DETROIT – South Korea’s three major auto brands lead one of the auto industry’s most closely watched gauges of automotive quality, gaining even more momentum compared to last year.
Hyundai, Kia and luxury brand Genesis hold the top three spots in the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Study, revealed Wednesday.
All are units of South Korean conglomerate Hyundai.
Last year, Kia, Genesis and Germany’s Porsche held the top three spots.
The survey shows vehicle quality improving for the fourth consecutive year to its best level to date. But some cars had more problems than others.
For instance, cars with advanced driver assistance systems, such as cruise control, park assist and backup, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning had more issues.
“There’s no question that most automakers are doing a great job of listening to consumers and are producing vehicle quality of the highest caliber,” Dave Sargent, J.D. Power's vice president of global automotive, said in a statement. “That said, some vehicle owners are still finding problems.”
He said consumers are still demanding reliable vehicles even as they become more complex and automated.
The worst three brands in the survey were Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo.
The results are based on responses to 233 questions from more than 75,700 purchasers and lessees of new 2018 vehicles after 90 days of ownership conducted from February to May of this year.
Brands such as Tesla, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Maserati, Smart, Ferrari, Bentley and Rolls Royce were not included in the results because of a limited number of customers or small sample size.
As for Detroit brands, Ford is the highest-ranked, coming in fifth overall. General Motors’ highest-ranked brand is Chevrolet in sixth place. Ford’s Lincoln luxury brand was seventh and Fiat Chrysler's Ram truck brand was tied with Lexus in eighth place.
The most improved brand was Mazda.
The issues, in many cases, weren’t that vehicles were constructed poorly. Rather, in 62 percent of the cases, the issue was with flawed design.
31. Land Rover
Vehicles with lowest overall problem levels
Porsche 911 – 48*
Nissan Maxima – 57
Genesis G90 – 60
Hyundai Tucson – 61
Kia Rio – 61
Nissan Altima – 65
Toyota Corolla – 65
Buick Envision – 66
Ford Taurus – 66
BMW 7 Series – 67
Kia Optima – 67
SOURCE J.D. Power 2018 Initial Quality Study
*Represents problems per 100 vehicles