Top-Ranked Cars, Trucks, and SUVs in the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Initial Quality Study
New-vehicle initial quality is one of the most useful research tools for new- vehicle shoppers, especially since the introduction of the J.D. Power Initial Quality StudySM (IQS), published annually for more than three decades.
The latest benchmark study, based on survey responses from more than 75,000 original buyers and lessees of 2019 model-year vehicles, measures the number of problems reported during the first 90 days of ownership. A lower problem score indicates higher quality. J.D. Power finds that these initial quality metrics are a significant predictor of long-term durability.
- 2019 Initial Quality Study Highlights
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According to the 2019 IQS, the following all-new, redesigned, or carryover 2019 model-year vehicles receive an initial quality award for having the fewest problems and ranking highest in their respective vehicle segments. On the following pages, the 22 segment award recipients are presented in alphabetical order by make and model.
The 2019 BMW 2 Series ranks highest in the Small Premium Car segment to earn an initial quality award.
The sporty, 2-door fuel-efficient car, last redesigned for 2014 and currently available in a high-performance M2 variant (pictured), remains nearly the same except for standard advanced driver-assistance systems and rear park-assist sensors.
The 2019 BMW X4 ranks highest in the Compact Premium SUV segment to earn an initial quality award.
Redesigned for 2019, the X4’s fastback sporty styling with wider and longer stance and more powerful engine choices help it to stand out.
The 2019 Cadillac Escalade ranks highest in the Large Premium SUV segment to earn an initial quality award.
This luxury family hauler receives few changes for 2019 and is still powered by a robust V-8 engine. Last redesigned in 2015, the full-size Escalade seats up to 8.
The 2019 Chevrolet Equinox ranks highest in the Compact SUV segment to earn an initial quality award.
The Equinox, redone for 2018, comes with a choice of three powertrains. New infotainment system features include a touch-screen interface, and adaptive cruise control is available in this compact SUV that seats 5.
The 2019 Chevrolet Malibu ranks highest in the Midsize Car segment (in a tie with the 2019 Ford Fusion) to earn an initial quality award.
The 2019 Malibu features refreshed front and rear styling along with a new fuel-efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT) mated with a turbocharged, 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. This family sedan features an upgraded infotainment system.
The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado HD ranks highest in the Large Heavy Duty Pickup segment to earn an initial quality award.
Chevrolet’s heavy-duty pickup was fully redone for 2014. A plus is the powerful diesel engine option along with excellent towing and hauling capability. This capable hauler has been redesigned for 2020. New black metallic paint and chrome grille treatments are available.
The 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe ranks highest in the Large SUV segment to earn an initial quality award.
This volume-selling SUV, last redone for 2015, seats up to 9. A standard V-8 engine offers ample towing capability and the interior is quiet and well-appointed. An optional 6.2-liter V-8 engine can be ordered. The next-generation redesign will debut in 2020.
The 2019 Dodge Challenger ranks highest in the Midsize Sporty Car segment to earn an initial quality award.
The retro-styled muscle car relies on its burly V-8 engine and an array of revised editions including R/T and SRT Hellcat variants to impress. The Challenger has not been significantly refreshed since it burst onto the scene for the 2008 model year. All-wheel drive (AWD) is now available.
The 2019 Ford Fusion ranks highest in the Midsize Car segment (in a tie with the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu) to earn an initial quality award.
Despite plans to discontinue the Fusion in 2020, the 2019 Ford Fusion still sells well and attracts with a refreshed front and rear fascia, new advanced safety system package, plus new trim levels.
The 2019 Ford Ranger ranks highest in the Midsize Pickup segment to earn an initial quality award in its launch year.
After nearly eight years, Ford returns to the Midsize Pickup segment with a new 2019 Ranger that takes styling cues from Rangers sold overseas. The new truck is powered by a turbocharged, 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 270 horsepower. Rugged and off-road worthy, the 2019 Ranger comes with a host of infotainment and advanced safety features.
The 2019 Genesis G70 ranks highest in the Compact Premium Car segment to earn an initial quality award.
