South Korean car maker Kia has come top in a closely watched US car quality ranking, edging out the luxury brands that usually claim the crown.
It is the first time that a non-premium brand has come first in the annual study by consultancy J.D. Power.
The survey of more than 80,000 car buyers found that Kia had the fewest problems in the first 90 days, followed by Porsche, Hyundai, Toyota and BMW.
Worst performers were Daimler’s Smart, Fiat, Volvo, Land Rover and Mini.
In the ranking of 33 cars brands, 21 saw an improvement over the past year.
The study also showed that for only the second time in the past 30 years, US brands received better marks collectively than foreign cars.
J.D. Power said that in past years, electronic features such as Bluetooth, voice recognition and touch screens had often been prone to glitches dragging down the results and that this year carmakers had managed to improve their reliability.
Together with its affiliate Hyundai Motor, Kia is the world’s fifth largest automaker by sales.