Kia Celebrates 2016 Banner Year With Multiple Awards, Recognitions
As a company that has built a solid reputation founded on world-class design and engineering, Kia has continued to reap awards and recognitions in the automotive industry. Its quality models have made waves in the U.S. and in other parts of the world and were aptly awarded in 2016. Two of Kia’s creations bagged Initial Quality Recognitions, which helped propel the automotive company to the top, and secure the highest ranking among all automotive nameplates in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Initial Quality Study.
Milestone Built in Quality
With an overall score of 83 per 100 problems (PP100) in the 2016 U.S. IQS, Kia edged out a number of leading car manufacturers, including some luxury brands, and exceeded the industry average by 22 PP100. The eight parameters or problem categories used in the IQS include the vehicles’ exterior, driving experience, features/controls/displays (FCD), Audio/Communication/Entertainment/Navigation (ACEN), seats, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC), Interior, and Engine/Transmission.
The study measured design-related problems as well as defects and malfunctions. These included features of the vehicles that may be doing their respective jobs but are not very user-friendly or poorly located. 2016 also proved to be a milestone in that Kia became the first non-luxury brand to lead all nameplates in the U.S. IQS in the last 27 years.
The year also marked Kia’s global impact as it rose to the 69th spot in the Interbrand’s 2016 Best Global Brands Report. The five-spot improvement from last year was spurred by the company’s 12% growth to $6.3 Billion USD, a seven-fold increase since 2006. Mike Rocha, Global Director of Brand Valuation for Interbrand attributed the growth to “consumers’ strengthening attachment to the highly desirable designs and features of Kia’s product line-up, and engagement with worldwide communications activities centered on developing the brand’s image.”
The Soul of Excellence
In addition to the highest IQS ranking ever received by Kia thus far, the 2016 Kia Soul was also ranked the highest among compact multi-purpose vehicles. The IQS, now on its 30th year, evaluated 245 models based on over 80,000 total responses to measure car quality based on the varying opinions of vehicle owners after the first 90 days of their ownership. The survey was conducted from February to May of 2016. This also marked the second straight year that the Soul emerged as the highest-performing model in the IQS.
Moreover, the Kia Soul was also named as one of the 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000 by Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com. The editors found the vehicle to be fun-to-drive and fun-to-own. Furthermore, it was also named the Best Compact Car for Families by the U.S. News & World Report, the 2016 IIHS Top Safety Pick for earning good ratings in five crashworthy tests, and earned a 5-Star rating from NHTSA for crash safety.
To cap off the banner year, Kia’s 2016 iteration of the Sportage was also recognized by the U.S. IQS, awarding it the highest ranking among Small SUV in Initial Quality. The Sportage scored 85 PP100 outperforming the segment average by a wide margin of 33 PP100. This was also the third time in four years that the 5-passenger small SUV received an award. And just like the Kia Soul, the 2016 Kia Sportage also earned a 5-Star rating from NHTSA for crash safety.