Automakers Making Big Strides in Quality, Says J.D. Power Page 2

June 4, 2008

2008 Chevrolet Malibu

While any and all sorts of problems could cost a manufacturer points, from a poorly designed cup holder to an engine failure, many owners complained about fuel economy--no surprise, said Sargent, considering the study was conducted just as fuel prices started their march upward. The complaints were clearly loudest among those who had bought big gas guzzlers. But “on average,” the Power analyst noted, “hybrid owners report more fuel consumption problems” than those operating conventional vehicles. That reflects the fact that the gap between stated and delivered mileage tends to be wider with hybrids.

Significantly, no manufacturer dominated the 2008 IQS the way some brands--such as Toyota--had in the past. Among the 18 different vehicle segment winners were representatives of 11 different brands, and no manufacturer captured more than three segments.

The quality of today’s vehicle is notably better than it was even a decade ago. The worst models typically record lower scores than top-rated vehicles claimed in the late 1990s. But while the gap between good, middling, and bottom-ranked products may be relatively small, the numbers are still significant for consumers, contended Sargent. A high-quality vehicle will generate good word of mouth, and that can make all the difference in today’s competitive market.

Winners By Segment:

  • Sub-Compact Car: Honda Fit

  • Compact Car: Honda Civic

  • Compact Sporty Car: Mazda MX-5 Miata

  • Compact Premium Sporty Car: Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class

  • Entry Premium: Infiniti EX

  • Midsize Premium Car: Infiniti M-Series/Mercedes E-Class (tie)

  • Large Premium Car: Lexus LS

  • Midsize Car: Chevrolet Malibu

  • Large Car: Pontiac Grand Prix

  • Compact MAV: Honda CR-V

  • Midsize MAV: Dodge Durango

  • Large MAV: Toyota Sequoia

  • Midsize Premium MAV: Lexus RX

  • Large Premium MAV: Lincoln Navigator

  • Large Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado LD

  • Midsize Pickup: Dodge Dakota

  • Van: Ford E-Series

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