Best Small Car: Chevrolet Sonic

best loved cars jd power chev sonic
GM's 2016 Chevy Sonic starts at $15,220 for a sedan or $15,820 for a hatchback.
  • 2nd Place: Scion iA
  • 3rd Place: Ford Fiesta

Volkswagen is under fire for the emissions-cheating scandal, but customers still love its cars.

That's according to JD Power's latest autos survey, which ranked the year's new car models based on feedback from American customers about design, comfort, power, reliability and safety.

Volkswagen's 2016 model year cars scored the highest average rating among mid-priced carmakers, beating out other perennial favorites like MINI, Kia and Ford. Even so, none of Vw's individual models scored at the top of their respective vehicle classes

The overall top-scoring brand was Volkswagen-owned Porsche, which took the top spot for the 12th straight year.

JD Power also awards the top car, truck or SUV models across 25 categories. Models made by General Motor (GM)won six of those categories, more than any other carmaker, while Hyundai came in second with five wins.

So what makes or breaks a car's appeal? Renee Stephens, JD Power's vice president of U.S. automotive quality, said an exterior design, good gas mileage and modern safety features are key factors.

High-tech features -- such as automatic breaking and blind spot monitoring in particular -- are beginning to define how customers feel about their cars, Stephens added.

Notably absent from the rankings is Tesla, whose autopilot system is among the most comprehensive driver assistance technologies on the market. Stephens said JD Power did not include Tesla (TSLA)because it was unable to gather enough feedback from Tesla customers.

All told, JD Power ranked 245 cars this year. Click through the gallery to see the most-beloved cars in all 25 categories.

First published July 27, 2016: 5:58 PM ET

Partner Offers

Most Popular