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by Tim Beissmann

Strategic Vision has released its own new vehicle quality survey, taking a swipe at renowned industry analyst J.D. Power in the process.

The Strategic Vision 2011 Total Quality Index claims to take into account a wider range of factors linked to new car purchases, in particular the emotional experiences associated with each vehicle.

The J.D. Power quality studies compare each vehicle and manufacturer from a ‘problems per 100 vehicles’ perspective, under the reasoning ‘the fewer the problems, the higher the quality’.

Strategic Vision, on the other hand, asks owners to rate all aspects of the ownership experience, from buying and owning to performance and driving. Strategic Vision Chairman and founder, Dr Darrel Edwards, explained when it comes to problems, the impact of the problem on the owner’s overall experience is taken into account.

“We decided to measure ‘quality’ from the ‘total’ perspective of the driver/owner, because this is how people actually judge ‘quality’ in terms of the decision to purchase or not,” Dr Edwards said.

“We explicitly measure the emotional impact of each vehicle attribute and ask the customer what they love about their vehicle.”

2011 Total Quality Index winners by category

Small car – Honda Civic Hybrid

Small multi-function – Volkswagen Golf

Mid-size car – Volkswagen Jetta/Hyundai Sonata (Hyundai i45 in Australia)

Mid-size multi-function – Honda Accord Crosstour

Large car – Nissan Maxima

Near-Luxury car – Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Luxury car – Jaguar XJ

Specialty coupe – Dodge Challenger/Ford Mustang

Premium coupe – BMW 1 Series

Convertible – Ford Mustang

Premium convertible – Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet

Minivan – Honda Odyssey

Entry utility – Volkswagen Tiguan

Mid-size crossover utility – Ford Flex

Mid-size traditional utility – Jeep Grand Cherokee

Large utility – Toyota Sequoia

Near-Luxury utility – Land Rover LR4

Luxury utility – BMW X6

Standard pick-up – Honda Ridgeline

Full-size pick-up – Ford F-150

Heavy-duty pick-up – Ford F-250/F-350

From a manufacturers point of view, Volkswagen was rated the highest quality brand, ahead of Ford in second place and Nissan and Honda, which tied for third.

The 2011 Total Quality Index was calculated from 37,069 buyers who purchased 2011 model year vehicles between September and December 2010.

You can compare this study with the J.D. Power 2011 Initial Quality Study, which was released late last month.

Which do you think is the best system for determining the quality of new vehicles? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.




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