J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study is used by everyone from consumers to industry experts to determine what cars are the best. Kia has led the pack for two years in a row now. The company won first place thanks to a rating of 72 problems experienced per 100 vehicles. That’s calculated within the first 90 days of ownership.


Right behind Kia came Genesis, the Hyundai-owned luxury brand (Kia is also owned by Hyundai). Genesis clocked 77 problems experienced per 100 vehicles. Porsche was a close third with 78. Ford and Ram tied for fourth with 86.

Many brands improved their initial quality ratings. Ram is one of the most notable, jumping from 20th place last year all the way up into the top five. Mini jumped all the way from 29th to 12th place, which was also a great improvement.

While most of the news in this year’s initial quality study was positive, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Toyota, for example, dropped from 5th place all the way down to 14th. Still, the vast majority of brands improved and overall new-vehicle quality improved by 8 percent, which is significant.


According to J.D. Power, this is the second year domestic brands have shown great improvements and the Big Three automakers have even shown up their immediate foreign competitors in most situations. As for Kia, the company had many of its models listed in the top three per segment, including the Forte, Soul, Optima, Cadenza, Niro, and Sportage.

As far as what exactly went wrong in vehicles, J.D. Power noted a significant drop in the number of infotainment system issues (such as with the system pictured above), which should indicate that automakers are finally getting the hang of making reliable systems.

Still, modern safety technology, like adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation systems scored lower than they have in the past. This could be due to the fact that there are simply more cars with this type of technology and it’s within reason to assume that over time these systems will improve as well. 

Check out all the rankings below. 

rankings J.D. Power initial quality 2017