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The Best Quality Cars
For years, J.D. Power has conducted surveys of new car owners to gather data about problems with their vehicles within their first 90 days of ownership. The Initial Quality Study collects this information and rates each model. The results are adjusted based on sales numbers to determine a number of “problems per 100 vehicles (PP100).”
While J.D. Power does not release the specific numbers for each model, it does rank one car in each of a number of segments as being the best-quality option, meaning it had the fewest problems.
Click through the gallery to see the best-scoring cars in the 2014 J.D. Power IQS.
Sticker Price: $14,645 - $16,395
Invoice Price: $14,248 - $15,919
Fuel Economy: 27 mpg City, 38 mpg Highway
The Hyundai Accent is the best-quality small car, according to J.D. Power. Available as a sedan or a hatchback, the Accent offers a surprising amount of versatility and comfort, all for a very low price. It's powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, so this little car isn't fast, but it's efficient, achieving an EPA-estimated 38 mpg on the highway.
Other small cars recognized in the study for their quality were the Mazda2 and Kia Rio.
Research the Hyundai Accent
Hyundai Accent Overview
Hyundai Accent Photos & Video
Hyundai Accent Local Dealer Price Quote
Sticker Price: $17,200 - $21,700
Invoice Price: $16,687 - $20,766
Fuel Economy: 27 mpg City, 37 mpg Highway
The Hyundai Elantra has been one of the best compact cars on the market for quite some time now. It comes equipped with loads of standard equipment, employs a sleek design, gets great gas mileage and, according to J.D. Power, comes with the best quality you can get in the segment. Not too shabby for a car that starts at $17,200.
Other compact cars recognized in the study for their quality were the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.
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Hyundai Elantra Overview
Hyundai Elantra Photos & Video
Hyundai Elantra Local Dealer Price Quote
Sticker Price: $20,140 - $24,670
Invoice Price: $19,263 - $23,593
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg City, 28 mpg Highway
It may look like a minivan, but don't let its appearance fool you. The Mazda5 is classified as a multi-purpose vehicle (or a subcompact crossover, depending on who you ask) because it is a good deal smaller than conventional minivans like the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Town & Country. If you can sacrifice the space, the Mazda5 is a solid family vehicle, as it can seat up to six people. This car is actually quite fun to drive, too, with responsive handling and a peppy engine.
Other MPVs recognized by the study were the Kia Soul and the Ford C-Max.
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Mazda5 Photos & Video
Mazda5 Local Dealer Price Quote
Sticker Price: $36,620
Invoice Price: $34,300
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg City, 31 mpg Highway
The Lexus ES 350 is the best quality compact luxury car, according to J.D. Power. Though it may not boast the great handling dynamics of the BMW 3 Series or Audi A4, it's at the top of the segment when it comes to interior refinement, comfort and sound dampening. Powered by a 3.5-liter V6, the ES 350 is relatively quick to get up to speed and more fuel efficient than you might expect, achieving 31 mpg on the highway.
Other highly rated compact luxury cars were the Acura TL, Acura ILX and BMW 4 Series.
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Lexus ES 350 Overview
Lexus ES 350 Photos & Video
Lexus ES 350 Local Dealer Price Quote
Sticker Price: $50,400 - $62,100
Invoice Price: NA
Fuel Economy: 20 mpg City, 30 mpg Highway
The Porsche Boxster is one of the most fun-to-drive cars on the planet right now. Its H6 engine is powerful, its balance is perfect and its steering is wonderfully responsive. All of this makes it a blast to drive on curvy roads with the top down. The Bosxter is also the highest-quality compact premium sporty car, according to the Initial Quality Study. This means that most buyers can spend less time at the shop and way more time on curvy roads, which is where this car belongs.
Other high-quality compact premium sporty cars are the Porsche Cayman and Nissan 370Z.
Research the Porsche Boxster
Porsche Boxster Overview
Porsche Boxster Photos & Video
Porsche Boxster Local Dealer Price Quote
Sticker Price: $23,720 - $29,450
Invoice Price: $22,424 - $27,836
Fuel Economy: 22 mpg City, 28 mpg Highway
Speaking of fun-to-drive cars, one of the most nimble and engaging vehicles in history is the Mazda MX-5 Miata. It doesn't have a ton of power, but its balance, light weight and fantastic steering make it an absolute joy on the road. The fact that you can get a car that drives this well for less than $30,000 is a steal. If you're looking for the perfect summer car, this might be it right here.
