Top-Ranked Cars, Trucks, and SUVs in New J.D. Power Study

New car owners are getting a chance to share what they like about their vehicles in a new J.D. Power study.

The 2016 U.S. APEAL study measures satisfaction after three months of ownership. Researchers asked more than 80,000 new 2016 model year vehicle owners how they felt about the design, performance, content and layout of their car, SUV or truck. The study looks at 90 different vehicle attributes including everything from seats, storage and technology to driving dynamics, fuel economy and visibility.

Porsche is the highest rated brand overall for the 12th consecutive year, followed by BMW.  Jeep, Fiat and Smart rank at the bottom of the list.

The BMW 7 Series is the highest-scoring model in the study in 2016, but there aren’t enough cars in the large premium car segment to give out an award in that category.

Here are the other big takeaways from this year’s annual report.

Highest-Ranked Premium Nameplates

  1. Porsche
  2. BMW
  3. Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz
  4. Land Rover, Lexus and Lincoln

Highest-Ranked Non-Premium Nameplates

  1. Volkswagen
  2. MINI
  3. Kia
  4. Ford
  5. Ram
  6. GMC

Safety Features Score Big

Drivers are happier when their vehicles have safety technology.  Researchers say owners with vehicles equipped with popular driver-assist features like blind spot monitoring and low speed collision avoidance rate their vehicles higher than drivers who don’t have the technology.

Navigation Nightmares

Overall, drivers still report problems with navigation systems. Two of the lowest-rated vehicle attributes are related to the navigation system: usefulness of the navigation features and ease of using the vehicle’s navigation system.

Transmissions Not So Smooth

Engine/transmission is the only category to fall this year, with the largest attribute decline in transmission smoothness when shifting, as penetration of 8- and 9-speed automatic transmissions increases.

Saving Gas

Drivers are also happier with their new car’s fuel economy than they were in 2015. Fuel economy posted the largest 14 point gain in the study year over year.

Check out all of the highest ranked cars in the chart below.


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