JUST WEEKS ahead of its relaunch into the Australian market, Genesis has received a huge boost, claiming top spot in the JD Power Initial Car Quality survey. Yes, it’s a survey of American owners who, let’s face it, aren’t world-renowned connoisseurs of luxo touch and feel but if there’s one thing the Yanks value, it’s reliability. That and 99c deep-fried mechanically recovered meats.
Generally we expect Japanese brands such as Lexus and Toyota to feature at or near the pointy end of the JD Power surveys, but this year’s result has turned its gaze westwards a little, with three South Korean marques hogging the podium places. Genesis looks down on everything else.
This survey solely looks at early problems encountered in the first 90 days of ownership. In other words, those niggles and issues that can take the shine off your new car experience rather than ongoing issues that only raise their heads years down the track. It’s expressed in the amount of problems per 100 vehicles in that initial three month spell, and a single lemon vehicle can contribute to a number of faults.
The average number of faults per 100 cars was 93. Genesis enjoyed the lowest number of faults at 63 per 100 vehicles, with Kia coming second at 70 and Hyundai virtually lineball at 71. Somewhat surprisingly, the next three brands were Ford, Lincoln and Chevrolet, demoting the best of the Japanese – Nissan – to seventh spot. Dodge, Lexus, Toyota and Buick all scored better than average.
We don’t have an equivalent survey here in Australia and many of the cars sampled aren’t offered in Australia or, if they are, are sometimes built in different factories, so treat the results with a grain or two of salt. That said, it probably won’t come as a huge surprise to find Jaguar at the bottom, Land Rover just above it, and Alfa Romeo fourth from last. Having Mitsubishi sandwiched between Alfa and Land Rover would probably raise a few eyebrows though.
Upscale German brands such as BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen all feature in the bottom half of the table. Marques most would expect to fare well such as Honda, Infiniti, Subaru and Mazda also languish below the average line. Mazda did enjoy some good news, however, with the brand being the biggest improver over last year, reducing its fault score by 25 per 100.
The most reliable car model rather than marque in the entire survey was the Porsche 911, so Zuffenhausen has something to cheer about. But it’s the Koreans who will really be popping the champagne corks. Look out for our full drive review on the Genesis G70 – the car that really leads the charge for Hyundai’s revitalised luxury arm in Australia – on Monday at whichcar.com.au/wheels