring 83 PP100, besting Porsche that finished second with 84 PP100. If quality if your primary concern when shopping for a new car, here are the top models per segment.

City Car – Chevrolet Spark

The Chevrolet Spark is the sole model to be ranked in the City Car segment, since no other model performed above segment average.

Small Car – Hyundai Accent

In the Small Car category, the Hyundai Accent claims top honors with the Chevrolet Sonic and Kia Rio finishing in the top three as well.

Small Premium Car – Lexus CT

The Lexus CT, a luxury version of the Toyota Prius, beat out the BMW 2 Series and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class for top honors in the Small Premium Car segment.

Compact Car – Toyota Corolla

Always a consistent performer in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, the Toyota Corolla ranked best in the Compact Car category. Also being recognized is the Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra.

Compact Sporty Car – Buick Cascada / Scion tC

There is a tie this year for the highest quality Compact Sporty Car, with the Buick Cascada and Scion tC both being recognized in the category. Also in the top three is the Hyundai Veloster.

Compact MPV – Kia Soul

Although Kia ranks best among all automakers, it only has one model that is recognized. The Kia Soul is the highest-ranked Compact MPV and is actually the only Compact MPV on the list since no other model in the segment performs above average.

Compact Premium Car – Lincoln MKZ

Leading the way in the Compact Premium Car segment is the Lincoln MKZ, followed by the Lexus ES and BMW 3 Series.

Compact Premium Sporty Car – Audi TT

The Audi TT receives top honors in the Compact Premium Sporty Car segment, scoring better than the Porsche Boxster and Porsche Cayman.

Midsize Car – Toyota Camry

Like the Toyota Corolla, the Toyota Camry consistently finds itself recognized in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study. It’s the best Midsize Car, although the Nissan Altima and Honda Accord also finished in the top three in the segment.

Sporty Car – Dodge Challenger

Surprisingly, only the Dodge Challenger performs above segment average in the Midsize Sporty Car category, making it the undisputed leader in quality within the segment.

Minivan – Chrysler Town & Country

It’s hard to believe there are even three minivans to compete, but there are. Only two, however, perform above segment average and they both come from FCA. The Chrysler Town & Country is rated higher than the Dodge Grand Caravan.

Midsize Premium Car – Lexus GS

The Midsize Premium Car category is getting competitive, but Toyota’s luxury arm is still best. The Lexus GS ranked highest while the Audi A7 and Hyundai Genesis are also in the top three.

Midsize Premium Sporty Car – Porsche 911

Like the Midsize Sporty Car category, only one vehicle performed above segment average and it is the Porsche 911.

Large Car – Hyundai Azera

In the Large Car category, the Hyundai Azera paves the way, while the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Impala follows.

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Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at AutoGuide.com saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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