The three Korean automotive brands are producing the highest-quality vehicles in the U.S., according to an influential annual survey by J.D. Power.
Genesis, Kia and Hyundai – all part of the same Korean manufacturing group – took the first, second and third slots, respectively, for the second straight year in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS). Their electronics performance was especially strong.
But if you want the highest-quality vehicle on the market, you’ll have to save up for the Porsche 911, a luxury sport coupe that ranked No. 1 among all models. (Scroll down or click through the gallery above to see the full list of the 22 vehicles to win their categories.)
The 2019 J.D. Power IQS survey gauges how new vehicles are faring in their first 90 days. The study plays an influential role in shaping public perceptions of automotive brands and vehicles, as automakers typically tout their performance to customers.
It doesn’t gauge long-term reliability, value or popularity. Instead, it tracks defects and shortcomings, such as poorly performing infotainment and problems with advanced safety systems.
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Land Rover and Jaguar, luxury British brands owned by India-based Tata Motors, placed second to last and last, respectively. (See the full list of brands below.)
Overall, vehicle quality stayed flat for the 2019 model year, marking the first time it hasn’t improved in five years, J.D. Power said.
2018 J.D. Power IQS results: Genesis, Kia, Hyundai come out on top
“Automakers continue to make progress in areas like infotainment that attract a lot of consumer attention,” Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power, said in a statement. “However, some traditional problems crept up this year including paint imperfections, brake and suspension noises, engines not starting and the ‘check engine’ light coming on early in the ownership experience.”
He also said more people are having issues with their advanced driver assistance systems, which are critical for building consumer trust in future automated vehicles.
How the major brands fared (number of problems per 100 vehicles):
- Genesis (63)
- Kia (70)
- Hyundai (71)
- Ford (83)
- Lincoln (84)
- Chevrolet (85)
- Nissan (86)
- Dodge (90)
- Lexus (90)
- Toyota (90)
- Buick (92)
- GMC (94)
- Mazda (94)
- Mercedes-Benz (94)
- Porsche (96)
- Honda (98)
- Cadillac (100)
- Jeep (100)
- Infiniti (101)
- BMW (102)
- Ram (105)
- Audi (106)
- Mini (107)
- Acura (110)
- Chrysler (113)
- Subaru (113)
- Volkswagen (113)
- Volvo (114)
- Alfa Romeo (118)
- Mitsubishi (121)
- Land Rover (123)
- Jaguar (130)
One automaker was not measured: Tesla.
“For certain states, we need the manufacturer’s permission for us to contact their customers,” J.D. Power said in a statement. “These states make up approximately 70% of Tesla’s sales volume, and Tesla does not give us approval in these states. (All other automakers do give permission.) Therefore we only have responses from states which comprise about 30% of Tesla’s sales volume, and our current rules preclude us from reporting publicly on what may be an unrepresentative sample of customers.”
Winners in each major vehicle category:
Top overall model: Porsche 911
Small car: Kia Rio (runners up: Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa)
Small premium car: BMW 2 Series
Compact car: Kia Forte (runners up: Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla)
Compact sporty car: MINI Cooper (runner up: Hyundai Veloster)
Compact premium car: Genesis G70 (runners up: BMW 4 Series, Kia Stinger)
Midsize car: Chevrolet Malibu and Ford Fusion (runners up: Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima)
Midsize sporty car: Dodge Challenger
Midsize premium car: Mercedes-Benz CLS (runners up: Genesis G80, Audi A7)
Large car: Nissan Maxima (runners up: Toyota Avalon Chrysler 300)
Small SUV: Kia Sportage (runners up: Hyundai Tuscon, Hyundai Kona)
Compact SUV: Chevrolet Equinox (runners up: Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue)
Compact premium SUV: BMW X4 (runners up: Lincoln MKC, Mercedes-Benz GLC)
Midsize pickup: Ford Ranger (runners up: Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tacoma)
Midsize SUV: Hyundai Santa Fe (runners up: Ford Flex, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Kia Sorento, Nissan Murano)
Midsize premium SUV: Lexus RX (runners up: Mercedes-Benz GLE)
Minivan: Kia Sedona (runners up: Dodge Grand Caravan, Toyota Sienna)
Large SUV: Chevrolet Tahoe (runners up: Toyota Sequoia, Ford Expedition)
Large premium SUV: Cadillac Escalade (runner up: Lincoln Navigator)
Large light-duty pickup: Nissan Titan (runner up: Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra)
Large heavy-duty pickup: Chevrolet Silverado HD (runner up: Ford Super Duty)
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.