By on June 22, 2017

2017 Kia Niro Hood Badge Closeup, Image: © 2017 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

The 2017 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study scores are in and Kia was awarded top honors for the second year in a row.

The Kia Forte, Cadenza, Niro, Soul, and Sorento were all winners in their categories, outperforming opponents like the Chevrolet Cruze, Toyota Avalon, Kia Sportage (yep, another Kia), Ford C-Max, and Toyota Highlander, respectively.

According to J.D. Power, the study “examines problems experienced by original vehicle owners 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.”

The industry average of 97 PP100 is 8 percent better than the 105 recorded in last year’s study.

Kia had 25 fewer PP100 than the industry average with only 72, 11 fewer than last year.

Genesis (2nd), Porsche (3rd), Ford (T-4th), and Ram (T-4th) come next on the list, with BMW (T-6th), Chevrolet (T-6th), Hyundai (T-6th), Lincoln (9th), and Nissan (T-10th) finishing up the top 10. It should be noted that Nissan and Volkswagen actually tied for 10th place.

Image: J.D. Power

 

Even though Fiat improved this year – 163 PP100 in 2017 versus 174 PP100 in 2016 – they still earned last place. Smart held last place in 2016, but was not ranked this year “due to insufficient sample size.”

Jaguar took a plunge in this years rankings with 148 PP100, 21 more than last year. It’s hard to imagine how the brand that came in third in 2015 dropped so low in such a short amount of time, but it’s likely we can credit the new F-Pace and XE for assisting.

On the other end of the spectrum, MINI fared much better this year compared to last year’s 127 PP100 (the same as Jaguar’s 2016 score.) MINI scored a 94, a whopping 33 fewer than 2016 and even 3 fewer than the industry average. PED testing is underway.

The audio/communication/entertainment/navigation category, although the most improved, still provides the most problems with 22.8 of the PP100 with voice recognition and bluetooth connectivity leading the way. The category with the fewest issues is heating, ventilation, and air conditioning with 5.7 PP100.

For the second consecutive year non-premium brands beat premium brands and domestics beat imports as a whole.

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103 Comments on “Kia Beats Everyone Again in J.D. Power Initial Quality Study...”


  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    Great.

    Now let me know when they can make a car that reliably runs to 200k miles.

    • 0 avatar
      vwgolf420

      I can’t help but wonder if Kias (and Hyundai) don’t often make it to those mileages because they’re often bought by people who can’t afford to maintain as diligently as those who buy Toyotas, for instance. Or they’re bought by people who can afford better as cheap transportation and after a few years begin to neglect them.

      • 0 avatar
        Willyam

        Fantastic point.

        The simple ones can last, as my wife’s ex bought her Spectra from her when we got something bigger and safer. It’s over 200k now, and has required a tranny rebuild and a/c leak fix. The silly, floaty little car has manual everything, stick, and no options. It drives like seventies Toyota’s – loose and bouncy. It just keeps going out of simplicity and spite, with no engine issues whatsoever. The one thing he does do (that we also did) is consistent oil changes/fluid swaps.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        I’m sure owner demographics plays a role too.

        Not sure I’d consider something that needs a transmission rebuild south of 200k to be a car that “lasts”.

        • 0 avatar
          notapreppie

          Then by that standard, neither was the 1999 VW Passat that I owned (at least according to VW).

          Transmission fluid is “good for the life of the unit.” When (hard) pressed to disclose what that number was, the VWoA rep finally admitted 105k miles.

          ¯_(ツ)_/¯

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        The cutoff point between when it is worth the bother to fix something, and when just scrapping it and buying another makes more sense, generally tends to favor the latter for cheaper things.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        …I can’t help but wonder if Kias (and Hyundai) don’t often make it to those mileages because they’re often bought by people who can’t afford to maintain as diligently as those who buy Toyotas, for instance. Or they’re bought by people who can afford better as cheap transportation and after a few years begin to neglect them…

        It isn’t that Kia/Hyundai vehicles get more neglect than Toyota or Honda. I’m sure there are/were plenty of buyers of xDs, LE Corollas, Yarii, base Civics, and Fits who can’t afford to follow regular maintenance. Also following regular maintenance isn’t just an issue of money, it is also an issue of awareness. What do you mean I’m supposed to change the oil?

        Some vehicles can handle neglect better. Toyota 1.8L 4-banger is a great example of that. Honda’s mills are another solid example. GMs (no longer built) 3.8L NA V6 was another engine that could survive years of neglect. Other vehicles are more sensitive – luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes come right to mind, but mainstream brands too.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          All depends on how long an automaker has kept a powertrain and worked out all the bugs.

