J.D. Power Initial Quality Study Provides KIA With High-Rank For The Second Consecutive Year

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J.D. Power Initial Quality Study Provides KIA With High-Rank For The Second Consecutive Year

KIA is the first a non-luxury car brand to Second time receive the superior scores in the J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Initial Quality Study. Last year, in the 2016 IQS, Kia became the first non-luxury brand in 27 years to lead the industry in initial quality, following a strong performance in the 2015 IQS, in which the brand ranked second overall. Along with the top performance in the industry in the 2017 IQS, Kia produces five award-recognized models:

  • The 2017 Soul in the Compact MPV segment (third consecutive year);
  • 2017 Sorento in the Midsize SUV segment (second award in three years);
  • 2017 Kia Forte in the Compact Car segment;
  • 2017 Kia Cadenza in the Large Car segment; and
  • The all-new 2017 Kia Niro in the Small SUV segment.


In ranking highest among all brands industry-wide, Kia earns an overall score of 72 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) in the 2017 IQS, which outperforms industry average by 25 PP100 and represents an 11-point improvement from 83 PP100 in 2016.




The 2017 IQS evaluates eight problem categories that comprise initial quality:

  • Exterior
  • Driving Experience
  • Features/Controls/Displays (FCD)
  • Audio/Communication/ Entertainment/Navigation (ACEN)
  • Seats
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
  • Interior
  • Engine/Transmission


The IQS analyzes on the basis of both defects in the product and exterior and design-related problems—features that may be operating as intended but are in a  bad location or hard to use. As a brand, Kia once again improves substantially year over year.  


The five models to win in the assessment were :  

  • 2017 KIA Forte
  • 2017 KIA Niro
  • 2017 KIA Soul
  • 2017 KIA Cadenza
  • 2017 KIA Sorento

The Brands That Got The Highest-Ranks

Kia was lead the quality tests and ranked highest in overall initial quality for a second consecutive year with a score of 72 PP100.

Genesis (77 PP100) came second overall and was followed by Porsche (78 PP100) at third. While Ford and Ram (86 PP100) had a tie at fourth.

MINI saw the most improvement in a brand, with owners reporting 33 PP100 fewer problems than in 2016. Other brands with strong improvement include Ram (28 PP100 improvement), Acura (19), Volvo (18) and Ford(16).

The Models That Led Their Segments

The parent company with the most model-level accolades for various brands is Hyundai Motor Co. (five model-level awards), followed by General Motors and BMW, each with four.

  • Hyundai Motor Co. models : 1. Kia Cadenza; 2. Kia Forte; 3. Kia Niro; 4. Kia Sorento; and 5. Kia Soul.
  • General Motors models : 1. Chevrolet Silverado; 2. Chevrolet Silverado HD;
  • 3. Chevrolet Sonic; and 4. GMC Terrain.
  • BMW models :  1. BMW 2 Series; 2. BMW 4 Series; 3. BMW X6; and 4. MINI Cooper.

The rest of the models that rank highest in their respective segments after the above are Chrysler Pacifica; Ford Expedition; Ford Mustang; Infiniti QX80; Lexus GS; Mercedes-Benz GLA; Nissan Frontier; Porsche 911; Porsche Macan; and Toyota Camry.


About the Study:

The 2017 U.S. Initial Quality Study is an assessment on the basis of the reviews by nearly 80,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2017 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study has its base upon 233-question battery categorised into eight problem categories designed to provide manufacturers with information to facilitate the identification of problems and drive product improvement. The study is based on a survey that was carried out from February through May 2017.


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