South Korean automobile brands continue to widen the quality gap with their industry counterparts while Japanese carmakers fell below the industry average for the first time in 29 years. So says J.D. Power in their latest findings.
“For so long, Japanese brands have been viewed by many as the gold standard in vehicle quality…we’re seeing other brands, most notably Korean makes, really accelerating the rate of improvement.”
The study focuses on an array of problems experienced during the first 90 days of vehicle ownership. The average is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles with a lower score reflecting higher quality.
The industry overall experienced a 3 percent year-over-year improvement in initial quality, averaging 112 PP100 compared with 116 PP100 in 2014.
Korean cars rank highest in having the least problems
Korean brands lead the industry by the widest margin ever, while European brands, for the first time, surpassed Japanese brands.
American brands for only the second time, managed to be on par with their Japanese counterparts –with only four of the 10 Japanese brands included in the study showing an improvement over last year.
“This is a clear shift in the quality landscape,” said Renee Stephens, vice president of U.S. automotive quality at J.D. Power.
“For so long, Japanese brands have been viewed by many as the gold standard in vehicle quality. While the Japanese automakers continue to make improvements, we’re seeing other brands, most notably Korean makes, really accelerating the rate of improvement.”
The Kia brand ranked second behind the top brand, Porsche, which remained well above the rest for the third year in a row.
The Hyundai brand moved up to fourth place, right behind third-place Jaguar. Both Kia and Hyundai are owned by the same the Hyundai Motor Company.
Average problems per 100 vehicles of brand’s whole line:
Industry Average 112
Land Rover 134
BEST INDIVIDUAL MODELS BY TYPE
City Car: Chevrolet Spark
Small car: Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Chevrolet Sonic
Small premium car: BMW 2 Series, Acura ILX
Compact car: Nissan Sentra, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla
Compact sporty car: Mazda MX-5 Miata, Volkswagen Eos, Scion tC
Compact premium car: BMW 4 Series, Lincoln MKZ, Lexus ES
Compact premium sporty car: Porsche Boxster, Porsche Cayman
Midsize car: Chevrolet Malibu, Kia Optima, Toyota Camry
Midsize sporty car: Dodge Challenger, Chevrolet Camaro
Midsize premium car: BMW 5 Series, Lincoln MKS, Infiniti Q70
Midsize premium sporty car: Porsche 911, Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, Jaguar F-Type
Large car: Chrysler 300, Kia Cadenza, Chevrolet Impala
Large premium car: Lexus LS, BMW 7 Series, Porsche Panamera
Small SUV: Hyundai Tucson, Buick Encore, Kia Sportage
Small premium SUV: Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, Land Rover Range Rover Evogue
Compact SUV: Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, GMC Terrain
Compact premium SUV: Porsche Macan, Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, Infiniti QX50, Lexus NX
Compact MPV: Kia Soul
Midsize SUV: Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe, Chevrolet Traverse
Midsize premium SUV: Infiniti QX70, Lincoln MKX, Porsche Cayenne
Midsize pickup: Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier
Minivan: Nissan Quest, Chrysler Town & Country, Kia Sedona
Large SUV: Toyota Sequoia, Ford Expedition, Chevrolet Tahoe
Large premium SUV: Infiniti QX80, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Lincoln Navigator
Large light duty pickup: Chevrolet Silverado LD, Ram 1500 LD
Large heavy duty pickup: Ford Super Duty, Chevrolet Silverado HD
See more at: www.jdpower.com