Thursday

German & Japanese Cars Top the Quality Survey

JD Power does a quality survey every once in awhile on motor vehicles a few months after they are sold new. The results can be interesting and many consumers use it as a guide to overall quality of a brand or model line.

In this year's survey, announced June 2006, Porsche had the highest quality cars (at that price, they ought to be), followed by BMW and Mercedes (ditto that comment). Toyota's Lexus luxury brand came next, followed by Nissan's Infiniti luxury brand.

Meanwhile, the Ford Mustang took the mid sized sporty car segment award and the Ford Fusion took the mid sized car quality award. Although 14 of the 2006 Ford models have been recalled, the Mustang and the Fusion weren't among them (at least not as of June 29, 2006).

JD Power based the study on its survey of more than 63,000 people who bought or leased 2006 model cars and trucks, after 90 days of ownership.

The real shocker for many people? Hyundai beat out Toyota for the Number 1 spot as "non premium" (read, cheap) brand make in quality. Hyundai has come a long, long way from its early "dead dog" days.

The survey results aren't that surprising, seemingly once again proving the old adage of "you get what you pay for." Although some 5,000 Porsche Carrera vehicles were recalled in early 2006, that's nothing compared to the numbers other manufacturers have to deal with sometimes. For instance GM announced one recall that covered over 800,000 trucks. In another recall, there were 425,000 Chevy and GMC vans at one time.

But we aren't just GM bashing. Even the usually high quality Nissan can mount a pretty good size recall. Take, for instance, 85,000 2006 Altima vehicles that risk catching fire. I guess that what happens when you don't step up to the Infiniti?

Wondering if your car was recalled? You can quickly check our Recall List by clicking here.

Top model in each category:
• Subcompact car: Kia Rio/Rio Cinco and Suzuki Aerio (tie)
• Compact car: Toyota Corolla
• Compact sporty car: Mazda MX-5 Miata
• Compact premium sporty car: Porsche Cayman
• Entry premium car: Lexus IS 250/IS 350
• Midsize premium car: Lexus ES 300
• Large premium car: Lexus LS 430
• Premium sporty car: Lexus SC 430
• Midsize sporty car: Toyota Solara
• Midsize car: Toyota Camry
• Large car: Pontiac Grand Prix
Truck/Multi-activity vehicle segments
• Compact MAV: Hyundai Tucson
• Midsize MAV: Toyota Highlander
* Large MAV: Toyota Sequoia
• Midsize premium MAV: Lexus GX 470
• Large premium MAV: Lexus LX 470
• Large pickup: Chevrolet Silverado LD
• Midsize pickup: Ford Ranger
• Van: Chrysler Town & Country