          For instance, the 2GR V6 has been a workhorse for Toyota/Lexus, but when it was new, there were issues with it (where Consumer Reports wouldn’t recommend the trim models using that engine until the kinks had been worked out).

          Same thing for Honda with their 6 spd AT which was known to prematurely implode before Honda worked out the issues.

          Hyundai and Kia were faring well in the JD Power VDS and CR’s Reliability surveys until they started using turbo powerplants and new transmissions (like the DCT).

          Since then, they have worked out the kinks and have been rising again in the dependability/reliability rankings.

          Same thing happened with Ford and Ecoboost.

          Acura started to see a drop off a few years ago when they introduced new transmissions, including the problematic ZF transmission.

          Toyota/Lexus are starting to see problems now that they finally started offering turbo engines as well.

          Part of the reason Toyota/Lexus has been able to stay near the top of the reliability rankings is that they keep their powertrains around for a long time.

          Toyota/Lexus have not only been adding turbo engines, but are now adding other new motors and transmissions (such as in the new Camry).

      • 0 avatar
        Maintainer

        A co-worker has a Veloster.
        “This car is terrible in snow. I have six cinder blocks in back and still can’t get traction”
        I don’t think it’s an affordability issue. I think it’s an ignorance issue.

        • 0 avatar
          notapreppie

          Adding weight is almost never a good idea (unless its a pickup truck).

          μ is a harsh mistress.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            lol…

            I put cinder blocks in the trunk of my RWD Cutlass Supreme and have shoveled snow into the bed of my RWD F150 but I can’t fathom putting extra weight in the rear of any FWD vehicle in a snowstorm.

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      bikegoesbaa, what an insightful comment. Right up there with “I’ll believe it when they have a 100-year history”.

      Bravo.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        It seems relevant, as a continual criticism of Hyundai/Kia is that they drive and work well when new but don’t hold up long-term like the Japanese or even US equivalents do.

        So, it really is great that they have excellent initial quality. I don’t disbelieve that they do.

        But that’s a separate metric from “is this a car I can depend on for the next 10 years”. I’ve not seen convincing evidence that Hyundai/Kia are there yet.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          “I’ve not seen convincing evidence that Hyundai/Kia are there yet.”

          I have (see post below). Of course, that’s anecdotal.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Auto Bild in Germany ranked Kia #1 in long-term quality for 2015. Hyundai was ranked #1 in 2016 (3rd time ranked #1).

          Auto Bild not only takes into account feedback from owners, but they do their own long-term testing and review the TUV (service) records.

        • 0 avatar
          tmport

          I’ve got two Kias, a 2006 Spectra5 and a 2016 Soul. The Spectra5 is still going strong; the only problem in 10+ years has been a failed O2 sensor around year 7. The original battery lasted 8 years, as did the original headlights (I kid you not). The Soul, meanwhile, still feels the same as it did when I bought it in late 2015, as it should. My impression is that both cars are very well built, though the Soul is a huge leap forward in terms of quality.

          • 0 avatar
            notapreppie

            Hush, you’re getting in the way of confirmation bias and motivated reasoning.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “as did the original headlights (I kid you not).”

            Is this really anything surprising though? As far as I’m aware my 1996 4Runner has its original bulbs. I think I finally had to replace a headlight bulb on my ’98 MPV back in 2012 or so. The battery life is more impressive, especially considering that my wife’s Camry had a battery go flat at the 4 year mark (with 2 “polar vortex” winters under its belt to be fair).

          • 0 avatar

            My Volvo cycles thru every bulb every 2 years. I got 7 years out of a Walmart battery on my Durango.

          • 0 avatar
            joeaverage

            I’m at 18 years with a CRV. Only replaced one headlight, one reverse light. Typically get 6-7 yrs out of a battery since we bought the car new. Discovered local dealer sells the OEM battery for a little less than the auto parts stores sell their store brand so hoping it is a good battery.

            Our late 90s VW eats bulbs. Don’t know why.

            Closer to Kia, we have a 2000 Elantra. Definitely a negected car before our teenager got it but it rolls on reliabily approaching 200K miles.

      • 0 avatar
        wumpus

        They [kia/hyundai] been paying to fix every problem for the first ~100,000 (don’t know the warranty off the top of my head)? I’d expect a large difference in quality in Korea where the bean counter is demanding the engineer put in a longer-lived higher quality part. I’ve heard the opposite happens far too often in Detroit. I’m shocked it took this long to get things where they should be (probably too much loss of face* in admitting the original error, but things appear to be working now).