Other quality compact sporty cars include the Volkswagen GTI and Scion tC.
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Mazda MX-5 Miata Overview
Mazda MX-5 Miata Photos & Video
Mazda MX-5 Miata Local Dealer Price Quote
Sticker Price: $35,100 - $42,400
Invoice Price: $32,455 - $39,115
Fuel Economy: 19 mpg City, 28 mpg Highway
The new Kia Cadenza is the best-quality large car, according to J.D. Power, beating out segment heavyweights like the Toyota Avalon and Chevrolet Impala. The Cadenza is a sharply styled offering from the Korean automaker with a roomy and comfortable interior. Driving dynamics aren't as sporty as we'd like, but there's no question that this is essentially a luxury car for the price of your basic large sedan.
Other large cars that received mention from J.D. Power include the Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon.
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Kia Cadenza Overview
Kia Cadenza Photos & Video
Kia Cadenza Local Dealer Price Quote
Sticker Price: $78,100 - $200,500
Invoice Price: NA
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg City, 28 mpg Highway
The Panamera has been remarkably successful with both car critics and consumers, many of whom doubted Porsche could make a four-door car feel like, well, a Porsche. The German automaker nailed it with this car, applying its legendary driving dynamics to a much more versatile full-size vehicle. Not only is the Panamera a hoot to drive, it's also the best-quality large premium car you can buy right now.
Other large premium cars mentioned by the J.D. Power are the Lexus LS and Hyundai Equus.
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Porsche Panamera Overview
Porsche Panamera Photos & Video
Porsche Panamera Local Dealer Price Quote
Sticker Price: $22,340 - $29,950
Invoice Price: $21,558 - $28,303
Fuel Economy: 25 mpg City, 36 mpg Highway
The Chevrolet Malibu is the best-quality midsize sedan, according to the J.D. Power IQS. This might come as a surprise to many of you, considering the Malibu is in the same segment as the Toyota Corolla and Honda Accord, which are both cars that have long been lauded for their quality and dependability. This Chevy is a solid option if you're looking for a sedan, as it's fuel-efficient, roomy, versatile and affordable.
Other quality midsize sedans are the Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry.
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Chevrolet Malibu Overview
Chevrolet Malibu Photos & Video
Chevrolet Malibu Local Dealer Price Quote
Sticker Price: $35,200 - $47,400
Invoice Price: $32,996 - $43,870
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg City, 27 mpg Highway
The Genesis is a great of example of Hyundai doing what it does best: offering a great car with tons of standard features for much less than the competition. Powered by a potent 3.8-liter V6 engine, the Genesis is fun to drive, comfortable and quiet. According to J.D. Power, it's also a smart buy, as drivers experience the least amount of problems with the Genesis out of all midsize premium cars.
Other midsize premium cars highlighted by the study are the Lincoln MKS, BMW 6 Series, Lexus GS and Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class.
Research the Hyundai Genesis
Hyundai Genesis Overview
Hyundai Genesis Photos & Video
Hyundai Genesis Local Dealer Price Quote
Sticker Price: $84,300 - $181,100
Invoice Price: NA
Fuel Economy: 19 mpg City, 27 mpg Highway
The legendary Porsche 911 is the best quality midsize premium sporty car, according to J.D. Power. No, it's not cheap, but the 911's divine driving dynamics and luxurious interior make it well worth the price tag. Powered by a 3.4-liter H6 engine, the base 911 is good for 350 hp. Opting for the S, GT3 or Turbo variants greatly increases that number. This is a sports car in the purest form, and it is the dream of many enthusiasts to own one.
An additional quality midsize premium sports car is the Jaguar F-Type.
Research the Porsche 911
Porsche 911 Overview
Porsche 911 Photos & Video
Porsche 911 Local Dealer Price Quote
Sticker Price: $26,495 - $44,685
Invoice Price: $25,486 - $43,186
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg City, 27 mpg Highway
The Dodge Challenger, which is the J.D. Powers pick for the best-quality midsize sporty car, combines a retro look with modern amenities and a powerful engine. The Challenger comes in a wide variety of trim levels and engine options, the most powerful of which is a 6.4-liter V8 that makes 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. If you're looking for raw power, this is a good option for you.
Other midsize sporty cars that did well on the IQS are the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang.
Research the Dodge Challenger
Dodge Challenger Overview
Dodge Challenger Photos & Video
Dodge Challenger Local Dealer Price Quote
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