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Top 20 Highest Quality Cars by Segment: 2018

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Top 20 Highest Quality Cars by Segment: 2018

The 2018 J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality Study has been released and here are the top performers for each segment.

The annual study examines problems experienced by original vehicle owners during the first 90 days of ownership, with initial quality measured by the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). This year, the study found a four-percent improvement in quality, with Korean automakers Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis leading the way.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Best Car Brands in Initial Quality for 2018

Along with ranking all the automakers, J.D. Power has awarded the highest quality cars by segment.

Small Car: Kia Rio

2018 kia rio

The Kia Rio performed the best in the Small Car segment, earning top ratings in overall quality, body & interior quality – mechanical, overall quality – design, body & interior quality – design, and features & accessories quality – design. It’s one of two vehicles from Kia that made this year’s list, helping the Korean automaker rank second overall among nameplates. The Rio beat out the Nissan Versa, Chevrolet Bolt, Toyota Yaris, Chevrolet Sonic, Honda Fit, Toyota Prius c, and Mitsubishi Mirage.


Small Premium Car: Acura ILX

2018 acura ilx

Topping the Small Premium Car segment is the Acura ILX, which earned top ratings for overall quality, but only has about average reliability. Hurting the ILX in J.D. Power’s evaluations were powertrain quality – design, overall quality – mechanical, features & accessories quality – mechanical, and body & interior quality – mechanical. Still, owners aren’t find many issues with their vehicles, helping the ILX rank best in the 2018 J.D. Power U.S. Initial Quality Study. The entry-level luxury sedan scored better than the BMW 2 Series, Mercedes-Benz CLA, and Audi A3.


Compact Car: Toyota Corolla

2018 toyota corolla

The popular Toyota Corolla is highest quality in the Compact Car segment, earning high marks in overall quality, overall quality – mechanical, body & interior quality – mechanical, overall quality – design, and features & accessories quality – design. The Corolla competed in a crowded segment, besting the Chevrolet Cruze, Kia Forte, Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen Jetta, Volkswagen Beetle, Nissan Sentra, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Mazda3, Hyundai Ioniq, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Golf, Subaru Impreza, Chevrolet Volt, and Subaru WRX.


Compact Premium Car: BMW 4 Series

2017 bmw 4 series

There’s a good reason the BMW 4 Series is a perennial best-seller in the Compact Premium Car segment. Receiving high marks in overall quality, overall quality – mechanical, body & interior quality – mechanical, and features & accessories quality – mechanical, the BMW 4 Series not only did well against its German competitors, but Japanese also offerings. Models the 4 Series beat include the Infiniti Q60, Lexus ES, Infiniti Q50, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus IS, Acura TLX, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac ATS, Kia Stinger, Lincoln MKZ, Audi A4, Audi A5, and Volvo S60.


Midsize Car: Nissan Altima

2019 nissan altima

Nissan performed well in this year’s study, with the Altima wining an award for the Midsize Car category. The Altima received high marks in nearly all categories that were rated: overall quality, overall quality – mechanical, powertrain quality – mechanical, body & interior quality – mechanical, features & accessories quality – mechanical, body & interior quality – design, and features & accessories quality – design. Other vehicles in the segment include the Kia Optima, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Accord, Subaru Legacy, Volkswagen Passat, Toyota Camry, and Honda Clarity.


Midsize Premium Car: Lincoln Continental

2017 lincoln continental

Topping the Midsize Premium Car segment is the Lincoln Continental, which received top marks in overall quality, powertrain quality – mechanical, overall quality – design, powertrain quality – design, and features & accessories quality – design. The American automaker’s luxury sedan scored higher than the Genesis G80, Lexus GS, BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Cadillac AT6, Audi A6, Cadillac CTS, and Volvo S90.


Midsize Sporty Car: Ford Mustang

2018 ford mustang gt

There aren’t very many entries in the Midsize Sporty Car category, with the Ford Mustang taking home the award. The Mustang received highest marks in overall quality, features & accessories quality – mechanical, overall quality – design, body & interior quality – design, and features & accessories quality – design. Its only competitors are the Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro.


Large Car: Nissan Maxima

2018 nissan maxima

Another offering from Nissan, the Maxima is the highest quality Large Car in this year’s study, scoring higher than the Ford Taurus, Chrysler 300, Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Charger, and Toyota Avalon. Like the Altima, Nissan Maxima also received highest marks in various categories: overall quality, overall quality – mechanical, powertrain quality – mechanical, body & interior quality – mechanical, overall quality – design, body & interior quality – design, and features & accessories quality – design.


Large Premium Car: Genesis G90

2018 genesis g90

The Genesis brand actually ranked highest among all automakers with an IQS PP100 score of 68 in this year’s study. Helping lead the way is the Genesis G90, which took him an award in the Large Premium Car category. Top marks were received in overall quality, features & accessories quality – mechanical, overall quality – design, and features & accessories quality – design. Competitors within the segment include the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and Porsche Panamera.