        * Thanks to “corporate culture”, I’d expect this to be as big a problem in Detroit as in Korea.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I searched in radius of 100 miles for high mileage cars for sale, 200K+

      Mazda – 18; Hyundai+Kia – 16
      Now, lets consider that Mazda market is 2-3% and Kia+Hyundai ~8%

      • 0 avatar
        nels0300

        Interesting, I just did the same query for zip code 55402, Minneapolis:

        Mazda 2

        Hyundai-Kia 6

        What does that mean?

        Also, what were the market shares 10 years ago?

        • 0 avatar
          johnds

          I checked for the better side of the cities, St. Paul and found this:

          Toyota- 60

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          “What does that mean?”

          Slavuta’s confirmation bias and cherry-picking. Nothing more, nothing less. An alternate explanation for his little factoid is that a lot more people want the hell out of their 200K mile Mazdas than their H/K and are thus putting them up for sale.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Anecdotally, my girlfriend has had three Hyundai Accents – an ’01, a ’09 and a ’13 – and all have been highly reliable with nothing but regular maintenance and replacement of wear items. Her ex ended up with the ’01, and he traded it in last year.

      (Knock on wood.)

    • 0 avatar
      Jason801

      Well, I’m halfway there. Shall I get back to you?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Agreed.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      As someone who’s owned two from the “not bad, but nothing special” years (mid-00’s), the wife and I can say they’re definitely heading in that direction. The current ’08 Sedona (120k) has done quite well with nothing more than routine, expected service and parts replacement; and Maggie’s ’06 Spectra did just fine up to the 150k trade-in point.

      I have a feeling what you’re asking for is already there – they just need the time to reach the mileages.

      Of course, in the interim, the brickbats will be posted, decrying the cars as being unable to meet that standard. Nothing must stop an internet poster from negatively commenting.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      These lease terms are crazy today, 90-days?

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Really surprised to see Subaru ranked so low. Their tech is ancient, what’s there to break? Their cars should be bulletproof by now.

    • 0 avatar
      b534202

      Blah. 72 problems per 100 vehicles vs 113 problems. They all round to 1 per vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Some of Subaru problems come from the fact that they work at Max capacity right now.

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      They are pricey. I’m shopping right now, and the mrs would love one, but CR-V and RAV4 and others just offer so much more per dollar outlay.

      I’m wondering if more monied owners are more, say, difficult to please? If a button falls off your new Rio, maybe those owners are more likely to say…”meh”?

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        Why buy new? We bought an 3 yr old MDX / 45K miles for the price of a mid-range new CRV. So far flawless (one month). Zero visible wear. I expect 200K+ miles out of it which the way we drive it will be 15 years.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      As a viewer of a couple Subaru owner sites, I can easily figure out why the JD Powers survey scored Subaru vehicles as they did – there are a lot of nit-picky whiners out there within the core-demographic of Subaru purchasers, that same core-demographic that is so well described often here on TTAC. Some of the comments are down-right hilarious as to the “deficiencies” found in their new vehicle. “There are finger marks on my touchscreen that I’m forced to wipe off every day!”, ad infinitum.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        This.

        There was a couple that my ex and I used to be friends with. They read “Consumer Reports” like it was the freakin’ King James Bible. The husband once yelled at a Pepsi Center vendor because he was charged $1.50 for icewater. They once vehemently argued with my decision to use diapers with velcro tabs.

        And they were Subaru fanatics.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        I see the same on the Acura forums. Different price point and different expectations. I’d be touchy too if I paid full MSRP on a new lux vehicle (we buy used!).

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Interesting. Subaru owners are the core of my business. In my daily experience, nobody is as tolerant of constant repair expenses as wealthy left-leaning Subaru drivers. They rarely get through an oil change that doesn’t exceed three hundred dollars, and usually they don’t even need to be shown what boot has split or given an explanation of what an A/F sensor is. They accept headgaskets to be a maintenance item and have no idea that most cars don’t need new plugs and plug wires regularly the way Subarus do. It took me a while to get used to seeing a car in for its third many-hundreds-of-dollars repair of the year without being concerned about an unhappy customer.

        We have similar numbers of customers with Priuses and CR-Vs, but I’d say a typical Subaru owner spends at least seven times as much on service each year. That’s even taking into account that old CR-Vs need timing belts and require A/C compressors and desiccant bags after 15 years. OTOH, old Hondas and Toyotas tend to be driven by frugal people, while old Subarus are often driven by filthy rich people who are showing off how long they’ve been into Subarus. A fifteen to twenty years old CR-V or Corolla is as likely to be a rolling ashtray as it is to be car-show ready. The high upkeep costs of Subarus tends to get the unloved ones off the road quickly.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      Ever since Subaru and Toyota “hooked up” 6 years ago, Subaru’s tech has gotten a lot more modern. They offered the Eye-Sight system (adapted from Lexus) starting in 2012.

