This year's highest quality car ratings are full of surprises.
The fact that Korean cars were once poorly built and unreliable is becoming a distant memory. Last year in 2018, the Korean automakers, which include Genesis, Kia, and Hyundai, shined in JD Power's Initial Quality Study by scoring first, second, and third place, beating out the likes of Toyota, Lexus, and Porsche.
Kia has maintained its place in the top three (second place in 2019) for the third year in a row while Genesis kept its number one ranking for the second straight year in a row with Hyundai rounding up third. Along with the second year of Korean domination on the list, there were quite a few other notable shakeups.
Ford moved down one position - from third to fourth place - while Porsche tumbled out of the fourth-place slot all the way down to 15th place (below the industry average). BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Mini, and Mercedes-Benz all find themselves below the industry average of 93 faults per 100 vehicles after ranking above the average in 2018. It is worth noting the industry average of 93 problems per 100 vehicles is unchanged from 2018. Buick has vaulted above the industry average for 2019 and Dodge makes a major leap from 18th in 2018 to 8th in 2019. Toyota has also made up for its surprisingly low 2018 finish by placing in the top 10 for 2019.
At the bottom, Jaguar and Land Rover continue to suffer from initial quality issues and new entrant, Alfa Romeo, has not done well in its first appearance on the list. Volvo also appears very low after the company's R&D boss vowed to improve quality following a poor finish in 2018.
As it is every year, the study is measured by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership. A lower score reflects higher quality while a higher score reflects poor quality. For 2019, 13 brands improved and 18 worsened. The full results can be seen on JD Power's website.