A brand that does not receive the credit it deserves for its manufacturing prowess does it again. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – June 26, 2017 2017 Kia Niro LX - $24,230 incl. mats and $895 D&H charge. The Advanced Tech Package ($1,450) includes Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and Smart Cruise Control (SCC). Well worth the addition too! Owners are provided a CUV with a 51/46 mpg city/highway rating. 2017 Kia Niro LX on the Pacific Right out of the gate, the Kia Niro has earned what few other makes or models have ever achieved. That achievement was none other than earning the highest IQS rating for its segment – the Compact Crossover - while also being affordable, by far the most efficient, and dare I say feature packed. Coming off last year’s quality survey topping results, the brand Kia is not holding back. J.D. Power 2016Automotive Initial Quality Survey Awards - Kia and Hyundai continue to make investments to improve customers short and long term satisfaction. Kia Recognized As One of the Highest Quality Brands in the Industry by Strategic Vision Three Kia’s Named the Most Satisfying Cars in their Segments by AutoPacific J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS) According to J.D. Power, the IQS details show new-vehicle quality is at its highest level in history, improving 8 percent from last year. Initial quality is measured by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) during the first 90 days of ownership, with a lower score reflecting higher quality. In this year’s study, quality improved across seven of the eight categories measured, with 27 of the 33 brands in the study improving their quality compared with 2016. J.D. Power’s IQS’s Findings Technology is improving but is still problematic: Audio/communication/entertainment/navigation (ACEN) remains the area where new-vehicle owners experience the most problems. However, this category shows the most improvement since 2016 with a score of 22.8 PP100, or 2.7 PP100 better than last year. Early warning bells for autonomous technology: The only category to worsen this year is features, controls and displays. The largest increases in problems are for cruise control (primarily adaptive cruise); lane departure warning; collision avoidance/alert systems; and blind spot warning. These features comprise some of the building blocks of autonomous vehicles, and an increasing number of consumer-reported problems spell trouble for automakers and suppliers. As detailed her numerous times, if the Adaptive CC is garbage, it is garbage and should not be used or so equipped. Domestic brands show continuous improvement and now outperform import brands for the second year in a row and only the third time since the study was first published in 1987! In 2017, domestic brands receive a score of 93 PP100 compared with 99 PP100 for import brands. Last year, domestic brands also had fewer problems (103 PP100) compared with import brands (106 PP100). J.D. Power IQS Highest-Ranked Brands Kia continued to dominate achieving the highest overall initial quality for a second consecutive year with a score of 72 PP100. This result is an improvement of 11 points below last year’s record results. Not only was it the best Kia has ever achieved, it was the lowest PP100 that any OEM has ever achieved in the 30 years the J.D. Power IQS survey has been scoring automobile quality! Michael Sprague, COO and EVP, Kia Motors America: Other brands that deserve accolades are Genesis (77 PP100) - second overall - followed by Porsche (78 PP100), Ford and Ram (86 PP100) tying for fourth. J.D. Power IQS Segment-Leaders The parent company receiving the most model-level awards for its various brands is Hyundai (five model-level awards), followed by General Motors and BMW, each with four. Kia models that rank highest in their respective segments include the Soul (Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle), Forte (Compact Car), Cadenza (Large Car), Niro (Small SUV) and Sorento (Midsize SUV). 2017 J.D. Power IQS for Small SUV Rankings GM models that rank highest in their segments are the Chevrolet Silverado (Large Light Duty Pickup); Chevrolet Silverado HD (Large Heavy-Duty Pickup); Chevrolet Sonic (Small Car); and GMC Terrain (Compact SUV). The J.D. Power IQS annual report analyzed responses from 77,415 respondents with regards to 243 vehicle models across 26 segments. Vehicles were evaluated on driving experience, engine and transmission performance and a broad range of quality problem symptoms reported by vehicle owners. In detail, the study is based on a 233-question battery organized into eight problem categories designed to provide manufacturers with information to facilitate the identification of problems and drive product improvement. The study was fielded from February through May 2017. J.D. Power IQS Historical Notes In 1987, when the IQS was first published, Mercedes-Benz ranked highest as a nameplate while the Toyota Cressida was the highest-ranked model Domestic brands have scored better than imports in only three years (2010, 2016 and 2017). Mass market brands have scored better than premium brands in only three years (2006, 2016 and 2017). There have been four generations of the study (IQS1: 1987-1997; IQS2: 1998-2005; IQS3: 2006-2012; IQS4: 2013-present). The industry has shown significant improvement in each iteration, with the best IQS scores occurring in the most recent year for each generation. Although Kia does not attract nearly the attention of their competitors given the past few U.S. monthly sales reports showing declines, on the quality, affordability, and features front, nobody holds a candle to them as evident by the 2017 J.D. Power IQS infographic below.