Minivan: Dodge Grand Caravan

2018 dodge grand caravan

Surprisingly, the Minivan segment actually has more competitors than the Midsize Sporty Car category. This year, the award goes to the Dodge Grand Caravan, which received top marks in overall quality, overall quality – design, and features & accessories quality – design. The Grand Caravan beat out the Kia Sedona, Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Pacifica, and Honda Odyssey.


Small SUV: Hyundai Tucson

2019 hyundai tucson

The Small SUV segment is growing and the Hyundai Tucson experiences the last number of problems, according to this year’s study. The model received top marks in every category except for powertrain quality – design. It outperformed the Kia Sportage, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Chevrolet Trax, MINI Countryman, Kia Niro, Buick Encore, Ford EcoSport, Jeep Compass, Subaru Crosstrek, Mazda CX-3, Toyota C-HR, and Honda HR-V.


Small Premium SUV: Mercedes-Benz GLA/BMW X1

2018 mercedes-benz gla and bmw x1

Two vehicles claimed awards in the Small Premium SUV category this year, the Mercedes-Benz GLA and BMW X1. The BMW X1 scored well on overall quality, overall quality – mechanical, body & interior quality – mechanical, features & accessories quality – mechanical, powertrain quality – design, and features & accessories quality – design. The GLA meanwhile, received high marks in overall quality, features & accessories quality – mechanical, overall quality -design, and body & interior quality – design. Both crossovers beat the Audi Q3 and Infiniti QX30.


Compact SUV: Buick Envision

2019 buick envision

Another crowded segment, the Buick Envision went home with the award in the Compact SUV category. The model received highest marks in all ratings except for features & accessories quality – mechanical and design. Still, it holds bragging rights over the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Equinox, Jeep Cherokee, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Jeep Wrangler, Volkswagen Tiguan, Mitsubishi Outlander, Subaru Forester, and GMC Terrain.


Compact Premium SUV: Lincoln MKC

2019 lincoln mkc

Lincoln MKC owners are experiencing the least amount of problems in the Compact Premium SUV category. The model scored high marks in overall quality, features & accessories quality – mechanical, overall quality – design, powertrain quality – design, and features & accessories quality – design. What’s more impressive is the MKC’s competition, which includes the Porsche Macan, Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3, Lexus NX, Acura RDX, Audi Q5, Volvo XC60, Jaguar F-Pace, and Range Rover Velar.


Midsize SUV: Kia Sorento

2019 kia sorento

In the Midsize SUV segment, the Kia Sorento ranked highest in initial quality. The Sorento received high marks in overall quality, powertrain quality – mechanical, overall quality – design, and features & accessories quality – design. It also beat out an impressive list of competitors including the Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Explorer, Nissan Murano, Toyota 4Runner, Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Edge, Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9, Ford Flex, GMC Acadia, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Buick Enclave, Dodge Durango, Subaru Outback, Volkswagen Atlas, and Dodge Journey.


Midsize Premium SUV: BMW X6

2015 bmw x6

Sitting at the top of the mountain in the Midsize Premium SUV segment is the BMW X6, which received highest marks in all categories except overall quality – design, and features & accessories quality – design. The Midsize Premium SUV category is getting crowded, with the X6 besting the Lexus RX, Porsche Cayenne, Lincoln MKX, Cadillac XT5, Infiniti QX60, Lexus GX, Mercedes-Benz GLE, BMW X5, Audi Q7, Acura MDX, and Volvo XC90.


Large SUV: Ford Expedition

2018 ford expedition

Not as competitive of a segment, but the Ford Expedition did take top honors in the Large SUV category. The model beat out the GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Tahoe, Nissan Armada, Toyota Sequoia, and Chevrolet Suburban. It received highest marks in overall quality, overall quality – design, body & interior quality – design, and features & accessories quality – design.


Midsize Pickup: Nissan Frontier

2018 nissan frontier

The Midsize Pickup category goes to the Nissan Frontier, which received highest marks in overall quality, features & accessories quality – mechanical, overall quality – design, and features & accessories quality – design. The Frontier competed against the GMC Canyon, Honda Ridgeline, Chevrolet Colorado, and Toyota Tacoma.


Large Light Duty Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado

2019 chevrolet silverado

The Ford F-150 might be the best selling light duty pickup, but Chevrolet Silverado owners are reporting less problems. Claiming the award for the Large Light Duty Pickup category, the Silverado beat out the F-150, Ram 1500, GMC Sierra, and Toyota Tundra. J.D. Power gave it high marks in overall quality, overall quality – design, and features & accessories quality – design.


Large Heavy Duty Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado HD and Ford Super Duty

2018 chevrolet silverado hd and ford super duty

There is however, a tie in the Large Heavy Duty Pickup category, with both the Chevrolet Silverado HD and Ford Super Duty taking home awards. That left the Ram 2500/3500 and GMC Sierra HD on the outside in this year’s ratings. The Chevrolet Silverado HD received high marks in overall quality, overall quality – mechanical, body & interior quality – mechanical, features & accessories quality – mechanical, overall quality – design, and body & interior quality – design. Meanwhile, the Ford Super Duty performed well in overall quality, overall quality – mechanical, powertrain quality – mechanical, overall quality – design, powertrain quality – design, and features & accessories quality – design.