South Korean automaker Kia Motors Corp. ranked first in J.D. Power’s annual survey on vehicle quality, the first time that a non-premium brand has held that distinction in 27 years.
With 83 issues reported per 100 vehicles, Kia narrowly eclipsed Porsche at 84 problems to take the top spot, joining Toyota as the only other non-premium brand to lead the study in its 30 year history. Kia and affiliate Hyundai, which ranked third with 92 problems, have steadily climbed the list as they strive to overcome a longstanding perception that their vehicles have quality concerns.
Rounding out the top five brands on the list, Toyota purchasers and lessees reported 93 issues per 100 vehicles to take fourth spot, while BMW ranked fifth with 94 problems.
Other highlights of the study include:
- Ford ranked first among domestic automakers with 99 issues reported for each of its 100 vehicles
- General Motors led all automakers with seven awards for highest-quality models
- Jeep and Chrysler each improved by 28 points to outpace all other brands
- Jaguar slipped to a below average 27th place from third in 2015, with 127 problems
- Smart placed last on the list with 216 problems, also leading all brands with an increase of 62 problems
- new-vehicle quality increased 6 percent industry-wide, with 21 of 33 brands improving in their rankings
The J.D. Power survey results are based on 80,000 responses collected from purchasers and lessees of new 2016 model vehicles from February through May following after 90 days of ownership.