The Tesla Model S has been rated the best vehicle in the 2014 Strategic Vision Total Quality Index (TQI) study.
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The Californian-built electric sedan outscored all comers in the San Diego-based researcher’s 19


annual TQI study, which asked 38,361 US-based new-vehicle owners about their positive and negative experiences including reliability, problems, driving excitement and other measures related to emotional responses. The Tesla Model S will cost from $96,208 when it arrives in Australia in the coming months.

Audi and Jaguar tied for the title of the highest-quality luxury brand, while Kia was rated the best of the mainstream manufacturers.

Strategic Vision said Audi’s “unique styling and interior appointments” helped the German manufacturer win three segments, headed by the A5 Coupe, Q5 and Q7.

While Jaguar did not have a segment leader, the study explained several models ranked very highly and “gave customers something uniquely appealing”.


Kia claimed segment wins with the Soul and Optima and also impressed with the K900 large car (above), with Strategic Vision highlighting their “youthful, cool styling cues [and] solid foundation of quality”.

Chrysler Group, Ford and General Motors claimed four segment wins each, while Toyota/Lexus and BMW/Mini also impressed with three.

Rival automotive analyst JD Power last month named Porsche the top manufacturer in its Initial Quality Study ahead of Jaguar and Lexus. Hyundai was the best of the mainstream brands, finishing fourth overall.

2014 Strategic Vision Total Quality Index segment winners:
Micro car: Smart Fortwo
Small car: Dodge Dart, Mitsubishi Lancer
Small multi-function car: Kia Soul, Volkswagen Golf
Small alternative powertrain car: Ford C-Max Energi
Mid-size car: Subaru Impreza, Kia Optima
Mid-size multi-function car: Honda Accord Crosstour
Mid-size alternative powertrain car: Chevrolet Volt, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Full-size car: Dodge Charger
Near-luxury car: Lexus IS
Near-luxury alternative powertrain car: Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
Luxury car: BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe
Luxury multi-function car: Volvo XC70
Specialty coupe: Mini Countryman
Premium coupe: Chevrolet Corvette, Audi A5
Standard convertible: Mini Roadster
Premium convertible: Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
Standard pick-up: Honda Ridgeline
Full-size pick-up: Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra, GMC Sierra 1500
Heavy-duty pick-up: Ford F-250/F-350, Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500, Ram 2500/3500
Entry SUV: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
Entry CUV: Hyundai Tucson (ix35)
Mid-size SUV: Dodge Durango
Mid-size CUV: Ford Flex
Full-size utility: Ford Expedition
Near-luxury utility: Audi Q5
Luxury SUV: Lexus GX460
Luxury CUV: Audi Q7
Minivan: Nissan Quest