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Top-Ranked Cars, Trucks, and SUVs in the J.D. Power 2015 Initial Quality Study

Top-Ranked Cars, Trucks, and SUVs in the J.D. Power 2015 Initial Quality Study

By Christian Wardlaw, June 17, 2015

A total of 27 new car models receive an award in the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS), which measures the quality of new vehicles after 90 days of ownership. Displayed in alphabetical order by make and model on the pages that follow, these are the 2015 cars, trucks, and SUVs that rank highest in their respective vehicle segments in the 2015 IQS.


2015 Audi Q3
In the Small Premium SUV segment, the Audi Q3 is the top-ranked model for 2015, followed by the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, respectively. An all-new model for 2015, the Audi Q3 features a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, available Quattro all-wheel drive, and a number of standard features that are options for the competition.


2015 BMW 2 Series
This year, the BMW 2 Series ranks highest in the Small Premium Car segment, ahead of the Acura ILX. (Note: no other models in this segment perform above the segment average.) For 2015, BMW has added a new convertible body style to the 2 Series lineup, made its xDrive all-wheel-drive system an option, and for the first time offered the 228i model with a Track Handling package.


2015 BMW 4 Series
Ranked highest in the Compact Premium Car segment, performing higher than the second-ranked Lincoln MKZ and third-ranked Lexus ES, the BMW 4 Series is available as a coupe, convertible, and a new Gran Coupe body style that provides added practicality. This year, BMW has made minor changes to the 4 Series models' standard and optional equipment lists. A high-performance M4 version is available in coupe and convertible body styles.


2015 BMW 5 Series
In the Midsize Premium Car segment, the BMW 5 Series receives an award, outperforming the Lincoln MKS and Infiniti Q70, which rank second and third, respectively. Aside from minor equipment updates, the 2015 5 Series is unchanged, continuing in sedan and Gran Turismo (5-door hatchback) format, and offered in ActiveHybrid 5 and performance-tuned M5 variants.


2015 Chevrolet Equinox
Ranked highest in the Compact SUV segment (in a tie with the Ford Escape), the Chevrolet Equinox receives an award this year. For 2015, the Equinox received standard OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity and added two new colors. Both the Chevrolet and the Ford perform higher than the second-ranked GMC Terrain.


2015 Chevrolet Malibu
The Chevrolet Malibu is the highest-ranked Midsize Car in the 2015 IQS, followed by the Kia Optima and Toyota Camry, respectively. This year, Chevrolet has installed standard OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity in every Malibu and has made the family sedan available in four new colors. A redesigned Malibu will arrive for 2016.


2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Redesigned for 2014, and updated with numerous improvements for the 2015 model year, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ranks highest in the Large Light Duty Pickup segment. The only other model to rank higher than the segment average is the Ram 1500. (Note: no other models in this segment perform above the segment average.) Updates for the 2015 Silverado included a new 8-speed automatic transmission for the most powerful V-8 engine, improved technology offerings, upgraded towing capacity ratings, and more.


2015 Chevrolet Spark
The Chevrolet Spark is the only model to perform above the City Car segment average in the 2015 Initial Quality Study. In its final year before a complete redesign for 2016, the 2015 Spark has received standard OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi service, complimentary at first and available via subscription thereafter.


2015 Chrysler 300
Refreshed for the 2015 model year, and offered with the latest in safety and infotainment technologies, the Chrysler 300 ranks highest in the Large Car segment, performing higher than the Kia Cadenza and Chevrolet Impala, which rank second and third, respectively. In addition to other changes, Chrysler has discontinued the performance-tuned 300 SRT model for 2015, while adding a 300C Platinum luxury variant to the lineup.


2015 Dodge Challenger
The redesigned Ford Mustang grabbed headlines in 2015, but the Dodge Challenger ranks highest in initial quality in the Midsize Sporty Car segment in the 2015 IQS, followed by the Chevrolet Camaro. (Note: no other models in this segment perform above the segment average.) For 2015, Dodge reworked the Challenger, revising the styling, installing a new interior, adding safety and infotainment technologies, and debuting the 707-horsepower SRT Hellcat model.


2015 Ford Escape
The Ford Escape ties with the Chevrolet Equinox as the top-ranked Compact SUV in this year's Initial Quality Study, with the GMC Terrain slotting in as the third-ranked model in the segment. Ford made few changes to the 2015 Escape, offering a new paint color and a Chrome Appearance package option for the SE trim level.


2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty
In the Large Heavy Duty Pickup segment, the Ford F-Series Super Duty receives an award in the 2015 Initial Quality Study, performing higher than the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado HD. (Note: no other models in this segment perform above the segment average.) Highlights for the 2015 Ford Super Duty included a reworked turbo-diesel engine option and improved towing capacity.


