Genesis nabs top initial quality ranking from J.D. Power

Meanwhile, the G70 sports sedan launches this summer

Luxury nameplate Genesis has won the top spot in a new J.D. Power survey of overall initial quality, continuing an impressive string of third-party reviews for the two-year-old Hyundai spinoff brand as it prepares to launch its third model, another luxury sedan.

Genesis ranked highest in J.D. Power's overall initial quality study with a score of 68 problems experienced per 100 vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership. The luxury brand's parent Hyundai Motor Group fared well, with Kia coming in second and Hyundai third. It was the first time that three Korean brands topped the J.D. Power study and the fourth straight year that Kia was the highest-ranked mass-market brand.

(We should also point out that Autoblog has raised concerns with the way J.D. Power weighs reliability issues; this year's rankings, for example, put well-respected brands Subaru and Volvo in the bottom four of all car brands.)

Earlier this, Genesis year also topped Consumer Reports' list of top 10 brand rankings based on road testing, reliability, safety and owner satisfaction scores.

Elsewhere, both the 2018 Genesis G80 sedan and its flagship G90 four-door won a coveted Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also gives the G80 five-star reviews across the board in its own crash-test ratings, though it hasn't yet issued ratings for the G90.

Despite these wins, the brand has stumbled in its rollout, and sales haven't exactly ignited. First, it said it would launch a limited, exclusive network of showrooms in a few dozen select markets and then reversing itself this spring by saying all existing Hyundai dealers would have the opportunity to sell the luxury brand. Meanwhile its U.S. sales in May fell 39 percent from May 2017 to 1,076 units. Year-to-date, Genesis had sold 8,288 cars, which is 18 fewer cars than it had moved from the same period in 2017.

It will be hoping for a sales boost when it launches the G70 sports sedan this summer, the third of six new models Genesis plans to introduce by 2021 and the final sedan in the lineup.

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