Honda and Toyota have emerged as brands that have the least amount of initial quality problems according to the J.D. Power 2012 India Initial Quality Study (IQS). This annual quality survey also shows that the problems per 100 vehicles reported in India, has gone up marginally in 2012 compared to last years, from an average of 119 to 120 per 100 vehicles.
What’s interesting is that fuel-efficiency related problems that were commonplace earlier have now dropped by about 23% but car owners are largely unsatisfied with the fuel economy. Nearly 67% said that they have not got the fuel efficiency that was promised to them by the salesperson during the vehicle buying process.
So which are the best cars in each category – the ones that have reported the least number of problems per 100 vehicles (the lower the score the better)? There are some surprises.
Winner: Hyundai Santro
The hatchback with the least number of problems – or the hatchback with the best initial quality is a surprise. The age-old Hyundai Santro emerged as the car with the best initial quality among hatchbacks, beating the Maruti Estilo at second place and the Hyundai i10 at third place. The Santro reported only 82 problems per 100 vehicles, compared to the segment average of 125 problems per 100 vehicles. Estilo clocked 89 and the i10 posted a score of 93. Also read: Used Hyundai Santro buyers’ checklist
Winner: Honda Brio
Although the Honda Brio is more of a hatchback than premium hatch in the CarToq classification, it scored the least number of problems among premium hatchbacks, and was the No.2 car overall among all the cars surveyed. Brio owners reported just 56 problems per 100 vehicles, while its stablemate the Honda Jazz tied places with the Volkswagen Polo at 73 problems per 100 vehicles. The average number of problems per 100 vehicles among premium hatchbacks was 112. Also read: Honda Brio automatic video review
Winner: Maruti Swift Dzire
In the entry-level sedan segment, the segment best-seller, the Maruti Dzire also scored the least number of problems per 100 vehicles, with a reporting score of 80. The average number of problems per 100 vehicles in this segment was 107. This segment also includes the Toyota Etios, Mahindra Verito and Tata Manza. Surprisingly the Mahindra Verito beat the Toyota Etios in the quality game – reporting 110 problems per 100 vehicles compared to 120 for the Toyota Etios. Both of course were more than the average in the segment. Also read: Maruti Dzire road test and review
Winner: Honda City
The Honda City was not only the best car in the mid-size segment with just 46 problems per 100 cars reported, it was also the best car among all cars surveyed, taking the No.1 spot as the best quality car in India in initial quality assessment. The No.2 and No.3 spots in the survey though are rather surprising with the aging Hyundai Accent coming in at 48 problems per 100 and the Maruti SX4, a car that is slipping badly on the sales charts, posting a score of 70. The segment average here was 102. Also see: Honda City video review
Winner: Toyota Innova
In the multi-utility vehicle segment there are no surprises, with the Toyota Innova getting the best initial quality assessment, posting just 65 problems per 100 vehicles. The segment average was 135 problems per 100 vehicles. The Mahindra Xylo posted 161 problems per 100 vehicles, which is quite poor, but slightly better than the Tata Sumo that posted 162 problems per 100.
Winner: Toyota Fortuner
Among sport-utility vehicles too, the winner isn’t surprising with the Toyota Fortuner coming in at No.1 reporting just 61 problems per 100 vehicles. The second spot, however, is a bit of a surprise, given the number of niggles owners have reported with the Mahindra XUV500. The Mahindra XUV500 posted 96 problems per 100 vehicles, much better than the segment average of 120 problems per 100 vehicles. The Mahindra Scorpio, in third, was worse than the segment average posting 140 problems per 100 vehicles. Also read: Toyota Fortuner road test.
This quality study was conducted based on a survey of 8,688 vehicle owners who bought new vehicles in India between November 2011 and July 2012. It included 94 models of vehicles from 16 different car manufacturers. It was conducted in 25 cities in India, between May and September 2012.
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