The Top-Ranked Vehicles in the JD Power 2014 Initial Quality Study

It doesn't always depend on how much you spend.

by on Jun.18, 2014

The Hyundai Accent scored second only to the Porsche Panamera among all 207 models included in the 2014 JD Power Initial Quality Study.

While the typical 2014 model posted a “somewhat unusual” dip in quality, at least according to the latest J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, there were a number of stellar performers on the list – including some significant surprises.

Porsche led the list among 32 brands covered by the 2014 IQS, while the German maker’s 4-door sports car, the Panamera, had the “single-lowest” number of problems among any of the 207 models the annual survey of U.S. owners covered.

In Drive!

Even more surprising, perhaps, was the fact that Korean carmaker Hyundai came in fourth overall, and was the highest-ranked of all mainstream makers, beating out such familiar quality leaders as Toyota and Honda. And the little Hyundai Accent, at the other end of the price spectrum from the Porsche Panamera, was the second most problem-free vehicle, the new J.D. Power study found.

“You have some very expensive cars at the top,” noted Dave Sargent, Power’s lead automotive analyst, “and very inexpensive ones.”

(Why has quality dropped this year? For more on the 2014 Power Initial Quality Study, Click Here.)

Lexus was third on the list among brands, two spots ahead of its mainstream sibling Toyota, while Chevrolet was the highest-ranked domestic brand, at sixth.

The IQS measures consumer concerns in terms of so-called “problems per 100 vehicles,” or PP100s. Those can include anything from a faulty transmission to a hard-to-operate infotainment system. In fact, design-based issues — such as a voice control system that won’t properly program a destination into the navigation computer – now are more common than mechanical failures. And infotainment-related problems have become the single most frequent owner complaint.

And the fact that new models tend to come loaded with lots of the latest technologies may explain why all-new and significantly redesigned vehicles introduced for the 2014 model-year tended to have more serious quality issues.

(Lincoln leads in latest Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. Click Here for more.)

Which vehicles topped the chart according to the 2014 Initial Quality Survey? Here’s a list of the winners, and their scores, by product segment:

Small Car

  • Highest Ranked: Hyundai Accent
  • Mazda MAZDA2
  • Kia Rio

Compact Car

  • Highest Ranked: Hyundai Elantra
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Honda Civic

Compact Premium Car

  • Highest Ranked: Lexus ES
  • Acura TL
  • Acura ILX (tie)
  • BMW 4 Series (tie)

Compact Sporty Car

  • Highest Ranked: Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Volkswagen GTI
  • Scion tC

Compact Premium Sporty Car

  • Highest Ranked: Porsche Boxster
  • Porsche Cayman
  • Nissan Z

Midsize Car

  • Highest Ranked: Chevrolet Malibu
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Toyota Camry

Midsize Sporty Car

  • Highest Ranked: Dodge Challenger
  • Chevrolet Camaro

Midsize Premium Car

  • Highest Ranked: Hyundai Genesis
  • Lincoln MKS
  • BMW 6 Series (tie)
  • Lexus GS (tie)
  • Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class (tie)

Midsize Premium Sporty Car*

  • Highest Ranked: Porsche 911
  • Jaguar F-Type

Large Car

  • Highest Ranked: Kia Cadenza
  • Nissan Maxima
  • Toyota Avalon

Large Premium Car

  • Highest Ranked: Porsche Panamera
  • Lexus LS
  • Hyundai Equus

 

 

Small SUV

  • Highest Ranked: Buick Encore (tie)
  • Kia Sportage (tie)
  • Nissan Juke (tie)

Compact SUV

  • Highest Ranked: GMC Terrain
  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Toyota FJ Cruiser

Compact Premium SUV

  • Highest Ranked: Infiniti QX50
  • BMW X3
  • Audi Q5

Compact MPV

  • Highest Ranked: Mazda MAZDA5
  • Kia Soul
  • Ford C-Max

Midsize SUV

  • Highest Ranked: Ford Edge
  • Hyundai Santa Fe (tie)
  • Nissan Murano (tie)

Midsize Premium SUV

  • Highest Ranked: Lincoln MKX
  • Porsche Cayenne
  • Infiniti QX70

 

Midsize Pickup

  • Highest Ranked: Honda Ridgeline
  • Nissan Frontier (tie)
  • Toyota Tacoma (tie)

Minivan

  • Highest Ranked: Chrysler Town & Country
  • Toyota Sienna
  • Dodge Grand Caravan

Large SUV

  • Highest Ranked: Chevrolet Suburban (tie)
  • GMC Yukon (tie)
  • Chevrolet Tahoe

Large Premium SUV*

  • Highest Ranked: Infiniti  QX80
  • Cadillac Escalade

Large Light Duty Pickup

  • Highest Ranked: Ford F-150 LD
  • Toyota Tundra
  • Ram 1500 LD

Large Heavy Duty Pickup*

  • Highest Ranked: Chevrolet Silverado HD
  • GMC Sierra HD

 

 

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