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For 27 years, the top spot of the JD Power Initial Quality Survey (IQS) for new cars in the United States has been dominated by luxury brands, but one mainstream manufacturer has managed to break the hegemony in the 2016 survey – and surprise, surprise, it’s a Korean brand. Kia, to be exact.

Kia secured the #1 spot with just 83 problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), beating out Porsche (84 PP100), Hyundai (92 PP100), Toyota (93 PP100) and BMW (94 PP100); the brand ranked second behind Porsche last year. All five racked up far fewer problems than the national industry average of 105 PP100, itself an improvement over the 112 PP100 reported in 2015.

According to CNBC, JD Power vice president of US automotive quality Renee Stephens attributed Kia’s strong performance in the surveys to the brand’s focus on “cleaner” new model launches – the source of many teething problems – adding that its factories and dealers in the US are producing better vehicles.

“Ten years ago they were on the other end [of the rankings] and they’ve been slowly moving up, and moving up by leaps and bounds in the last few years,” she said.

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Kia Motors America chief operating officer Michael Sprague said that the stellar ranking “is the result of Kia’s decade-long focus on craftsmanship and continuous improvement, and reflects the voice of our customers, which is the ultimate affirmation.”

That focus on new car quality perhaps came at a price, however – Kia placed a lowly 17th in JD Power’s longer-term Vehicle Dependability Survey (VDS) released earlier this year, which measures problems experienced over a three-year period, rather than just 90 days for IQS. It scored 153 PP100, slightly above the industry average of 152 PP100.

Kia’s performance this year is indicative of mainstream brands in general, receiving fewer complaints from owners than luxury brands. One of the key reasons for the upward trend for the industry as a whole is the improvement in infotainment systems – hitherto the biggest source of customer dissatisfaction – with newer models becoming simpler and coming with fewer glitches.

“Manufacturers are simplifying their controls to only show those controls that are most relevant to consumers,” Stephens said.