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There are a lot of new cars on the market right now, and this is especially true in the SUV segment since automakers have introduced a lot of new SUVs recently. While it can be a challenging process to find the best SUVs on the market, it may be worthwhile to acknowledge the lowest-rated SUVs as well. Here’s a look at the lowest-rated SUVs of the year according to some recent data from J.D. Power.

A green Kia Niro subcompact hybrid SUV is parked.
The 2023 Kia Niro | Kia

The 2023 Kia Niro is tied for the worst SUV of the year

J.D. Power created a list that ranked all the SUVs on the market, and two SUVs were tied for the worst overall score. The 2023 Kia Niro was one of those SUVs, and it was tied for last place due to its overall score of 75 out of 100. That said, while the car critic gave the Niro a low score, it didn’t have any data on what drivers liked or didn’t like about the car. As such, it’s difficult to know why the Niro had such a low rating.

Regardless, Kia gave the Niro a redesign for the 2023 model year, and that gave it a lot of new features. What hasn’t changed about the Niro, however, is under the hood.

It has a hybrid powertrain as standard, and it’s very efficient as it can get up to 54 mpg combined. The Niro is also relatively cheap for a hybrid SUV, starting at about $26,500. 

The 2023 Honda HR-V was also a poorly rated SUV

The 2023 Honda HR-V also got an overall score of 75 out of 100, and that’s not the only similarity that it has with the Niro. Just like the Kia, J.D. Power didn’t have any data available in terms of what owners liked or didn’t like about their Honda. On top of that, Honda also gave the HR-V a complete redesign for the 2023 model year, so it also has more new features than before.

The Honda also starts with a gas-powered engine, so its starting MSRP is significantly lower than the Niro’s. The HR-V starts at about $24,000, and its standard powertrain gets a respectable 32 mpg combined. 

Why J.D. Power may have rated those two SUVs poorly

The main reason why both the Niro and the HR-V don’t have any data in terms of what owners thought about the cars simply comes down to how J.D. Power gets its data. Like many other popular car critics. J.D. Power relies heavily on data from the surveys that it sends out to verified owners.

Since the Niro and the HR-V were both redesigned recently, the car critic likely didn’t have enough ownership data available.

That being said, the site will use data from prior model years to estimate how the newest model year may perform. This is likely why both the Kia and Honda received middling scores that were the same as the scores that their 2022 versions got. Since both SUVs were recently redesigned, those scores may not be accurate since the car critic’s overall score looks at car ownership as a whole.

The site looks at the the quality and reliability of the cars, the driving experience, the cars’ resale value, as well as the dealership experience. The Niro and the HR-V’s redesigns likely improved their quality and driving experience, so it’s entirely possible that their scores will rise as more ownership data comes in.


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