Every year, J.D. Power & Associates releases its Initial Quality Study, and the 2017 edition proves what car buyers already know. The old adage, “They don’t make them like they used to,” is dead and gone. Today’s cars are built better and more reliable than ever. Across the board, initial quality has improved a whopping 8% over 2016, according to the J.D. Power report.
In 2016, Kia leapt to the No. 1 spot, ending the nearly 30-year reign of premium brands. It held on to that top spot for 2017, with Genesis, Porsche, Ford, and Ram rounding out the rest of the top five. But while a rising tide lifts all boats, there are still winners and losers. And even today, there are brands that have a long way to go — something customers of these automakers found out the hard way.
J.D. Power & Associates has been conducting the Initial Quality Study for 30 years. The marketing research group sends a comprehensive 233-question survey to car buyers who have purchased new cars and asks them to rate their first 90 days with their new rides. And as far as the industry has come, it’s clear a lot can still go wrong on a brand new car. From the 2017 J.D. Power survey, here are the 10 car brands with the lowest initial quality, ranked by number of problems reported per 100 vehicles.
After some time in the wilderness, Nissan is refocusing its premium Infiniti brand, with a number of new models, eye-catching styling, and some seriously formidable new engine architecture. But big changes take time, and right now quality in current models leaves something to be desired. New owners told J.D. Power they found 107 issues per 100 cars. Oddly enough, Nissan itself ranks 10th overall in terms of quality.
Next: Despite record-setting sales, this American brand still leaves a lot to be desired.