Kia Tops JD Power Initial Quality Survey

With the compact crossover segment continuing to be one of the fastest-growing in North America, Kia has taken the 2017 redesign of their Sportage very seriously. The need to keep pace has led to new styling, new tech, new chassis tuning and an interior re-think. Here are some of the highlights.

South Korean manufacturer Kia has topped the JD Power Initial Quality Survey (IQS) for 2016, marking the first time in 27 years a non-premium brand has reached the number one spot.

Marketing firm JD Power conducts the every year, and this time polled more than 80,000 new vehicle owners about problems they experience with their cars and trucks during first 90 days of ownership. This year, Kia owners reported 83 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) beating out Porsche by one point (84 PP100) and its South Korean parent company, Hyundai (92 PP100), by nine points.

Chrysler and Jeep were named this year’s most-improved brands, as each reduced their PP100 ratings by 28 points.

This year’s results indicate automakers are listening to their customers and “making some of the highest-quality products we’ve ever seen,” said Renee Stephens, JD Power’s VP of U.S. automotive quality.

Other key findings include domestic brands outranking imports, on average, by 3 PP100; non-premium brands outranked premium ones by 4 PP100, and nearly half of owners polled said that high quality is a major reason for remaining loyal to a brand.

Two Toyota-owned factories, in Georgetown, Kentucky and Kyushu, Japan, tied for the top Plant Quality Award for producing vehicles with the fewest number of defects and malfunctions, while Porsche’s Stuttgart plant was named tops in Europe and Africa.

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Chris Chase

Chris Chase

As a child, Chris spent much of his time playing with toy cars in his parents’ basement; when his mother would tell him to go play outside, he made car sounds while riding his bicycle or dug roads for his toys in the flower garden. Now he gets to indulge his obsession playing with real cars that make their own cool noises, and gets paid for it.