America's best-loved cars

These are the cars and trucks that new vehicle buyers end up liking the best.

Subcompact car - Chevrolet Sonic
Subcompact car - Chevrolet Sonic
2nd: Fiat 500
3rd: Ford Fiesta

More than a quarter of new car buyers are downsizing, according to a new JD Power and Assoc. survey. That means they're buying smaller cars than the ones they're trading in. Only 13% are upsizing.

And those buying smaller cars are finding them much more enjoyable than ever before, according to the J.D. Power APEAL survey, which measures how much new car owners like their cars. The name stands for Automotive Performance Execution And Layout.

The Chevrolet Sonic, for instance, is the best-liked of all sub-compacts, just edging out the Fiat 500 and Ford Fiesta.

This survey has nothing to do with sales volume since plenty of cars sell well but don't make their owners as happy as cars that are purchased less often. Also, there's a tendency for more emotionally engaging or "quirky" cars to do well in this survey since owners tend to identify with them more, according to J.D. Power.


By Peter Valdes-Dapena @PeterDrives - Last updated July 25 2012: 10:11 AM ET
Join the Conversation
Find Your Next Car

Get the latest car news:

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.