South Korean automakers top J.D. Power quality survey, while U.S. brands do well

South Korea is the king of car quality ... again.


Genesis, Kia and Hyundai were the top three brands in the 2019 J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey for the second year running. It was also the fifth straight year that Kia was the highest ranked non-luxury brand.

Ford had the best showing of the U.S. automakers in fourth, followed by Lincoln, Chevrolet, Nissan, Dodge, Lexus, Toyota and Buick, which were the only brands above the industry average score.

Sister marques Jaguar and Land Rover filled the bottom two slots on the list.

Over 76,000 owners were surveyed for the report, which tracks problems encountered during the first 90 days of ownership. Several recent major recall actions didn't seem to impact the South Korean trio.

"The vast majority of consumers whose car has been recalled has never had the problem show up in their vehicle," J.D. Power Vice President of Global Automotive Dave Sargent said. "Instead, their vehicle has been recalled and the problem has been fixed before it ever manifests itself."

Sargent added that automakers have been improving their infotainment systems, which often spoil the survey for otherwise good cars, but that driver assistance systems are starting to become an issue and are "critical for building consumer trust in future automated vehicles." Meanwhile old fashioned paint, brake, engine and noise complaints also popped up.

In the popular pickup segments, the new Ford Ranger was named best midsize truck ahead of the Nissan Frontier while the Nissan Titan topped the F-150 for full-size honors.

The Associated Press contributed to this report