Jaguar has been named most satisfying new car to buy in the world for the third year in a row according to the influential JD Powers survey.
The Sales Satisfaction Index, which is described as the motor industry bible, gave Jaguar the highest ever score in the history of the list with 912 points out of a maximum 1,000.
This performance, which represented a 23 point improvement on last year, put Jaguar – maker of the XJ, S-type and XK sports car in Birmingham – ahead of Cadillac at the top of the 36-strong list.
The score was the highest achieved since the study was redesigned in 2001, and a performance which Jaguar hopes will help it lift its flagging performance in the key American market.
In the year to the end of October, total sales have fallen by 31.4 per cent to 17,874 as the firm concentrates on selling more of its top end, higher margin vehicles.
Mike O'Driscoll, president, Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover North America, said: "These outstanding results in the JD Power and Associates SSI study reaffirm the passion that everyone at Jaguar shares for delivering an outstanding sales and service experience.
"To lead the industry for three consecutive years reflects the tremendous standards that our dealers consistently achieve."
The 2006 Study is based on responses from more than 42,000 new vehicle buyers who registered their vehicles in May 2006 and measures dealership facility, salesperson, paperwork/finance process, delivery process and vehicle price.
Nearly half of all the respondents who walk away from a dealership cited poor treatment as a reason.
Jaguar improved by 23 points over its score last year, and it had the largest margin of victory – 21 points – in the history of the survey.
"They did exceptionally well this year. Jaguar has been first the last three years on the study. They have traditionally done very well," said Tom Gauer, senior director of automotive retail practice for J.D. Power.
"In each one of those areas, the industry performed better than it ever has."
As in previous years, luxury nameplates generally performed better than non-luxury brands, with Lincoln and Porsche tied for third. Saturn, with its no-haggle pricing, ranked highest of the mainstream nameplates, tying with Toyota's Lexus luxury brand for fifth place.
The industry average score was 847, with luxury brands hitting an average of 876 and non-luxury brands averaging 843.
Land Rover, Jaguar's stablemate within Ford's Premier Automotive Group, also fared well in the survey, achieving an index ranking of 872.
This was one point and one position below Mini, which is built at Oxford.
The bottom ranked marque was Mitsubishi, which achieved a score of 794.
Mr Gauer said Chevrolet and Ford performed better than Asian rivals Honda and Toyota, which traditionally are superior in J.D. Power's vehicle quality rankings.
The Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge brands of DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group beat Toyota but were behind Honda.