      That said, there are some things they haven’t achieved yet which is surprising – like a TPIM that tells you which tire is low, ventilated seats, BSD across the board, proximity camera. Subaru, as the unofficial Saab/Volvo contrarian descendent, should be leading in all safety systems for the masses.

    • 0 avatar

      They started running more complex electrics in the last few years from what I heard.

  • avatar
    Mr. Ed

    Practically a meaningless award that means nothing to anyone, except the recipient and J.D. Power who is paid to churn out these trophies.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Even Chevy? JD Powah? Mahk will be displeased.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    Mahk doesn’t give a fawk about youah stupid awahd.

  • avatar
    Fred

    When I got my Acura the wiper control drove me nuts. My previous Audi you moved the control down to activate. The Acura was up. So I guess that’s a failure in the IQS.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Data, data everywhere and nor a drop of statistically meaningful information.

  • avatar
    cdnsfan27

    I can explain why Jaguar scored so low this year. The first versions of the InControl TouchPro were basically Beta versions and were very glitchy. Software updates were provided but until version 2.5 didn’t help all that much.

    The vehicles are very reliable mechanically but were let down by faulty software.

    From October on this issue has been resolved.

  • avatar
    mchan1

    That’s good for short term results but what about long term ownership?
    Come back in a few years with results when the vehicles have >100,000 miles on them.

    Kia, and Hyundai, are slowly improving its vehicles but is it that ‘reliable’ that many people would want to buy (and keep) them like a Honda/Toyota, possibly Nissan, vehicle?

    I like how Hyundai vehicles have improved over the years while keeping their 10 yr warranties which is a good sign for the automaker.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Consumer Reports has Kia #5 and Hyundai #7 in its latest reliability report.

      Kia is ranked ahead of Mazda, Infiniti, Honda, Subaru, Acura and Nissan.

      JD Power has Hyundai ranked 6th and Kia 11th in the latest VDS.

      Hyundai is ranked ahead of Honda, Subaru, Mazda, Acura, Nissan and Infiniti.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Taken on its own, the data is crap. Following this data for years now, I do think the JDP Initial Quality survey is a leading indicator that can predict where an automakers quality could be in another decade.

    Starting in the early 2000s, certain domestic makes, which had pretty consistently sat in the lower rungs, starting climbing up the report. Just before the Great Recession, there were a growing number of brands above average.

    Fast-forward a decade later, and long-term quality of the domestics has in general, improved. (yes, there are FCA 9-speeds, GM stretching timing chains in certain 3.6L engines, and Ford dual-clutch transmissions in their B and C segment cars. And Toyota has rusted out truck frames, Nissan has their own CVT Hell, etc.).

    15 years ago Kia and Hyundai were in the dark, dank basement of initial quality, and they are now moving up.

    What about outliers like Jaguars plummet?

    If you do some digging in prior year reports, you’ll see other brands with narrow product lines have had steep drops when a series of new models come out. I know Buick had a similar, “how can a make drop that much in a single year,” decline in 2010 IIRC (2009? 2011?). They had a lot of new product come out that model year.

    Ya, well this is still crap. Chevrolet ahead of Toyota? Who comes ups with this stuff?

    This is far less likely a case of Toyota has gotten “worse,” and a case of the competition has gotten better. The gap between the “worst” and the “best” is far more narrow and the problems that make something “best” and “worst” have changed. If you go back 30 years, the difference in initial quality could have been, my car ran perfectly for 90 days (Japan) and my transmission fell out in the first 90 days (Detroit, Korea, Yugoslavia, Italy, take your pick!). Now the gap is more, “I could set up my Bluetooth even though I’m an idiot,” and, “I tried 10 times and I couldn’t setup my Bluetooth, this car sucks and no, I am not an idiot.”

    I think another issue is that because vehicles have become so reliable, when things don’t work right it raises the ire of owners more. Also, it is easy to dismiss infotainment issues as whining, but if you can’t control your HVAC because the touch screen froze up for the third time in a row, as an example, that’s a big issue.

    So is Kia now at the top of the quality heap? No. Is this a long-term leading indicator that Korean quality is improving and will move up the ladder in long-term quality reports in the coming years? Based on past movement in the chart when looked at over a long-term period and not a single year, yes.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      FWIW, I checked out the 2001 IQS survey.

