Top-Ranked Cars, Trucks and SUVs in the J.D. Power 2014 Initial Quality Study
By Jeff Youngs, June 18, 2014
Based on the results of the J.D. Power 2014 Initial Quality StudySM (IQS), which measures the quality of new vehicles after 90 days of ownership, the following models receive an award for ranking highest in their respective vehicle segments. The award recipients are displayed in alphabetical order by make and model.
2014 Buick Encore
This year, the Buick Encore, Kia Sportage, and Nissan Juke top the initial quality rankings in the Small SUV segment in a three-way tie. For 2014, the Encore's IntelliLink connectivity system was enhanced with Siri Eyes Free and text-messaging capability, and many versions of the small crossover SUV included a side blind-zone alert and rear cross-traffic alert system.
2014 Chevrolet Malibu
When it comes to initial quality, the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu ranks higher than all other models in the Midsize Car segment, including the second-ranked Hyundai Sonata and third-ranked Toyota Camry. For 2014, Chevrolet made numerous changes to the Malibu in order to improve ride, handling, comfort, refinement, fuel economy, and performance. New safety features, hands-free text-messaging capability, and Siri Eyes Free technology also debuted.
2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD
In the Large Heavy Duty Pickup segment, the Chevrolet Silverado HD ranks higher in initial quality than does the GMC Sierra HD, which ranks second (Note: No other model in this segment performs above segment average). This was the final year for the Silverado HD in advance of a redesigned 2015 model, and Chevy increased towing capacity with a new standard 4.10 axle ratio, offered a spray-in bedliner, and added a bi-fuel compressed natural gas engine option.
2014 Chevrolet Suburban
When it comes to initial quality, the 2014 Chevrolet Suburban ties with the GMC Yukon as the top-ranked model in the Large SUV segment, followed by the similar Chevrolet Tahoe, which ranks third in the segment. This was the final year for the Suburban in advance of a redesigned 2015 model, and Chevrolet added lots of standard equipment to the base trim level while offering the SUV in one new color.
2014 Chrysler Town & Country
In the Minivan segment of the 2014 IQS, the 2014 Chrysler Town & Country ranks higher in initial quality than do the Toyota Sienna and Dodge Grand Caravan. For 2014, a new 30th Anniversary Edition of the Chrysler minivan debuted.
2014 Dodge Challenger
The 2014 Dodge Challenger ranks higher in initial quality in the Midsize Sporty Car segment than does the Chevrolet Camaro, which ranks second (Note: No other model in this segment performs above segment average). This year Dodge offered new versions of the Challenger called the Rallye Redline, R/T Redline, R/T Shaker, Mopar '14 Challenger, 100th Anniversary Edition, and Core SRT models. The 2014 Challenger also benefitted from new paint colors, optional HID headlights, performance seats, and upgraded handling, and SRT versions gained standard launch control.
2014 Ford Edge
In the Midsize SUV segment, the Ford Edge ranks higher in initial quality than do the Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan Murano, which tied as the second-ranked models in the segment. For 2014, the Edge was offered in new paint colors.
2014 Ford F-150
In its final year before a complete redesign, the Ford F-150 is the highest-ranked Large Light Duty Pickup in the 2014 IQS, ranking higher than the Toyota Tundra and Ram 1500. Aside from cosmetic updates, the 2014 Ford F-150 lineup added a performance-tuned Tremor model and a value-priced STX SuperCrew model. Power telescopic trailering mirrors were a new option for 2014.
2014 GMC Terrain
Ranking higher than the Chevrolet Equinox and the Toyota FJ Cruiser in the Compact SUV segment, the 2014 GMC Terrain receives an award for initial quality. This year, the Terrain offered new wheel designs and a fresh paint color.
2014 GMC Yukon
In the Large SUV segment, the GMC Yukon ties with the Chevrolet Suburban as the top-ranked model in initial quality. The similar Chevrolet Tahoe ranked third in the segment. For 2014, the entry-level version of the Yukon gained standard equipment and one new paint color debuted.
2014 Honda Ridgeline
In the Midsize Pickup segment, the Honda Ridgeline ranks higher than do the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma, which tied for the second-ranked position in the 2014 IQS. A new Ridgeline Special Edition model debuted for 2014.
