Special Report

America's Best and Worst New Cars

Source: Courtesy of Dodge

1 (tie). Dodge
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2020): 136 (industry avg. – 166)
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2019): 90 (industry avg. – 93)
> U.Q. sales, 12 months through Q1 2020: 401,027
> 1-year change in sales, Q1 2019 to Q1 2020: -19.8% (110,517 to 88,656)
> Parent Company: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Dodge, which tied with Kia for first place, became the first U.S. brand to achieve a No. 1 ranking in the 34 years of the J.D. Power initial quality study. Dodge, which had 136 problems per 100 new vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership, climbed to the top from an eighth-place finish (tied with Lexus) in 2019. It managed to reach the pinnacle even though none of its models were rated best in their category. The Dodge Challenger was second in the large car category, and the Dodge Durango was second in upper midsize SUV.

Source: Courtesy of Kia Motors

1 (tie). Kia
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2020): 136 (industry avg. – 166)
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2019): 70 (industry avg. – 93)
> U.Q. sales, 12 months through Q1 2020: 615,962
> 1-year change in sales, Q1 2019 to Q1 2020: +1.0% (136,596 to 137,945)
> Parent Company: Hyundai Motor Group

For the sixth year in a row, Kia parked in the top spot for the study, this time tied with Dodge. The South Korean car manufacturer had 136 problems per 100 new vehicles. Kia can brag of having four models ranked No. 1 in their category. The Kia Forte, rated the best compact car, and the Kia Soul, the most reliable small SUV, were both in the top 10 of all cars. The Kia Sorrento was the best upper midsize SUV, and the Kia Sedona was the top minivan.

Source: Courtesy of Chevrolet

3 (tie). Chevrolet
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2020): 141 (industry avg. – 166)
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2019): 85 (industry avg. – 93)
> U.Q. sales, 12 months through Q1 2020: 1,919,826
> 1-year change in sales, Q1 2019 to Q1 2020: -4.9% (451,742 to 429,529)
> Parent Company: General Motors

Leading Chevrolet’s leap to third place (tied with Ram) from sixth in 2019 was the Chevrolet Sonic, which was named the “highest initial quality model” of all the vehicles that were rated. Chevrolet registered 141 problems per 100 new vehicles. The Sonic was also the top small car, besting the Hyundai Accent and the Kia Rio. The Chevrolet Malibu was the highest rated midsize car, ahead of the Ford Fusion and the Kia Optima.

Source: Courtesy of Ram

3 (tie). Ram
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2020): 141 (industry avg. – 166)
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2019): 105 (industry avg. – 93)
> U.Q. sales, 12 months through Q1 2020: 706,496
> 1-year change in sales, Q1 2019 to Q1 2020: +2.5% (137,013 to 140,486)
> Parent Company: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Ram, the truck division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, tied with Chevrolet for third place, leaping from No. 21 in 2019. This year Ram had 141 problems per 100 new vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership. Its significantly improved showing was built on the redesigned 1500 half-ton pickup and an upgraded lineup of heavy duty trucks, Yahoo said.

Source: Genesis

5. Genesis
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2020): 142 (industry avg. – 166)
> Problems in first 90 days per 100 vehicles (2019): 63 (industry avg. – 93)
> U.Q. sales, 12 months through Q1 2020: 20,989
> 1-year change in sales, Q1 2019 to Q1 2020: -5.9% (4,203 to 3,955)
> Parent Company: Hyundai Motor Group

Although Genesis was dethroned this year as the most reliable brand, its score of 142 was enough to keep it in the top five and to make it the highest rated premium nameplate in the study. This is the fourth year it has led that category. The Genesis G70 luxury sport sedan was rated the top compact premium car for the second successive year.