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Peter Anderson | Aug 30, 2012

The Volkswagen Group has taken out the top prize in the latest Strategic Vision Total Quality Index (TQI), a survey of buyers in the US market.

The Fiat Chrylser Group also put in a strong showing. The company was awarded 'Most Improved', tying for second overall with Ford.

TQI is intended as a measurement of quality and how it stacks up to customer expectations, as opposed to the simpler metric of owner-reported problems used in the well-known JD Power reports.

“We focus on Total Quality versus ‘Fewest Problems’ for a reason: one buyer may overlook what another may report," Strategic Vision President, Alexander Edwards said.

"With Total Quality, we factor in all the perceptions that are proven to create the impression of Total Quality; this is ultimately how people think about vehicles and spend money."

The Audi A8 helped the VW Group to the top with a TQI score of 942, the highest overall score in the survey.

The A4 followed on 917, while three Volkswagen cars - the Eos (902), Tiguan (877) and the Volkswagen Golf (874) - bolstered the group's rankings.

German rival BMW performed well in the TQI, with the 1 Series Coupe scoring 922 points (just ahead of the Chevy Corvette), the Z4 938 and the X6 936. The Mini Cooper Coupe managed 926 points.

Land Rover won the Near-Luxury Utility class with the Evoque on 928, while Ford won three classes and the Chevrolet/Holden Volt won the mid-size car class.

Fiat and Chrysler scored wins for the Fiat 500, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Charger.

Toyota claimed the lowest Problem Impact Measure score of 4.29, with just 17% of customers reporting problems.

VW's performance in the TQI is a slightly different story to the JD Power Quality Survey, which was dominated by Toyota and its Lexus brand.

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