4x4, SUV, News

Kia knocks premium brands off top spot

Kia Motors has reached historic new heights in the US, topping an Auto Industry poll for Initial Quality.

According to J.D. Power, the  global marketing company who conducts customer satisfaction surveys, product quality, and buyer behaviour - the brand was recognised as the highest scoring nameplate in its 2016 Initial Quality Study (IQS) out of all 33 makes in the U.S.

This makes the first time in 27 years that a non-premium brand has topped the rankings. Kia’s rise to the top was driven by segment-leading performances from the Sportage and Soul, while the Rio, Forte (not available in the UK) and Sorento all ranked in the top three of their respective categories.

“Ranking number one in the entire industry for initial quality is the result of Kia’s decade-long focus on craftsmanship and continuous improvement, and reflects the voice of our customers, which is the ultimate affirmation,” said Michael Sprague, chief operating officer and EVP, Kia Motors America. “As the highest ranked brand in the industry, there is no doubt Kia is a world-class automaker.”

As Kia’s U.S. sales have consistently grown over the last four years to surpass the 600,000 annual unit mark, so too has the brand’s performance in J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study. After entering the overall top 10 for the first time in 2013, Kia came second in the industry and led all non-premium makes in IQS in 2015.

Now in its 30th year, the annual J.D. Power IQS is able to analyse the responses from vehicle owners in 26 segments. IQS is determined by vehicle owners evaluating the driving experience, engine and transmission performance, and a broad range of quality-related problems within the first 90 days of ownership.