UK motorists also rated Mini, which was included in the study for only the second year, as the most-improved brand with an increase of 19 index points in its total score, taking it to sixth place in the overall rankings.
Owners of the Mini report substantial improvements in the brand’s quality and reliability. Mini is one of five British-built cars in the top 20, matching the number of Japanese-built models ranked at the top of the study.
With a score of 848 index points (on a 1,000-point scale), Lexus retained its position as the most satisfying brand to own. Czech carmaker Skoda closely followed in second place with 847 index points. Honda ranks third with 843 index points, a 14-point increase from 2004.
In the model rankings, the Honda Jazz ranked as the top model for the second consecutive year.
Three other Honda models are in the top 20, including the Swindon-made Civic and CR-V. The Lexus IS 200/300 placed second among the 124 models, and the Toyota Yaris ranks third.
The number of Japanese brands in the 2005 top 20 model rankings fell to 10 compared to 14 last year.
“This year’s results show the competition is getting tighter,” says Dave Sargent, executive director of European operations at JD Power and Associates.
“While Lexus still leads, other brands are improving quickly. It is encouraging for UK motorists that many of the leading models, including some from Japanese brands, are built right here in the UK.”
Among the 17 brands ranked above the overall industry average, seven are Japanese.
The 2005 J.D. Power and Associates/What Car? study is based on the evaluations of more than 23,000 owners of ‘52’ and ‘03’ registration vehicles after an average of two years of ownership.
The study includes 32 brands and 124 models. Owners provide detailed evaluations of their vehicles and selling dealers, which covers 77 attributes grouped into four main factors of satisfaction.
In addition, JD Power and Associates has launched a new website that allows UK consumers to access vehicle ratings. The site can be found at www.jdpower.com/cc/global/uk