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by Tim Beissmann

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).

2013-jd-power-initial-quality

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.

Lexus-LS-460

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