Highest Quality SUVs and Trucks of 2016: J.D. Power Initial Quality Study

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

The worst thing about buying a new car is having to take it back to the dealership for an issue almost immediately.

This is why for the past 30 years, J.D. Power has published its Initial Quality Study that examines the number of problems experienced by vehicle owners within the first 90 days. J.D. Power then takes the results and assigns an initial quality score that is based on the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score indicating higher quality.

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

So if you’re shopping for an SUV of truck and want to make sure you aren’t making frequent visits back to the dealership within the first three months, here are the highest quality SUVs and trucks available today.

Small SUV – Kia Sportage

Kia as a brand actually was the highest quality automaker this year, marking the first time in 27 years that a non-premium brand sat at the top of the list. The Kia Sportage led the way in the Small SUV category, while the Hyundai Tucson and Buick Encore were also in the top three of the segment.

Small Premium SUV – Audi Q3

In the Small Premium SUV category, the Audi Q3 ranked highest while the BMW X1 came in second. No other vehicle performed above average in the segment.

Compact SUV – Chevrolet Equinox / GMC Terrain

The Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain tied in the Compact SUV category, leaving the Ford Escape on its own as the third top finisher.

Compact Premium SUV – Porsche Macan

For the Compact Premium SUV segment, the Porsche Macan finished top while the Lincoln MKC and BMW X3 were also recognized for their high quality.

Midsize SUV – Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander was the highest ranked Midsize SUV, but the Kia Sorento and Nissan Murano also made the top three list.

Midsize Premium SUV – BMW X5

One of the most popular luxury SUVs available, the BMW X5 ran into little issues in the Midsize Premium SUV category. Finishing second was the BMW X6 while the Lexus RX was a surprising third.

Midsize Pickup – Nissan Frontier

The Midsize Pickup category has a surprising best with the Nissan Frontier. The GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado followed, proving that the Japanese automaker does know a thing or two about building a quality pickup.

Large SUV – Chevrolet Tahoe

There’s still quite a bit of competition in the Large SUV category, but the Chevrolet Tahoe remains at the top of the list. The Toyota Sequoia and Ford Expedition followed.

Large Premium SUV – Lincoln Navigator

Then there’s the Large Premium SUV segment, which has seen an increase of competitors in recent years. The Lincoln Navigator was highest ranked, while the Infiniti QX80 and Land Rover Range Rover were also recognized.

Large Light Duty Pickup – Chevrolet Silverado LD

The Ford F-Series might be the best-selling pickup truck in the country, but it’s not the highest quality according to J.D. Power. In fact, the F-Series didn’t even perform above segment average since the GMC Sierra was the only other vehicle to be recognized in the segment.

Large Heavy Duty Pickup – Chevrolet Silverado HD

So it’s not a big surprise that the Chevrolet Silverado HD also claimed a victory in the Large Heavy Duty Pickup segment. But this time, the Ford Super Duty does make an appearance in second, followed by the GMC Sierra HD.

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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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