If you’re shopping for a quality new car, you might start here

See 22 top-rated vehicles, 33 others that shine for 2018

The 2018 Kia Rio was named highest-quality small car by J.D. Power

Quality comes in all shapes and sizes.

That may be especially true if you’re talking about the hundreds of car, truck, SUV and minivan models from which new-vehicle shoppers can choose every year.

If that’s your dilemma, J.D. Power’s U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS) might help you narrow the field.

This year’s IQS awards identify 22 vehicle models in 20 categories as top picks based on results of a 233-question survey of 75,712 new-car owners and lessees. Another 33 models also were rated highly in the 20 categories, which ranged from small car to heavy-duty pickup.

The 233 survey questions covered potential vehicle problems in eight areas: exterior; seats; driving experience; engine/transmission; features/controls/displays; interior; heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and audio/communication/entertainment/navigation systems.

“The Initial Quality Study serves as the industry benchmark for new-vehicle quality measured at 90 days of ownership and has proven to be an excellent predictor of long-term reliability, which may significantly impact new-vehicle purchase decisions,” said J.D. Power.

Following are IQS award winners and runners-up in J.D. Power’s 20 categories:

Cars and minivans

Small car

Kia Rio
Nissan Versa and Chevrolet Bolt

Compact car

Toyota Corolla
Chevrolet Cruze and Kia Forte

Small premium car

Acura ILX
BMW 2 Series and Mercedes-Benz CLA

Compact premium car

BMW 4-Series
Infiniti Q60 and Lexus ES

Midsize car

Nissan Altima
Kia Optima and Ford Fusion

Midsize premium car

Lincoln Continental
Genesis G80 and Lexus GS

Midsize sporty car

Ford Mustang


Dodge Grand Caravan
Kia Sedona and Toyota Sienna

Large car

Nissan Maxima
Ford Taurus and Chrysler 300

Large premium car

Genesis G90
BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class

SUVs and pickups

Small SUV

Hyundai Tucson
Kia Sportage and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Small premium SUV

BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

Compact SUV

Buick Envision
Ford Escape and Honda CR-V

Compact premium SUV

Lincoln MKC
Porsche Macan and Mercedes-Benz GLC

Midsize SUV

Kia Sorento
Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Explorer and Nissan Murano

Midsize premium SUV

Lexus RX and Porsche Cayenne

Midsize pickup

Nissan Frontier
GMC Canyon and Honda Ridgeline

Large SUV

Ford Expedition
GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe

Large light-duty pickup

Chevrolet Silverado

Large heavy-duty pickup

Chevrolet Silverado and Ford Super Duty

Ford Motor Company received the most model-level awards (five) for its Ford and Lincoln brands; followed by Hyundai Motor Group (four) for its Kia, Hyundai and Genesis brands; and General Motors for its Buick and Chevrolet brands, along with Nissan and BMW (three each). Honda/Acura, Dodge, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota captured one category award each.

The model-level J.D. Power awards included ties in two study categories.

For more details on the IQS awards, including brand-level results, see New-vehicle initial quality improves again, J.D. Power finds or the infographic Spotlight: J.D. Power 2018 Initial Quality Study.

Detailed results for all categories 2010-2018 also are available on the J.D. Power website.

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