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June 25, 2020

Kia is Best in New Car Quality According to 2020 Study

The Koreans stand atop their U.S., Japanese, and European counterparts after scoring the highest in the J.D. Power 2020 Initial Quality Study or IQS. Kia and Hyundai’s luxury brand, Genesis are the top ranked mainstream and premium segment brands in the study this year.

The study, now in its 34th year, examines problems experienced by U.S.-based owners of new 2020 model-year vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership. Initial quality is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality. This year’s test has been redesigned to measures components that fail and features that are difficult to use, hard to understand or don’t work the way owners want.

Almost one-fourth of all problems cited by new-vehicle owners relate to infotainment. Top complaints include built-in voice recognition; Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity; touchscreens; built-in navigation systems; and Bluetooth connectivity.

The Chevrolet Sonic achieves the best score of any model this year with a score of just 103 PP100.

Dodge and Kia tie for highest in overall initial quality, each with a score of 136 PP100. Dodge is the first domestic brand in the study’s history to rank highest. This is the sixth consecutive year that Kia is the highest-ranked mass market brand. Chevrolet and Ram place third in a tie (each with 141 PP100). Genesis is the highest ranked premium brand for the fourth consecutive year in the study.

The parent corporation receiving the most model-level awards is Hyundai Motor Group (seven awards), followed by General Motors Company (six); BMW AG (three); Ford Motor Company (three); Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (three); and Toyota Motor Corp. (two). Among brands, Cadillac and Kia each receive four awards.

Tesla receives an initial quality score of 250 PP100. The automaker is not officially ranked among other brands in the study as it doesn’t meet ranking criteria. “Unlike other manufacturers, Tesla doesn’t grant us permission to survey its owners in 15 states where it is required,” explained J.D. Power. “However, we were able to collect a large enough sample of surveys from owners in the other 35 states and, from that base, we calculated Tesla’s score.”

Once regarded as the gold standard in quality, most Japanese brands have not improved as fast as competitors have and they continue to trail most Korean and domestic brands. Mitsubishi (148 PP100), Lexus (159 PP100), and Nissan (161 PP100) are the only Japanese brands to rank above industry average.

J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Initial Quality Study Brand Ranking (PP 100):
  1. Dodge (136)
  2. Kia (136)
  3. Chevrolet (141)
  4. RAM (141)
  5. Genesis (142)
  6. Mitsubishi (148)
  7. Buick (150)
  8. GMC (151)
  9. Volkswagen (152)
  10. Hyundai (153)
  11. Jeep (155)
  12. Lexus (159)
  13. Nissan (161)
  14. Cadillac (162)
  16. Infiniti (173)
  17. Ford (174)
  18. MINI (174)
  19. BMW (176)
  20. Honda (177)
  21. Toyota (177)
  22. Lincoln (182)
  23. Mazda (184)
  24. Acura (185)
  25. Porsche (186)
  26. Subaru (187)
  27. Chrysler (189)
  28. Jaguar (190)
  29. Mercedes-Benz (202)
  30. Volvo (210)
  31. Audi (225)
  32. Land Rover (228)
  33. Tesla (250)

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