The Chevrolet Malibu was ranked the best mid-size non-premium car in the 2020 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.
The Chevrolet Malibu finished ahead of the Ford Fusion and Kia Optima in the mid-size car category, finishing ahead of the Ford Fusion and Kia Optima, which were ranked second and third, respectively.
Through the IQS, J.D. Power aims to identify new cars that experience the least amount of problems over the first 90 days of ownership. The company surveys owners of new, 2020 model year vehicles and asks them to report any problem they experience with the vehicle during their first three months with it – no matter how big or how small. Each vehicle in the study is given a score based on the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher initial quality.
Older vehicles typically fare better in the IQS. Not only have automakers usually ironed out many of the kinks with older models, they also do not have as many new technologies, which can be prone to bugging out or breaking. The current Malibu was introduced back in 2015 for the 2016 model year. Interestingly, all three of the top mid-size cars in the IQS are older models, with the Fusion having been introduced for the 2013 model year and the Optima for 2015. The Fusion has been discontinued after 2020, while the Optima is replaced with the new 2021 K5 Optima.
As a brand, Chevrolet performed extremely well in the 2020 IQS. It was third overall for IQS with a PP100 score of 141, putting it behind Dodge and Kia, which were tied for first with PP100 score of 136. GM’s Buick and GMC brands also performed impressively, putting up above-average scores of 150 and 151, respectively.
Click here to view the full results from the 2020 J.D. Power IQS.