Philly Murtha | Jul 31, 2019


The family car is less popular in the U.S. than SUVs and Pickups. However, for comfortable commuting and traveling with five or more passengers, a sedan or minivan is hard to beat. New-vehicle quality is a major factor to consider when shopping for a new family car, whether a midsize or large car or a car-based minivan.

Results from the latest J.D. Power Initial Quality StudySM (IQS), automotive industry benchmark for measuring new-vehicle quality during the first 90 days of ownership can help in the shopping process. This year, J.D. Power surveyed more than 75,000 original buyers and lessees of new cars, trucks, SUVs and vans to identify problems with new-vehicle design and defects or malfunctions.

J.D. Power translates 2019 IQS study results into Initial Quality Power Circle ratings expressed in a 1-5-point scale, with 5 being the highest. This Family Car buyer’s guide alphabetically lists highest ranking 2019 model-year Midsize and Large Cars plus Minivans from major brands that receive an overall rating of 4 or 5 out of a possible 5 points for initial quality during the first 90 days of ownership. Consumers can use these ratings in comparison shopping.

2019 Chevrolet Malibu

Chevrolet refreshes its ninth-generation 2019 Malibu Midsize Car that seats five with sleeker front and rear fascia and more advanced technology including an 8.0-in. touchscreen and upgraded Infotainment 3 System plus smartphone connectivity. A fuel-efficient CVT has been added in partnership with a 163-horsepower turbo 1.5 liter engine to Malibu, which was last redesigned for 2016. A hybrid variant also is available.

The 2019 Chevrolet Malibu receives an Initial Quality score of 5 out of 5 and ties for an Initial Quality award in the Midsize Car category.

2019 Dodge Grand Caravan

The 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan, an affordable family hauler that seats seven, remains nearly the same as when it was redesigned a decade ago. A rearview camera is now standard and the minivan, powered by an energetic V-6, still features Stow’n Go second-row seats that fold flat. Bluetooth phone connectivity and a USB port are standard on two of three trims. Upscale SXT features leather upholstery and backseat DVD entertainment systems.

The 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan receive an Initial Quality score of 4 out of a possible 5. 

2019 Ford Fusion

New front and rear elements give the 2019 Ford Fusion a style boost. Five revamped trims are offered, including several with near-lux feature content. Ford’s Co-Pilot360 advanced safety system suite is new this year. The second-generation Fusion also comes with a choice of six engines, including a 1.5-liter turbo engine and two hybrid powertrains. Notably, Ford says Fusion, which reported a six-month sales gain this year vs. 2018, will discontinue the Fusion Sport trim for 2020, but other Fusions will be produced through 2021.

The 2019 Ford Fusion receives an Initial Quality score of 5 out of 5 and ties for an Initial Quality award in the Midsize Car category.x

2019 Hyundai Sonata

The 2019 Hyundai Sonata remains nearly unchanged from 2018. Six trims are offered with Eco powered by a fuel efficient 1.6-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine partnered with a dual-clutch 7-speed automatic that makes 178 horsepower. The midsize sedan, last fully redesigned for 2015, features a comfortable cabin, ample trunk space and comes with standard user-friendly 7.0-in. infotainment system, smartphone connectivity and blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert.

The 2019 Hyundai Sonata receives an Initial Quality score of 5 out of a possible 5.

2019 Kia Optima

Every 2019 Kia Optima is equipped with the brand’s latest advanced driver safety systems called ADAS. A selection of five engines, including turbo and hybrid powertrain choices, can be selected. The 2019 midsize sedan, built in West Point, GA, boasts tweaks to exterior styling with new lighting systems plus new wheel designs. Six trims include a hybrid and plug-in hybrid variant for the Kia midsize sedan that debuted as a 2013 model.

The 2019 Kia Optima receives an Initial Quality score of 5 out of a possible 5.

2019 Kia Sedona

Curb appeal isn’t typical for a minivan that seats 7-8, but the 2019 Kia Sedona features restyled front and rear bumpers and a revised grille to give this family hauler muscular elan.The 2019 model, in four trims, comes with a new 8-speed automatic mated with a 3.0-liter V-6. Kia offers multiple options on the 2019 Sedona such as wireless smartphone charging, a dual-touchscreen rear entertainment system, an upscale sound system, plus a suite of the latest advanced driver assistance systems.

The 2019 Kia Sedona receives an Initial Quality score of 5 out of 5 and earns an Initial Quality award in the Minivan category.

2019 Nissan Maxima

The 2019 Nissan Maxima flagship sedan receives revised front and rear styling and standard LED headlights. The eighth- generation large car, redesigned for 2015, features a nearly sumptuous interior. For more dynamic driving control, Maxima offers the SR trim that comes with retuned dampers, stiffer suspension and paddle shifters. All Maximas are equipped with a 300-horsepower V-6 paired with automatic CVT. A new Platinum leather interior package is an option. 

The 2019 Nissan Maxima receives an Initial Quality score of 5 out of 5 and earns an Initial Quality award in the Large Car category.

2019 Toyota Avalon

A complete redesign for the 2019 Toyota Avalon large sedan puts it near to a pricier Lexus model. More refined styling and lots of safety systems plus a quiet, roomy, comfortable, cabin are ideal for road trips. Trunk space is large and Avalon comes with standard patterned faux leather and suede interior plus embellishments. A 3.5-liter V-6 provides power for the front-wheel Drive (FWD) large car.

 The 2019 Toyota Avalon Large Car receives an Initial Quality score of 4 out of 5.

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