      Kia was *last* with 267 PP100. Lexus was first with 85. Average was 147. Best individual car was the LS400 (58). Worst was the Sportage (300).

      Hyundai scored 193. 32nd place out of 36.

      Best domestic was Buick in 7th place at 123 (this did beat Honda’s 135).

      Worst domestic was Dodge in 29th place at 170 PP100.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Interesting…the worst brand today has 163 problems per hundred, versus 267 16 years ago.

        Reliability has gotten far better, folks.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          Especially because back then “reliability” meant reliability, and not “flaky infotainment.”

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            LOL…I had a friend in college whose dad gave her a ‘Vette of some late ’70s vintage. One of the doors came off if it. While she was driving.

            People just don’t remember how bad it was. We pretty much take for granted these days that cars start, run, won’t quit for no reason at all, don’t rust through in four years, and don’t shed vital body parts spontaneously.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            But I’ll say it again, “flaky infotainment” can be a real issue if you can’t control your HVAC.

            I had a 2016 Malibu (rental fleet special based on the prior platform, not a “new” 2016) that had the infotainment completely freeze up minutes after leaving the rental lot. I couldn’t change the radio station (set on Oakland’s finest rap station), I couldn’t change the volume. I couldn’t even change the source or mute. Shutting down the car and restarting didn’t solve. Shutting down the car, removing the key, reinserting, and restarting didn’t solve the problem. Shutting down the car, removing the key, opening and closing the door, didn’t solve the problem. Shutting down the car, removing the key, opening and closing the door, setting the alarm, waiting a few minutes, turning off alarm, opening and closing the door, didn’t solve the problem. I ended up having to find the fuse and pull it.

            I had a Ford Edge where MyTouch would screen would go black, be dead for minutes, and then reboot. I had no control over anything (HVAC, infotainment, nav, Bluetooth) during that time. This is more than a flaky issue when you’re doing 65 MPH on the Mass Pike at 3:45 PM on a weekday afternoon.

            If either of these were my “new” car and I got a JDP survey, you better believe I would have roasted them.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            “cars start, run, won’t quit for no reason at all,”

            You have fuel injection to thank for that.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      ” Chevrolet ahead of Toyota? Who comes ups with this stuff?”

      In initial quality, I totally buy it. Having driven several recent GM products, and a newish Highlander, the Toyota was pathetic. In the Traverse, the doors shut with a soild thud. The Highlander sounds like a 1984 Escort door being slammed by a p.o.’ed teenager. Echo ripling through the body, screaming “I’m cheap!”.

      There was trim falling off/wouldn’t stay in place even though the clip wasn’t broken, a gap between the (unobstructed) glovebox door and the side of the dash where they were supposed to meet. One is crying at the cafe while the other is stuck in traffic across town. This is not your father’s 1995 Camry LE V-6 Wagon.

      The 3.6L in the Traverse is remarkably smooth. The Highlander V-6 sounded more corse, perhaps it wasn’t as well dampened? GM spend money where Toyota didn’t.

      It IS hard to believe, but GM has improved considerably. And Toyota has slid. So has Nissan, only more so and in terms of initial quality and long term reliability. They’re disposable like a Datsun was. Sure they’re neat and collectable now, but they were not built to last nor did they unless well cared for (you know, like a Granada or Vega).

      Even a Ford Explorer, now my least-liked Ford, feels (and looks and sounds) better screwed together than the Highlander. Toyota’s initial quality just isn’t what it was 20 years ago.

      Begs the qustion, have you driven a Toyota, lately?

      Btw, the third time the Toyota went back to the shop for an issue (this time fuel related), he traded it and his Dodge Ram (just before it become “Ram” only) in on a new 2017 Chevy 2500 HD LTZ 4X4 Duramax/Allison Crew Cab. Extremely nice truck, he loves it.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        “Even a Ford Explorer, now my least-liked Ford, feels (and looks and sounds) better screwed together than the Highlander. Toyota’s initial quality just isn’t what it was 20 years ago.”

        Considering I see Explorers every single day that come off the production line, that statement is false. Doing plenty of competitor comparisons the build quality of the Explorer is horrible for the price and has been noted plenty of times by media publications.

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          This is true. The Explorer feels like a tin can. Every ounce of road noise is let in, the door handles feel like a toddler could break them, the engines are course, etc. They truly are awful vehicles for the money. If Ford priced them correctly you’d see $10k come right off the top.

          My Grand Cherokee is as tight as a drum at 41k miles. I even still have the factory wiper blades. The 20K mile Explorer I’ve driven at work feels like it has 150K on it.

