Kia puts an end to a 27-year reign for premium brands at the top of the J.D Power's Initial Quality Study.

Kia’s slogan is “The Power to Surprise” and the South Koreans have been constantly doing that for the last several years. The 2016 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS) released by J.D. Power comes to further confirm Kia’s boost in quality in recent times, managing to become the first non-premium automaker in 27 years to claim the top spot in initial quality.

Last year, Kia took second place with 86 problems recorded per 100 vehicles (PP100) and now the number of issues has gone down to 83, thus allowing Kia to take the crown from Porsche which came in second with 84 problems. Kia now joins Toyota as the only non-premium automakers to have finished in first place in the three-decade history of J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study.

Kia’s sister brand Hyundai finished third with 92 problems per 100 cars, being closely followed by Toyota (93), BMW (94), Chevy (95) and Buick, Lexus, Lincoln all with 96. At the other end of the spectrum we find Smart dead last with no less than 216 PP100 while on the penultimate spot at a considerable distance is Fiat with 174 PP100.

Overall, J.D. Power says new-vehicle quality has increased by six percent which represents the biggest jump since 2009. For the first time ever, non-premium marques have fewer issues (104 PP100) than premium ones (108 PP100) while the most improved brands are Chrysler and Jeep as both of them reduced the number of problems by 28 PP100 compared to last year.

J.D. Power’s 2016 U.S. Initial Quality Study was elaborated based on responses from more than 80,000 purchasers and lessees of 2016MY cars surveyed after 90 days of ownership. Those who took the survey had to answer a total of 233 questions organized into eight problem categories created to provide a better identification of the most common issues new-car owners are facing.

Check out the images and links below to find out all the results.

Source: (1), (2)

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