2014 Hyundai Accent
In terms of initial quality, the Hyundai Accent ranks higher than the Mazda 2 and Kia Rio in the Small Car segment. Hyundai improved the Accent's voice-recognition technology this year, and debuted several new convenience-related features.
2014 Hyundai Elantra
In the Compact Car segment, Hyundai's revamped 2014 Elantra ranks higher than do the redesigned Toyota Corolla and improved Honda Civic. A revised trim strategy, more powerful engine option, and updated safety and infotainment technologies highlight the long list of changes made to the 2014 Elantra lineup, which includes a coupe, 5-door hatchback, and a sedan.
2014 Hyundai Genesis
In its final year before a completely redesigned 2015 model debuts, the Hyundai Genesis is the highest-ranked Midsize Premium Car in the 2014 IQS, slotting in ahead of the Lincoln MKS and several third-place finishers including (in a tie) the BMW 6 Series, Lexus GS, and Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class. This year, the Genesis included three free years of expanded Blue Link telematics services, Hyundai improved the steering feel for the standard model while adding new aluminum wheels, and a heated steering wheel was included for the 5.0 R-Spec version.
2014 Infiniti QX50
Ranking higher than the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 in the Compact Premium SUV segment, the Infiniti QX50 earns an award for initial quality. Aside from a name change (this model had been called the EX35) no other changes were made for 2014.
2014 Infiniti QX80
In the Large Premium SUV segment, the Infiniti QX80 ranks higher in initial quality than the Cadillac Escalade, which ranks second (Note: No other model in this segment performs above segment average). A new Backup Collision Intervention system debuted for 2014, in addition to a name change from QX56 to QX80.
2014 Kia Cadenza
A new model in the Large Car segment, in its freshman year the 2014 Kia Cadenza ranks higher than the Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon in initial quality.
2014 Kia Sportage
Three models rank highest in a tie in the Small SUV segment; thus, the Kia Sportage model's initial quality is equal to the Buick Encore and Nissan Juke. According to Kia, the updated 2014 Sportage features reductions in noise, vibration, and harshness, along with subtle styling changes, new infotainment technologies, a direct-injection 4-cylinder engine, and a retuned suspension.
2014 Lexus ES
In the Compact Premium Car segment, the Lexus ES ranks higher in initial quality than the Acura TL and, in a tie for third, the Acura ILX and BMW 4 Series. For 2014, Lexus offered ventilated front seats with its standard NuLuxe leatherette upholstery, as well as a new Bamboo wood trim for ES 350 models.
2014 Lincoln MKX
Owners of the Lincoln MKX rated it higher for initial quality than the Porsche Cayenne and the Infiniti QX70 in the Midsize Premium SUV segment. New paint colors and a new Limited Edition package were the only changes for 2014.
2014 Mazda 5
In the Compact Multi-Purpose Vehicle segment, the Mazda 5 ranks higher in initial quality than the Kia Soul and Ford C-Max. One new color debuted for this small minivan in 2014.
2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Ranking higher than the Volkswagen GTI and Scion tC in the Compact Sporty Car segment, the Mazda MX-5 Miata earns an award for initial quality. Mazda offered the Miata roadster in new colors for 2014.
2014 Nissan Juke
In a tie with the Buick Encore and Kia Sportage, the Nissan Juke is a top-ranked model in initial quality in the Small SUV segment. In addition to a new performance-tuned NISMO RS version, changes for the 2014 Juke included new paint colors.
2014 Porsche 911
In the Midsize Premium Sporty Car segment, the Porsche 911 ranks higher in initial quality than the Jaguar F-Type, which ranks second (Note: No other model in this segment performs above segment average). New 911 Targa, 911 Turbo convertible, and 911 GT3 models debuted for 2014.
2014 Porsche Boxster
The Porsche Boxster roadster ranks higher in initial quality in the Compact Premium Sporty Car segment than the Porsche Cayman and the Nissan 370Z. The Boxster was redesigned for the 2013 model year, and a new Boxster GTS variant is on sale in the summer of 2014.
2014 Porsche Panamera
In the Large Premium Car segment the Porsche Panamera ranks higher in initial quality than the Lexus LS and Hyundai Equus. For 2014, Porsche introduced four new versions of the Panamera, including a plug-in hybrid model, more powerful Turbo S model, and long-wheelbase Executive variants of the 4S and Turbo models.