Hyundai Motor Co.’s new premium brand, Genesis, launched the 2019 G70 sport sedan for the 2018 model year as a fun-to-drive luxury car featuring the automaker’s advanced driver-assistance technology. The all-new 3.3T trim level with turbocharged V-6 engine aims to provide a sporty driving experience.
The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe ranks highest in the Midsize SUV segment to earn an initial quality award.
Redesigned for 2019, this crossover SUV boasts a new rugged, taller exterior and more upscale interior treatment with comfy 8-way power seats. It also is equipped with more standard advanced safety systems. A hands-free rear liftgate and upgraded audio system are new.
The 2019 Kia Forte ranks highest in the Compact Car segment to earn an initial quality award.
Redesigned for 2019, the Forte receives dramatic changes to outpace rivals. Popular with female buyers, this stylish compact car comes in four trim levels with two more GT-Line variants arriving in 2020.
The 2019 Kia Rio ranks highest in the Small Car segment to earn an initial quality award.
The small Rio, built on a new wider and lower platform and powered by a 1.6-liter engine, launched in 2018 with a spacious cabin. The car’s small size makes it easy to park. The 2019 Rio is available as a sedan or hatchback with fold-down seats.
The 2019 Kia Sedona ranks highest in the Minivan segment to earn an initial quality award.
Both front and rear fascias are updated on the 2019 people-hauler that seats 7 or 8. Powered by a 3.3-liter V-6 engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission instead of a more common 6-speed, the 2019 Sedona features a rear entertainment system with smartphone connectivity. Among four trim levels, the SX offers the most technology with Smart Cruise, and an 8-in. touch screen.
The 2019 Kia Sportage ranks highest in the Small SUV segment to earn an initial quality award.
For 2019, more advanced safety features are standard in the Kia Sportage. The SX trim adds an electronic parking brake, while the EX includes a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.
The 2019 Lexus RX ranks highest in the Midsize Premium SUV segment to earn an initial quality award.
The 2019 Lexus RX is a fourth-generation model that features an appealing cabin, smooth ride, and advanced safety systems. An integrated Lexus Enform Connect smartphone app is standard, and two trims are offered in front- and all-wheel drive.
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS ranks highest in the Midsize Premium Car segment to earn an initial quality award.
Built on the E-Class platform, the redesigned 2019 CLS retains flashier coupe styling in a 4-door sedan that seats 5 instead of 4. Powered by a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine that replaces the previous model’s V-8, the new CLS also features a new 48-volt integrated starter-generator system to boost acceleration.
The 2019 Mini Cooper ranks highest in the Compact Sporty Car segment to earn an initial quality award.
Last redesigned for 2014, the 2019 Cooper is offered in Classic, Signature, and Iconic trims with an updated infotainment system interface and optional wireless smartphone charging. A perk for 2019 is the new Mini Yours Customization online ordering program that focuses on personalization.
The 2019 Nissan Maxima ranks highest in the Large Car segment to earn an initial quality award.
Refreshed for 2019, the Maxima’s front and rear are restyled with sharper lines, chrome accents, and LED headlights. Marketed by Nissan as a “4-door sports car” and last redesigned for 2015, the 2019 Maxima is powered by a solid, 300-horsepower V-6 engine and features many standard safety features. A new premium Reserve package and several trims offer enhanced sporty sedan performance.
The 2019 Nissan Titan ranks highest in the Large Light Duty Pickup segment to earn an initial quality award.
Redone in 2016, the 2019 Titan comes with standard V-8 power, a number of cab and bed configurations, a new 7-in. touch-screen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity, and an optional off-road package.
The 2019 Porsche 911 ranks highest among all models in all segments to earn the top initial quality award and achieve the lowest number of problems.
The current 911—a seventh-generation midsize premium sporty car—is powered by a rear-mounted flat-6 engine that even in base 911 Carrera form generates 370 horsepower and 331 lb.-ft. of torque. Nearly two dozen 911 variants including four track-ready versions are offered for the 2019 model year. For 2020, Porsche enhances the 911 with performance upgrades and a new interior layout.