Kia tops new car quality survey for second straight year

Yolanda Curtis
June 22, 2017

Kia Motors 000270.KS topped an initial quality study of new vehicles sold in the United States based on owner responses for the second consecutive year, business consultancy J.D. Power said on Wednesday.

The 2017 IQS is based on responses from almost 80,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2017 model-year vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership.

The decline for Lexus, with owners reporting 98 problems reported per 100 vehicles in the first three months of ownership, has been playing out for several years. "Not Actors" series of commercials, in which a smarmy host reads off the various industry awards Chevy vehicles have earned in recent years, many of which stem from J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study. The industry average for the 2017 study is 97 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), down from 105 a year ago. Quality improved in every category except for displays and controls, which saw an uptick in complaints about newer features like lane departure warning systems and blind spot detection. The Audio/Communication/Entertainment/Navigation (ACEN) category has the highest incidence of reported problems of any, scores on average improved pretty significantly since past year.

DETROIT (AP) — Kia has claimed the top spot in a survey of new vehicle quality for the second straight year.

Other models that rank highest in their respective segments are the Chrysler Pacifica; Ford Expedition; Ford Mustang; Infiniti QX80; Lexus GS; Mercedes-Benz GLA; Nissan Frontier; Porsche 911; Porsche Macan; and Toyota Camry.

"Receiving this award in our very first year in the USA market is a strong testament toward the commitment and meticulous work of Genesis", said Head of Genesis Brand, Manfred Fitzgerald.

Genesis, the luxury automotive brand, strives to make a positive difference in the lives of discerning customers, thus becoming an important element of their lifestyle. This was the very first time the Genesis brand was included in the study. Chevy, sixth last year, Hyundai, third last year, and BMW, fifth last year, all tied for sixth this year, at 88 problems, and Nissan, 10 last year, and Volkswagen, 14 last year, tied for 10, at 93.

Kia also was among the top five brands in Consumer Reports' annual reliability survey published last fall.

Ford jumped from 11th place to fourth this year and had 16 fewer problems per 100 vehicles than in 2016.

"As Ford accelerates the pace of innovation, we believe this best-ever quality ranking demonstrates our new technologies are reliable and easy to use", said Bennie Fowler, group vice president, Quality. General Motors, meanwhile, managed to come out on top in four different segments: "Small Car" (Chevrolet Sonic), "Large Light Duty Pickup" (Chevrolet Silverado), "Large Heavy Duty Pickup" (Chevrolet Silverado HD), and "Compact SUV" (GMC Terrain). Vehicles were evaluated on driving experience, engine and transmission performance and a broad range of quality problem symptoms reported by vehicle owners.

While critics and skeptics might question the merit of examining a car's quality after just three months of ownership, J.D. Power believes the first 90 days give a sufficient glimpse into the long-term reliability of a auto, truck or SUV.

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