          The only thing Ford is good at is marketing.

  • avatar
    Tj21

    Ram making gains, Pacifica first place and Caravan second in the minivan segment. Damn is FCA on the way up?

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Pacifica was a “bet the farm” product for the Chrysler brand specifically, otherwise, they really have…nothing new coming for years. Caravan has been around for so long it better be sorted out by this point.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    I see a few comments about whether or not Hyundai-Kias can go the distance, >200K miles.

    I have to wonder what role resale value has on this.

    For some brands, resale value is correlated with reliability reputation.

    Honda, Subaru, Toyota have good resale and are widely considered “reliable”….even when they don’t necessarily deserve the reputation. Why do Honda Oddeseys, Pilots, have good resale? They’re not reliable like a 4 cylinder manual trans Honda, yet they enjoy the same reputation.

    Hyundai-Kia historically have terrible resale value.

    This has huge impact on whether or not a car is totaled in an accident and the decision making involved in when to make a repair and when to junk the car.

    People will put $1,000 into a Toyota with 180K miles. Will they do the same with a 10 year old Hyundai or Kia? Maybe.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Good point.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      This is a good point. In the PNW malaise era vehicles never die from rust or wear, they die from neglect.

      If you follow malaise era vehicles for sale, because a number of “last new car of my life” purchased in the 80s are coming up for sale as grandma and grandpa are too old to drive – or have died, you’ll find plenty examples of “that car always fall apart” in perfect order because they are single owner, never driven like stolen, and dealer serviced as the manual recommends.

      Most vehicles regardless of the company that made them built after 2000 can go 150K miles relatively trouble free (yes, always exceptions) if they get a regular wash and interior cleaning, don’t get beaten like a bad monkey, and follow the recommended maintenance requirements of the manufacturer.

      Certain vehicles can soldier on better with deferred maintenance. Honda and Toyota have this quality. The GM NA 3.8L V6 attached to the 4-speed auto is another, “what do you mean I’m supposed to change the oil,” vehicle. The ‘ye old Dodge Slant 6 attached to the Chrysler 3-speed auto was another example of, “maintenance, what is maintenance,” car. The Mazda 2.2 12-valve 4-cylinder is another beat me to death I don’t care engine.

      Other vehicles crumble fast if you ignore the owner’s manual.

      • 0 avatar
        nels0300

        “Certain vehicles can soldier on better with deferred maintenance. Honda and Toyota have this quality”

        Not all of them.

        Neglect oil changes on a 90s era Toyota 3.0L V6 and you’ll have a sludged up blown engine. The oil passages in the engine were too small and old sludged oil tended to clog them up. Kaboom!!!

        Or what about Honda’s glass V6 auto transmissions?

        Or Subaru head gaskets?

        Or the Toyota 1.8L and 2.4L oil burners?

        Subaru FB engine oil consumption anyone?

        Or shuddering torque converters on Toyota 6 speed automatics? I owned one of those.

        And yet all these manufacturers get a pass where Hyundai-Kia would have been dumped on for the same things.

        I’ve always been a Japanese car guy, but I think they’re a little over hyped whereas Hyundai-Kia can’t shake the stink despite making perhaps the greatest quality turn around the auto industry has ever seen.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          …I’ve always been a Japanese car guy, but I think they’re a little over hyped whereas Hyundai-Kia can’t shake the stink despite making perhaps the greatest quality turn around the auto industry has ever seen…

          Plenty of research has shown it can take a full generation to change perception on automotive brands.

          It’s been 21 years since Toyota built potentially the best bread-and-butter car of our lifetime, the 1996 Toyota Camry. Even among the most ardent of the Toyota faithful, the luster of the perfect brand is wearing down. Even Toyota has come out and said, “crap, we’re behind.” Case in point, the 3.5L in the V6 Camry will go to 301 HP in 2018 – a full 6 to 8 years after competitors were producing the same, or more power out of similar displace mills. Hyundai now sells the most fuel efficient hybrid in America – but a significant margin. That would have been a ridiculous suggestion 5 years ago.

          On the other hand the Detroit 2-1/2 have been building better iron for the last decade, but the stink of don’t buy domestic lingers over them (varying degree of success and depends on the vehicles – I’m basing that strictly on mechanical quality, not the ability to see out of the windows of a Camaro, or hard plastics coating the interior of a Fiesta ST) It will take years to change that perception, but we are seeing some progress.

          It will take Kia/Hyundai years to change their perceptions also. Consider this, Genesis is rated higher than Lexus, and 30% of Genesis customers are Lexus converts. So something is starting to work in Korea.

