Genesis tops J.D. Power's Initial Quality auto rankings

Keith Laing
The Detroit News
The 2018 Genesis G90 won the J.D. Power award for the large premium car segment.


Hyundai Motor Group's luxury Genesis Motors brand achieved the highest ranking in new-car quality among all car brands in J.D. Power’s 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Study, while Kia ranked No. 2 and Hyundai was No. 3. It was the first time the rankings were topped by three South Korean brands.

Ford topped all U.S. brands at No. 5, with Chevrolet at 6th, Lincoln at 7th, Cadillac at 12th, Buick at 16th, Jeep at 17th, Dodge at 19th, GMC at 20th and Chrysler at 26th.

The 2018 Kia Rio EX won the J.D. Power award for the small car segment.


The annual study measures the number of problems experienced during the first 90 days of ownership of 2018 vehicles.

New-vehicle quality across all brands improved for the fourth consecutive year — by 4 percent from 2017 — to reach its best level ever.

“There’s no question that most automakers are doing a great job of listening to consumers and are producing vehicle quality of the highest caliber,” said Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. “That said, some vehicle owners are still finding problems. As vehicles become more complex and automated, it is critical that consumers have complete confidence in automakers’ ability to deliver fault-free vehicles.”

The 2018 Hyndai Tucson won the J.D. Power award for the small SUV segment.


Although problems with infotainment problems are decreasing, they remain the most problematic category for new-vehicle owners. However, this area has improved for the third consecutive year, led by fewer problems with built-in voice recognition systems.
At the same time, there are increasing problems with driver-assistance systems: As automakers add advanced driver assistance systems, more consumers are experiencing problems.

The 2018 Ford Expedition won the J.D. Power award for the large SUV segment.


Ford Motor Co. received five awards for individual models. The Ford Expedition, Ford Mustang, Ford Super Duty, Lincoln Continental and Lincoln MKC topped their respective segments.

Ford was followed by Hyundai Motor Group, which had four awards for the Genesis G90, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Rio and Kia Sorento. BMW, General Motors and Nissan had three awards each. GM took best-in-class honors for the Buick Envision; Chevrolet Silverado; and Chevrolet Silverado HD. 

The 2018 Chevrolet Silverado won the J.D. Power awards for both the large light duty and heavy duty pickup segments.


Among the top brands, Genesis drivers reported 68 problems per 100 vehicles, while Kia drivers experienced 72 problems and Hyundai drivers reported 74 problems.  Ford drivers reported 81 problems per 100 cars.

Detroit automakers continued to improve at a faster rate than the industry: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. all outpaced the industry average rate of improvement.

J.D. Power said Mazda was the most-improved brand; its owners reported 25 fewer  problems per 100 cars than than their counterparts in 2017 did. Other brands with strong improvements included Mitsubishi, which improved by 20 problems per 100 vehicles, and Cadillac and Hyundai, which improved by 15 problems per 100 vehicles.

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Twitter: @Keith_Laing