Maybe now we can stop hearing about how Korean cars are "junky?"
It seems no matter how well a car from Hyundai, Kia, or Genesis does in one of our reviews, we always see comments that read "yeah, but it's still a Kia," or "I'd never buy a Korean car." We can praise these cars all we want for being comfortable, well-built, fast, good looking, and good value, but some people are just impossible to please. The three Korean automakers have been on a mission with cars like the Stinger, K900, G70, and new Veloster, to show that the days of "junky" cars is a long-forgotten memory. That mission has been a successful one.
Every year, JD Power releases its ranking for initial quality, which is measured in problems per 100 vehicles. Back in 2016, Kia shocked the world by being the first non-luxury automaker in 27 years to claim the top spot. The Korean brand then repeated its first place finish ahead of Hyundai's Genesis luxury brand and Porsche. In 2018, the Hyundai Motor Group has done something miraculous by finishing in the top three of this year's initial quality study. Genesis finished in the number one spot, with 68 problems per 100 vehicles. Kia and Hyundai finished second and third with 72 and 74 problems per 100 vehicles respectively. For comparison, the industry average is 93 problems per 100 vehicles.
As in previous years, the biggest complaint amongst new vehicle owners is infotainment, even though the issue has improved for the third year in a row. The brands ranked below the three Korean automakers are as follows: Porsche, Ford, Chevy, Lincoln, Lexus, Nissan, BMW, Cadillac, Mini, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Buick, Jeep, Toyota, Dodge, Acura, GMC, Mazda, Honda, Volkswagen, Audi, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Volvo, Jaguar, and Land Rover. Fiat, which placed last in the 2017 survey, was excluded from this year's list due to an insufficient sample size. Perhaps now we can stop hearing about how Korean cars aren't built as well as their counterparts?