It’s finally that time of year when automotive journalists and publications get together and start to release their reviews, their “best of” lists, and release the results of any studies going on in 2021. There have been quite a few recently, especially putting some spotlight on Kia Corp, and the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS) is not an uncommon name when discussing the South Korean automaker. Kia has appeared time and again with high-ranking vehicles on the IQS, and in 2021, Kia takes home the title of “highest-ranked” in several vehicle segments.
The last two years have been a little rough for the automotive industry. First COVID in 2020, now the global chip shortage in 2021, it’s a surprise that so many made it through. This hardship is reflected in the 2021 J.D. Power IQS, making 2021 35 years of conducting this study. In total, the auto market improved quality by 2-percent in contrast to it’s typical 3-percent increase. Based on the study, infotainment systems and smartphone connectivity have become a problem for several automakers, but as the results will soon show, Kia Corp is rising to the challenge.
Every IQS is conducted via surveys. J.D. Power sends surveys to purchasers and lessees of new 2021 model-year vehicles and measures initial quality based on the number of problems users experience per 100 vehicles (PP100) during the first 90 days of ownership. This means that the lower the number, the higher a vehicle ranks. Out of the 32 brands surveyed, 20 have improved from 2020. This year, the study took place between February and July 2021. A total of 110,827 survey responses were received, and the survey was designed to rate a vehicle’s quality in nine categories. These included infotainment; features, controls and displays; exterior; driving assistance; interior; powertrain; seats; driving experience; and climate to provide a complete review of vehicle quality within the first three months of ownership.
As a brand, Kia Corp received a score of 147 PP100, placing it as number six in the top ten brands. The real winnings come from winning the title of “highest ranked” in five vehicle segments. Every segment has three winners with one coming out on top. In the Compact Car segment, the Kia Forte was the highest-ranked vehicle. The Kia Soul was ranked the highest in the Small SUV segment, and the Kia Telluride dominated the Upper Midsize SUV segment, of course. Also earning a spot with the highest-ranked SUVs is the Kia Sportage with the Compact SUV segment. Lastly is the Van and Pickup segments, and the Kia Sedona was the highest-ranked vehicle in the Minivan segment.Amongst all of the brands included in the study, Kia Corp received the most awards this year. That achievement goes right up there with the safety ratings of Kia Corp vehicles, the brand with the most Top Safety Pick (TSP) and Top Safety Pick Plus (TSP+) awards from the IIHS. The most recent Kia vehicle to receive a TSP was the Kia Carnival MPV. You can find many of these safe and high-ranking Kia models at Miami Lakes Automall.