          It is going to take a long time.

          Toyota can stop the tide if they go back to what made them great, and frankly stop building UGLY.

          Hyundai/Kia can kill their progress if they take their eye off the ball (and let’s not forget, Hyundai has metal shavings in the engine issues and Kia was blatantly lying on MPG calculations – both recent).

          GM and Ford (FCA is a mess) can also kill their progress if they take their eye off the ball. One can argue that Ford did take their eye off the ball and the reaction has been pretty swift.

          • 0 avatar
            nels0300

            Yeah, that Hyundai/Kia recall is pretty bad.

            But don’t forget….Toyota settled a class action lawsuit that covered over THREE MILLION Toyota/Lexus vehicles for engine sludge issues.

            A design defect. My Dad had a 2001 Camry V6 that was affected.

            And trucks collapsing on themselves due to frame rust. Toyota stepped up big time with these, but still….the trucks literally crumbled apart.

            Or the early 2GR-FEs with engine oil line failures and serious problems with the early 6 speed autos.

            Anyone remember collapsing valve springs on Lexus V6 and V8s?

            Oooh, oooh, how about carbon buildup on the 2.5L V6? They were trying to out-Audi, Audi.

            Toyota has had some MONSTER problems but are still regarded as the best.

            Hyundai-Kia has a big engine recall and it’s all:

            “See, I always knew Hyundai’s were garbage…durrr”

          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            If you’re talking about the Ionig being the most efficient hybrid, I would hold off until there’s actual real world data to back that up. Fool me once….

            That said, I’m very excited HK is bringing out some hybrid competition for Toyota. Decent looking too…

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            “Case in point, the 3.5L in the V6 Camry will go to 301 HP in 2018 – a full 6 to 8 years after competitors were producing the same, or more power out of similar displace mills.”

            I’ll agree with most of your post and the larger argument therein, but you’re being erroneously selective on this point and that shan’t be tolerated with the 2GR-FE engine. That motor has transcended partisan brand sniping.

            Keep in mind it came out in 2007 and was well ahead of its time in the combination of performance, fuel economy, and refinement. It’s finally being partially eclipsed ten years later and it did produce 300hp from the beginning–they just saved that tune for Lexus models. With a 100mph trap speed and solid fuel economy, the Camry obviously didn’t need more than 268.

            Criticize toyota for frame rust, interior quality, the narrowed reliability gap between it and competitors, or their inability to provide a 1996 Camry at the lower inflation-adjusted asking prices of the current one, but leave them 2GR-FEs alone dag-gummit.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Agreed 30- mile Regardless of the 268hp figure that hasn’t budged in 10 years, Camries with it seem to have few problems keeping up in speed with newer rivals with higher output ratings. Looking forward to trying out a ’18 Camry, the generation could really be a honest return to the right trajectory.

      • 0 avatar
        PentastarPride

        You can find a lot of 25-30 year old vehicles in the PNW in stunning condition, owned by sensible elderly people that stopped driving or passed away.

        There’s hope in the world. I found a mint 1993 Chrysler Concorde with just 58,000 miles in the Portland area a few weeks ago.

        I can’t find a whole lot of mint ’87-91 LeBaron convertibles. Might have to check Florida for those.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Just picked up a 1990 Ford Probe LX, loaded out (digital dash, sunroof, 15″ wheels, ABS) with a 5-speed manual. 74K miles, a stack of receipts two inches thick since new, almost every repair at a Ford dealer. They even shelled out $313 at the dealer to replace the power antenna in 2010 (where the Hell did the dealer find NOS for a Gen I Probe power antenna???).

          Completely unmolested sans a decent head unit with Bluetooth and iPod integration. Factory rims, no rash etc. Some light paint damage on the rear bumper, some of the electrics are tired. Hell, not even water leaks in the rear hatch (they were addressed). No sun fading of the interior cloth, no cracked dashboard. It did spend a few years in New York and some of the bolts under the hood are very rusty looking, no cancer otherwise.

          Single owner, one accident $2K in repairs in 1998, owner died.

          Even have the factory cargo net and sunroof protective carry bag.

          $2100.

          The PNW is AMAZING.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Wow APaGttH, I’m jealous! I have a real affinity for well taken care of older vehicles, sadly my geography is less conducive to the whole lack of rust thing.

  • avatar
    Groovypippin

    The JD Power survey on initial “quality” isn’t a survey on quality. It’s a survey on whether or not buyers found anything in their cars they don’t like. The results? Most people find about 1 thing they would like to see improved in a new car that likely has dozens of features.

