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Top-Rated Small Cars in the 2017 Initial Quality Study

Top-Rated Small Cars in the 2017 Initial Quality Study

By Christian Wardlaw, June 21, 2017

Over the course of three decades, the annual J.D. Power Initial Quality StudySM (IQS) has established itself as the benchmark study of owner satisfaction with new-vehicle quality. The study measures owner-reported problems with vehicle design and defects during the first 90 days of ownership, and the 2017 IQS is based on more than 77,000 responses from verified new-vehicle owners.

To help consumers make the best choice in a new vehicle, J.D. Power calculates and publishes Power Circle Ratings derived from this research. These ratings visually reflect and summarize the IQS findings, presenting the information in a consumer-friendly format.

2017 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback front quarter photoThis buyer’s guide highlights the top-rated 2017 small cars in initial quality. Each model earns an overall Power Circle Rating of 5 out of a possible 5 for initial quality.


 


2017 Chevrolet Cruze

Chevrolet redesigned the Cruze for the 2016 model year, adding a 5-door hatchback model, refining the interior, and adding the latest infotainment, driver-assistance, and safety technologies. For 2017, the Cruze offers a new turbodiesel engine option, a Teen Driver system that encourages safer driving habits in young people, and an extra USB charging port for the rear seat.

The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze receives an initial quality Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5.

2017 Chevrolet Sonic

One of the better small cars on sale today, the Chevy Sonic receives a facelift for 2017, along with an infusion of useful technologies. Highlights include smartphone projection, standard reversing camera, available heated cloth seats, optional heated steering wheel, and keyless entry with push-button engine starting. The Sonic is available in hatchback and sedan body styles.

The 2017 Chevrolet Sonic receives an initial quality Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5 and is the award recipient in the Small Car segment.

2017 Hyundai Elantra

A completely redesigned Hyundai Elantra sedan arrives for 2017, tastefully if conservatively styled and available in new thrifty Eco and powerful Sport trim levels. New drivetrains, new technologies, and a long list of improvements make the Elantra sedan appealing. The Elantra GT hatchback carries over from the previous year with only minor updates.

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra receives an initial quality Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5.

2017 Kia Forte

Kia’s compact car lineup shrinks for 2017, thanks to the discontinuation of the sporty 2-door coupe version, which was whimsically named the Koup. Remaining 4-door sedan and a 5-door hatchback body styles receive several updates for 2017, including a new engine, one updated and one new transmission, and enhanced infotainment and safety technologies.

The 2017 Kia Forte receives an initial quality Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5 and is the award recipient in the Compact Car segment.

2017 Kia Soul

In 2017, Kia solves the Soul’s power problem by introducing a new turbocharged engine in the SX trim level. Two other engines remain available, as well as an electric version with more than 90 miles of driving range. Roomy inside for passengers, the Soul lacks trunk room behind the rear seats, but fold them down and it is just as capacious as a typical small crossover SUV.

The 2017 Kia Soul receives an initial quality Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5 and is the award recipient in the Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle segment.

2017 Mini Cooper

Mini wants to move the delightful little Cooper upscale, and based on the car’s performance in the 2017 IQS it appears the company is paying closer attention to quality-related details. Available as a hatchback or a convertible, the Cooper comes in standard, sporty S, and racy John Cooper Works model series, and can be custom-tailored thanks to a long list of paint, material, trim, and option upgrades.

The 2017 Mini Cooper receives an initial quality Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5 and is the award recipient in the Compact Sporty Car segment.

2017 Toyota Corolla

Toyota makes substantial changes to the 2017 Corolla lineup, ranging from a minor styling update to the introduction of a new 5-door hatchback version called the Corolla iM. Standard equipment now includes critical driver-assistance and collision-avoidance features, as well as an infotainment system upgrade.

The 2017 Toyota Corolla receives an initial quality Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5.

2017 Toyota Yaris

In addition to adding standard driver-assistance and collision-avoidance technologies to all Yaris trim levels, the lineup expands to include the Yaris iA, a 4-door sedan that is a rebadged Mazda 2. The refined, high-quality Yaris iA explains, in part, this small car’s performance in the 2017 IQS.

The 2017 Toyota Yaris receives an initial quality Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5.

2017 Volkswagen Jetta

Since this generation of the Jetta first went on sale for the 2011 model year, it has been a work in progress. Now, it is one of the highest-quality cars in its segment. For 2017, the Jetta Hybrid is discontinued, and Volkswagen is offering key driver-assistance and collision-avoidance systems on lower-priced versions of the car.

The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta receives an initial quality Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5.


Additional Research:


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