Top quality cars of 2020 in first 90 days – J.D. Power survey

The Chevrolet Sonic may be super to some but not even a J.D. Power quality award can save it.

A soon-to-be victim of shrinking small-car sales, the subcompact was named “Highest Initial Quality Model” in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Initial Quality Study after taking first place in the small-car category.

The Sonic was one of 26 vehicles, including one tie, that received top awards in 25 segments. The awards, which are based on an annual survey of vehicle owners, comprise 11 car segments, 10 SUV segments and four truck/minivan segments.

Among all brands, Cadillac and Kia led model-level rankings with four awards each.

2020 Chevrolet Sonic
Photo credit: Chevrolet
Chevrolet’s Sonic was named top model in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.

The Sonic, which debuted in 2012 and will not be produced after this year, according to General Motors, recorded the top score of any model in this year’s initial quality survey, said a release from J.D. Power announcing the 2020 awards. The Sonic scored 103 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), far below the industry average of 166 and well below its brand’s 141 overall score.

Chevrolet tied for third place in the overall brand category of the J.D. Power survey.

Parent corporations receiving the most model-level (segment) initial quality awards are Hyundai Motor Group (seven), General Motors Company (six), BMW AG, Ford Motor Company and Nissan Motor Co. (three each), and Toyota Motor Company (two).

The survey is a measure of problems experienced by owners of current model-year vehicles in the first 90 days after purchase or lease, with lower scores representing higher quality.

Based on responses from 87,282 purchasers and lessees from February through May, the survey comprises 223 questions in nine vehicle categories: infotainment, features, controls and displays, exterior, driving assistance, interior, powertrain, seats, driving experience and climate.

Following are segments, winners and runners-up for the 2020 awards:

Passenger Cars

Small Car
Highest ranked: Chevrolet Sonic
Runners-up: Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio

Small Premium Car
Highest ranked: Audi A3
Runners-up: Acura ILX and BMW 2 Series (tie)

Compact Car
Highest ranked: Kia Forte
Runners-up: Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Jetta

Compact Sporty Car
Highest ranked: Hyundai Veloster and MINI Cooper (tie)

Compact Premium Car
Highest ranked: Genesis G70
Runners-up: Lexus IS and Mercedes-Benz C-Class (tie)

Midsize Car
Highest ranked: Chevrolet Malibu
Runners-up: Ford Fusion and Kia Optima

Midsize Sporty Car
Highest ranked: Ford Mustang

Midsize Premium Car
Highest ranked: Cadillac CT5
Runners-up: Lincoln MKZ and Kia Stinger

Upper Midsize Premium Car
Highest ranked: Cadillac CT6
Runner-up: Genesis G80

Large Car
Highest ranked: Nissan Maxima
Runner-up: Dodge Charger

Large Premium Car
Highest ranked: BMW 8 Series
Runners-up: BMW 7 Series and Porsche Panamera

Sport utility vehicles

Small SUV
Highest ranked: Kia Soul
Runners-up: Toyota C-HR and Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (tie)

Small Premium SUV
Highest ranked: Jaguar E-Pace
Runners-up: Lexus UX and BMW X2

Compact SUV
Highest ranked: Hyundai Tucson
Runners-up: Kia Sportage and Chevrolet Equinox

Compact Premium SUV
Highest ranked: Cadillac XT4
Runners-up: BMW X4 and Lexus NX

Midsize SUV
Highest ranked: Nissan Murano
Runners-up: Chevrolet Blazer and Hyundai Santa Fe

Midsize Premium SUV
Highest ranked: Lexus GX
Runners-up: Lincoln Nautilus and Lexus RX

Upper Midsize SUV
Highest ranked: Kia Sorento
Runners-up: Dodge Durango and Toyota Highlander

Upper Midsize Premium SUV
Highest ranked: BMW X6
Runners-up: BMW X5 and Audi Q8

Large SUV
Highest ranked: Nissan Armada
Runners-up: Chevrolet Tahoe and Toyota Sequoia

Large Premium SUV
Highest ranked: Cadillac Escalade
Runners-up: Lincoln Navigator and BMW X7

Trucks and minivans

Highest ranked: Kia Sedona
Runner-up: Honda Odyssey

Midsize Pickup
Highest ranked: Ford Ranger
Runners-up: Chevrolet Colorado and Honda Ridgeline

Large Light Duty Pickup
Highest ranked: Toyota Tundra
Runners-up: GMC Sierra and Ford F-150

Large Heavy Duty Pickup
Highest ranked: Ford Super Duty
Runner-up: Chevrolet Silverado HD

Overall, 69 vehicles made the cut as the top-ranked model in its segment or one of the runners-up. That provides a lot of flexibility to shoppers who are seeking their next vehicle in 2020.

But if you had your heart set on a Chevrolet Sonic, better get one while you still can.

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