    • 0 avatar
      honda1

      Correct! jd power is crap, total bs surveys that mean nothing at the end of the day.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        No one believes the survey/poll/research that doesn’t support their bias. They are automatically, “crap.”

        • 0 avatar
          Groovypippin

          No, this survey should simply be re-named. It is a survey of initial owner satisfaction, NOT a survey of “quality”.

          JD Power should survey how satisfied people were with their purchase EXPERIENCE and how satisfied they are with their VEHICLE and not pretend that they are providing information on vehicle quality.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      This survey doesn’t agree with your opinions, therefore crap?

      Personally, I think they’re all crap. Don’t even get me started on some serious flaws with Consumer Reports. However…

      The mass media is happy to talk about reports where their darlings (Honda and Toyota) do well. This report has Ford and GM kicking the arse of Honda and Toyota. I’m pretty sure we won’t see much of this report on mass media.

      Kudos to TTAC for not being as selective about the crap. :)

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      It’s both.

      For instance, transmission issues are one thing that can show up early.

      Acura dropped to below industry average in the 2014 IQS in large part due to problematic new transmissions).

      3 years later, the 2017 VDS shows Acura again ranking below average.

      In contrast, Honda, for the 2014 IQS and the 2017 VDS remained above average.

      • 0 avatar
        dmoan

        Acura improved from 2016 and main problem area is Navigation. In other lexus Rx 350 have slew of problems and getting butchered in consumer reviews since Lexus is refusing to fix droning issue apparently.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Audi had been doing so well and now they took a dump. I don’t put much credence in these JD Power results.

  • avatar
    Acd

    Since roughly 23% of reported problems fall into the audio/communication/entertainment/navigation category it could mean that Kia’s systems are easier to use and don’t generate complaints or maybe the Kia buyers are younger and more tech savvy who are more inclined to figure them out.

    It would be interesting to see the percentage of problems in each category for each make along with problems per model.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    JDPower? How are they regarded? I’d bet not that highly.

    I’d love to see how their rankings stack against the billings they receive by manufacturer. Over time.

    Except for articles like this, when I see “JDPower” I regard it w/ the same esteem I have for MT “COTY” awards. Actually, less.

    Do they adjust for the fact that KIA owners may have lower standards (given that KIA are regarded as bargain cars) than Audi/Merc buyers who may expect/demand perfection at their price points?

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I’m not convinced Kia won’t also beat all other to the BHPH, the Craigslist 300, and the scrap yard.

  • avatar
    W210Driver

    The positioning of individual brands in these quality and dependability studies changes faster than a joint at a frat party. In my eyes this harms their credibility.

    Alas, I have learned to stop believing the horror stories and “studies” that praise certain brands while demonizing others. In the competitive market environment that we have today brands cannot afford to offer poor quality and unreliable cars.

    In my experience how your cars will hold up over time depends on how I treat them. Currently I own two high mileage Mercedes-Benz W210s; a rare 1997 E420 (inherited from grandpa) and a 1998 E300 Turbodiesel Wagon which I bought new. Both cars have been incredibly reliable throughout my ownership and maintaining them does not, contrary to popular belief, cost an arm and a leg if you (and your mechanic of choice) know what to do. I prefer driving my diesel W210 because of its relaxing nature and good gas mileage so it accumulates a lot of miles on a daily basis (currently has over 205,000 miles). Everything works fine, but it has to be stated that I am diligent about maintainence, especially wear and tear parts as well as component fluids. I believe that this is why my W210 ownership has been largely headache-free, even though these cars are known for having some specific issues.

    At this point a big shout-out to Kent Bergsma from Mercedessource for his helpful tips on how to maintain an older Benz without spending too much dough! That being said, I think I’m going to go for a joyride in the ‘420!

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Topping the JDP IQ report means little; the 3-year is much more telling…and I’d love a 7-10 year as well. That’s where Japan shines, at least in my experience.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Dave M., those glory years are more than a decade ago. So Japan might not fair as well. Besides they been resting on thier laurels for way too long and everyone else has caught up and passed.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Don’t see much value in this survey- lots of complaints about things people don’t understand, things that are different from their last vehicle, things that are more complex than necessary. Whether I have a 70% chance of complaining to the dealer or 160% chance is really immaterial to my purchase decision. The vehicles are really too new to have anything break ( for the most part) so it’s more a poll on unmet expectations.

    Also, remember that Jd power charges the manufacturers to use the data in ads, and also charges to help them change their results. Nice work if you can get it.

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    That Volvo score is devastating!

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