Global market research firm J.D Power has released the results for its 2018 Initial Quality Study (IQS), a US-based survey which measures initial car quality by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) during the first 90 days of ownership.

This year, the survey found that initial quality has improved generally, and the new industry average score is 93 PP100 – a four point improvement than in 2017 (97 PP100). Since it’s a study measuring number of problems per sample size, the lower the score, the higher the quality.

Interestingly, the Genesis brand ranked highest in overall initial quality with a score of 68. Kia comes in second with 72 and Hyundai in third with 74. This is the first time in US history that three Korean brands are at the top of the overall ranking, and it is the fourth consecutive year that Kia is the highest-ranking mass market brand.

Porsche and Ford took fourth and fifth with 79 and 81 respectively. Towards the bottom of the list are Mitsubishi (111), Subaru (115) and Volvo (122), whereas Jaguar and Land Rover come in last with a score of 148 and 160 respectively. Click on the scoring chart below to see the full list.


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The study also found Mazda to be the most-improved brand, with owners reporting 25 PP100 fewer problems than in 2017. Other brands with strong improvements include Mitsubishi (20 PP100 improvement), Cadillac (15 PP100 improvement), Infiniti (15 PP100 improvement), Hyundai (14 PP100 improvement) and Lexus (14 PP100 improvement).

There’s also the plant quality awards category, in which scoring parameters are based solely on defects and malfunctions and exclude design-related problems. Toyota’s Yoshiwara plant in Japan, which produces the Lexus LX and Toyota Land Cruiser, received the platinum plant quality award for producing models with the fewest defects or malfunctions.

Toyota Cambridge North plant (produces the Toyota Corolla) and Georgetown 3 plant (produces the Lexus ES) in Canada each receive the gold plant quality award in a tie for the Americas region. Meanwhile, BMW Group’s Dingolfing 02 plant in Germany, which produces the BMW 6 Series and BMW 7 Series, received the gold award for the Europe/Africa region.

The J.D Power IQS study is based on responses from 75,712 purchasers and lessees of new 2018 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study, which was conducted from February to May 2018, was based on a 233-question battery organised into eight vehicle categories. Now, do you find the results surprising? What do you think? Let us know, below!