2015 Hyundai Accent
Hyundai's entry-level Accent is the top-ranked model in the Small Car segment, performing higher than the Kia Rio and Chevrolet Sonic, which rank second and third, respectively. For 2015, the Accent received a mild design freshening, revised seat fabric, added standard equipment, and revised paint color choices. A Sport trim level replaced the previous SE version of the car.


2015 Hyundai Tucson
In its final year before a complete redesign for 2016, the Hyundai Tucson is the highest-ranked model in the Small SUV segment in the 2015 IQS, outperforming the Buick Encore and Kia Sportage, which tie for the second rank position. For 2015, Hyundai expanded equipment for the base GLS trim level and added LED taillights to the Limited version.


2015 Infiniti QX70
Infiniti's QX70 receives an award in the Midsize Premium SUV segment, performing higher than the Lincoln MKX and Porsche Cayenne--ranked second and third, respectively--in the 2015 Initial Quality Study. For 2015, Infiniti dropped the 5-passenger QX70's optional V-8 engine, but added a new Sport package as an option.


2015 Infiniti QX80
Among Large Premium SUVs, the Infiniti QX80 demonstrates the highest quality, receiving an award for its performance in the segment. For 2015, Infiniti made styling, paint color, and equipment changes to the QX80, which performs higher than the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and Lincoln Navigator, respectively, in the segment.


2015 Kia Sorento
In its final year before a complete redesign for 2016, the Kia Sorento ranks highest in the Midsize SUV segment, performing higher than the Hyundai Santa Fe and Chevrolet Traverse, which rank second and third, respectively. Kia made no changes to the 2015 Sorento, aside from slight revisions to the grille design. The all-new 2016 Sorento is already on sale.


2015 Kia Soul
The only Compact MPV to perform higher than segment average in the 2015 IQS, the Kia Soul, receives an award for achieving high levels of quality. Redesigned for 2014, the 2015 Soul gained standard equipment, was offered with next-generation infotainment services technology, and could be outfitted with premium Nappa leather upholstery. A new electric version of the Soul--the Soul EV--also debuted, boasting a claimed range of 93 miles.


2015 Lexus LS
Aside from adding the latest versions of several technologies to the 2015 LS, Lexus made few changes to its flagship sedan, which performs highest in the Large Premium Car segment, followed by the BMW 7 Series and Porsche Panamera, which rank second and third, respectively. Furthermore, the Lexus LS outperformed all other models in the 2015 Initial Quality Study, achieving the highest overall score.


2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata
In its final year before a complete redesign for 2016, the MX-5 Miata roadster ranks highest in the Compact Sporty Car segment, performing higher than the Volkswagen Eos and Scion tC. For 2015, Mazda added a fade-resistant premium canvas soft top to the base Sport version and introduced a limited-production 25th Anniversary variant.


2015 Nissan Quest
Honda and Toyota might dominate sales in the segment, but the Nissan Quest is top-ranked for quality, according to the 2015 IQS. The Quest is followed in the Minivan segment rankings by the Chrysler Town & Country and the Kia Sedona, which rank second and third, respectively. For 2015, Nissan modified the Quest's continuously variable transmission tuning so that it sounds and feels more like a traditional automatic, improved the van's fuel economy, and added new safety technologies and more.


2015 Nissan Sentra
In the Compact Car segment, the Nissan Sentra is the highest-ranked model, followed by the Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla, which tie for the second- ranked position. This year, Nissan added standard equipment to all versions of the Sentra, introduced a handful of new paint colors, and made changes that improved the Sentra's crash-test ratings.


2015 Porsche 911
Among Midsize Premium Sporty Car models, the Porsche 911 performs higher than the second-ranked Mercedes-Benz SL-Class and third-ranked Jaguar F-Type in the 2015 Initial Quality Study. This year, new GTS and Black Edition series debut in both coupe and convertible format.


2015 Porsche Boxster
The Porsche Boxster ranks higher than its hardtop twin, the second-ranked Porsche Cayman, in the Compact Premium Sporty Car segment. (Note: no other models in this segment perform above the segment average.) For 2015, Porsche rolled out new GTS, Spyder, and Black Edition versions of this 2-seat roadster.


2015 Porsche Macan
A new model for 2015, the Porsche Macan is the highest-ranked Compact Premium SUV in initial quality. The Macan performs higher than the second-ranked Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class and both the Infiniti QX50 and Lexus NX, which rank third in a tie. The Macan is offered in S and Turbo model series for 2015.


2015 Toyota Sequoia
Among Large SUVs, the Toyota Sequoia ranks highest, performing higher than the Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Tahoe, which rank second and third, respectively. A power sunroof is standard for 2015, along with a reversing camera. No other changes were made to this 8-passenger SUV.


2015 Toyota Tacoma
When it comes to initial quality, the Toyota Tacoma ranks highest in the Midsize Pickup segment, followed by the Nissan Frontier. (Note: no other models in this segment perform above the segment average.) For 2015, Toyota dropped the regular cab body style and added an off-road-ready Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Pro series version of the Tacoma. A redesigned Tacoma arrives for 2016.

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