Joe asks Jody Victor®: Best Quality Cars, 2012 II

Are you ready for more? Here’s Jody Victor® with the next installment from J.D. Power and Associates’ list of best quality cars for 2012.

Jody Victor®: This next part includes some of my favorites. See if any of them are yours’ from an article by Clifford Atiyeh of

Top Midsize Premium Car: Infiniti M

The M, redesigned for 2011, has some of the most dramatic, flashy styling in its segment, especially with the sport model’s 20-inch wheels and sparkled wood trim. Its adaptive cruise control can start and stop the vehicle in rush-hour traffic without fault. There’s also a hybrid and available all-wheel drive. Keep in mind it’s not cheap or good on gas.

Top Midsize Sporty Car: Ford Mustang

A perennial favorite, the Mustang continues its formula of big-engine, rear-wheel-drive fun for little money. Newer models have higher-quality interiors and more fuel-efficient V6 engines that make as much power as the old V8s. Whether coupe or convertible, GT or the 200-mph Shelby GT500, the Mustang is as much a generational symbol of American progress as it is a serious sports car.

Top Large Premium Car: Lexus LS

Like the Miata, the Lexus LS changed the preconceptions of its market segment when it was introduced in 1989. While the latest LS looks somewhat dated, it’s still a solid tank of a car that glides like it’s riding on glass, much like the Mercedes S-Class (which the LS now almost matches in price). The hybrid 600hL doesn’t save fuel, but boy, the sound system is incredible. Not much breaks on this big car, either.

Top Midsize Car: Chevrolet Malibu

Chevy’s 2008 redesign turned the Malibu from humdrum into something worth humming about. The fuel economy, styling and overall comfort were right up there with it Japanese peers, and while it’s taken some time to catch on, the people have spoken. For 2013, the Malibu adds an electric motor to the base 4-cylinder engine to save fuel and emissions, and promises more connectivity.

Top Large Car: Ford Taurus

Now being offered as a police car, the Taurus is everything the Crown Victoria wasn’t: fresh, refined and available with fuel-efficient turbocharged engines and all-wheel drive. The Taurus is a slick-looking car and it’s well-built, as it’s based on the Volvo S80 chassis. The small windows make visibility more difficult than in other large cars, however. The complicated MyFord Touch infotainment system was redesigned after poor J.D. Power ratings last year and works just fine.

Thanks, Jody! More next time.

Joe Victor