Kia takes top spot again in JD Power initial quality study

Kia takes top spot again in JD Power initial quality study

Kia takes top spot again in JD Power initial quality study

Kia is the highest-ranked automotive brand for the second consecutive year, according to the 2017 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study. South Korea's Kia Motors Corp. took top honors for the second year in a row and affiliate Hyundai Motor Co.'s Genesis brand finished No. 2 in its inaugural year.

That's a change of fortune that has been in the works for several years. "The domestics have improved by ten-fold and have a high level of initial quality-fewer problems than the imports".

While Kia did the incredible - nearly unbelievable - of repeating last year's number one rating (luxury brands usually dominate this study) and Genesis was a relatively close number two, Porsche was hot on Genesis' heals.

Since J.D. Power began fielding the Initial Quality Survey in 1987, luxury marques have dominated the #1 rung, with mass-market brands like Kia coming out on top just three times: 2006, 2016, and this year, 2017. Although they have shown improvements, Sargent says voice recognition and Bluetooth phone pairing remain the top two problems not only in the infotainment category but industry wide on IQS.

Overall, however, Kia topped them all, also for the second straight year.

Kia ranked highest in overall initial quality, followed by Hyundai's new Genesis brand, Porsche, Ford and Dodge's Ram.

"Many people wondered if we could maintain such a lofty position", Michael Sprague, chief operating officer of Kia's USA sales unit, said in a statement.

J.D. Power has the full list of individual segment winners. The lowest-ranking brands were Fiat, Jaguar, Volvo, Mitsubishi and Land Rover. As a result, J.D. Power said it does not have enough responses from Tesla owners to include in the survey.

The more new technology crammed into a vehicle, the more things can go wrong. However, this category shows the most improvement since 2016 with a score of 22.8 PP100, or 2.7 PP100 better than the previous year.

Offering more models in the United States with popular driver-assist features such as adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning than any other full-line manufacturer.

When broken down into vehicle segments, Hyundai/KIA received five model awards with General Motors and BMW both tied with four. Domestic brands averaged a rate of 93 problems, while import brands had 99.

However, Chrysler's Fiat scored 163 problems per 100 vehicles, although an improvement on its 2016 score of 174.

Ford, which previous year placed eleventh in the study, made significant strides, dropping from 102 PP100.

As usual, the Power study ranks individual vehicles as well as brands.

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