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Porsche has knocked Lexus off the top spot in the 2013 JD Power and Associates Initial Quality Study.

The German sports car manufacturer ended the luxury Japanese marque’s two-year reign at the top of the US automotive industry analyst’s study, while General Motors’ GMC division soared into second position, bumping Lexus to third.

A strong year for GM saw a second of its brands, Chevrolet, rank inside the top five, while eight vehicles from its Buick, Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac divisions shared seven of the 23 individual segment awards up for grabs.

The JD Power Initial Quality Study is based on responses from more than 83,000 owners and lessees of 2013 model year vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The results of the 233-question survey are compiled to produce a score for each vehicle measured as problems per 100 vehicles (PP100).


Porsche’s 80 PP100 rating made it the standout in this year’s study. Asian manufacturers performed strongly, filling seven of the top 11 positions, with Japanese brands taking out five of the top eight.

Six American brands finished on or above the industry average of 113 PP100, while four ranked below the black line. Ford was among the most disappointing, ranking seventh from the bottom with 131 PP100.

Mercedes-Benz and Audi ranked above average, while fellow Europeans BMW, Volvo, Land Rover and Volkswagen all came in below the line.

Chevrolet led all comers with five segment awards, while Honda, Kia, Mazda and Porsche received two each.


The Lexus LS was the highest-quality vehicle according to the survey, recording a score of just 59 PP100.

The Initial Quality Study was redesigned for its 27th year to better measure the quality of today’s vehicles, particularly problems related to new technologies and features such as voice recognition and lane departure warning.

The study found that many of the problems owners have with their vehicles relate to the driver interface, which includes voice recognition or hands-free technology, Bluetooth pairing for mobile phones, and navigation systems, among others.


2013 JD Power and Associates Initial Quality Study

Car segment:

  • City car – Smart Fortwo
  • Sub-compact car – Mazda 2
  • Compact car – Honda Civic
  • Compact sporty car – Mazda MX-5
  • Compact premium car – Acura TL
  • Compact premium sporty car – Porsche Boxster
  • Mid-size car – Toyota Camry
  • Mid-size sporty car – Chevrolet Camaro/Ford Mustang (tie)
  • Mid-size premium car – Hyundai Genesis sedan
  • Mid-size premium sporty car – Porsche 911
  • Large car – Chevrolet Impala
  • Large premium car – Lexus LS

SUV and light-commercial segment:

  • Sub-compact SUV – Buick Encore/Kia Sportage (tie)
  • Compact SUV – Honda CR-V
  • Compact premium SUV – Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
  • Compact MPV – Kia Soul
  • Mid-size SUV – Nissan Murano
  • Mid-size premium SUV – Infiniti FX
  • Minivan – Chrysler Town & Country
  • Large SUV – Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Large premium SUV – Cadillac Escalade
  • Large light-duty pick-up – Chevrolet Avalanche/GMC Sierra LD (tie)
  • Large heavy-duty pick-up – Chevrolet Silverado HD

  • Zaccy16

    interesting that scion which is a branch of toyota is last!

    • zacktastic

      Maybe you do get what you pay for – Lexus and Porsche are the more expensive branches of their respective companies, while their cheaper counterparts Scion and VW fared poorly in comparison.

    • AndyGF

      Its also the type of owner… Scions are for young people, Toyotas overcrowd retirement villages… Scions are Toyotas being driven by people who really want a VW, but their parents said no! ^_^

  • F1orce

    Hyundai Genesis is a sweet car

    Too bad they don’t sell it here..

    • sgj

      Yet when you bring it up in other articles, you go on about how the engines in the Genesis doesn’t perform anywhere near the claimed power outputs.

      Time to take your bipolar medication again.

  • Hung Low

    This survey is good for toilet paper

    • Nick

      seems like you got verbal diarrhoea !

  • Markus

    I agree, while interesting…I feel these surveys really only apply to US owners. Our brands, cars and owners are assembled, serviced and treated quite differently here.

    Not to mention the different brand history/cred and the price versus owner expectations you’d have in the US. Where your average 3 series is 28 grand.

  • galaxy

    Terrible performances by most Japanese (except for Honda/Toyota)… but the rise and rise of Hyundai

    • kgjk

      Hyundai sinks and sinks when it comes to the results of the 3 year old cars (Dependability study), they came 22nd in this years one which was below ALL of the Japs except for Mitsubishi which is always around the very bottom.

      • bd

        Hyundai had to rise in order to “sink” – and that’s only for JD Power.

        For Consume Reports in the US and AutoBild in Germany (where Hyundai has ranked no.1 2 years in a row) and the various Brit reliability studies, Hyundai is still up there.

        Also, keep in mind that automakers which keep carrying over their powertrains (like Toyota) tend to do well (still using a 4 spd transmission in the Corolla and the LS460 has essentially the same powertrain since 2006) while those that repeatedly introduce new powertrains may see lower rankings as they work out the kinks (i.e. – Ford).

  • zahmad

    Funny how the mid range is filled with US Manufacturers….maybe people complain less in the US about US built cars?

  • Chad

    There ate some interesting results there, this is different to the reliability study though isn’t it? It would be interesting to see how the cars score back to back

    • js

      It says quite clearly in the article that this is the average number of faults per 100 cars for 2013 models after 90 days of ownership.

  • h

    233-question survey? How could the survey have that many questions?

  • JamesB

    Fancy seeing the Mustang and Camaro in the list. Now bring them here!

  • marc

    flawed survey. means nothing.