Top-Rated 2016 Small SUVs in Quality

Christian Wardlaw | Jun 22, 2016
2016 U.S. Initial Quality Study trophy graphic

Designed to measure owner-reported design- and defect-related problems during the first 90 days of ownership, the annual J.D. Power Initial Quality StudySM (IQS) serves as a benchmark of owner satisfaction with new-vehicle quality. Now in its 30th year, the 2016 U.S. IQS is based on more than 80,000 survey responses.

To help consumers when they are shopping for a new vehicle, J.D. Power calculates Power Circle Ratings (PCRs) from the IQS research. The PCRs provide a visual reflection and summarization of the study’s findings.

This buyer’s guide contains the top-rated 2016 small SUVs from the 2016 U.S. IQS, each model earning a Power Circle Rating of 4 or 5 out of a possible 5 for initial quality during the first 90 days of ownership.

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2016 Buick Encore photo

2016 Buick Encore

An unexpected success story for Buick, the subcompact Encore continues to bring new customers to the company’s dealer showrooms. For 2016, Buick introduces a new Sport Touring version of the Encore, but makes few other changes in advance of a refresh for the 2017 model year.

The 2016 Buick Encore receives an initial quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

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2016 Chevrolet Equinox LT photo

2016 Chevrolet Equinox

Styling and technology upgrades help to keep the aging Chevrolet Equinox competitive in 2016. Roomy inside, the Equinox is offered with a 4-cylinder or a V-6 engine, with front-wheel or all-wheel drive, and in four different trim levels. Cargo space is a bit tight, but otherwise this Chevy proves itself to be a quality compact SUV.

The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox receives an initial quality Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5 and is the  award recipient in the Compact SUV segment in a tie with its corporate twin, the GMC Terrain.

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2016 Ford Escape photo

2016 Ford Escape

The Ford Escape compact SUV rates highly in terms of initial quality. This year, Ford replaces the unloved MyFord Touch infotainment system with its new Sync 3 technology, which features a capacitive-touch display screen, is designed for faster response, and offers natural-voice recognition. New option packages also debut for the mid-level Escape SE.

The 2016 Ford Escape receives an initial quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

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2016 GMC Terrain SLT photo

2016 GMC Terrain

Freshened styling and expanded availability of driver-assistance technologies headline the changes to the 2016 Terrain. GMC also updates the compact SUV’s interior and improves passenger comfort in certain trim levels.

The 2016 GMC Terrain receives an initial quality Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5 and is the award recipient in the Compact SUV segment in a tie with its corporate twin, the Chevrolet Equinox.

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2016 Hyundai Tucson photo

2016 Hyundai Tucson

Completely redesigned for 2016, the new Tucson remains a small SUV but it is larger, more sophisticated, more enjoyable to drive, and safer than the model it replaces. Four versions are on sale—SE, Eco, Sport, and Limited—and buyers choose between two engines and front- or all-wheel drive.

The 2016 Hyundai Tucson receives an initial quality Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5.

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2016 Kia Sportage photo

2016 Kia Sportage

In its final year before a complete redesign, the Kia Sportage gains standard equipment while the company repackages certain options. A small SUV available with a surprisingly powerful turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and a fantastic warranty, the Sportage has plenty to offer.

The 2016 Kia Sportage receives an initial quality Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5 and is the award recipient in the Small SUV segment.

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2016 Toyota RAV4 SE photo

2016 Toyota RAV4

Featuring revised styling, a freshened cabin, retuned suspension, and upgraded driver-assistance, collision-avoidance, and infotainment technologies, the 2016 Toyota RAV4 is improved over previous models. It is also offered in a new sport-themed SE trim level, and a RAV4 Hybrid debuts with 33 mpg in combined driving, according to the EPA.

The 2016 Toyota RAV4 receives an initial quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

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2016 Volkswagen Tiguan photo

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan

In its last year before a complete redesign, the Volkswagen Tiguan is better equipped and less expensive than it was before. The sporty R-Line version is now available at a lower price, too. A redesigned Tiguan is expected for the 2017 model year.

The 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan receives an initial quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.









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