(MCT) -- Lincoln and GMC are the highest-rated brands in the 18th annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards newly released by consulting firm AutoPacific. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class posted the best overall score.
Lincoln was the most satisfying premium brand. The news is welcome for Lincoln, which is in the middle of a makeover to restore its luster of years past. Lincoln just introduced the MKC compact crossover, its first entry in that segment.
Lincoln rose from a sixth-place ranking a year ago. The Ford brand did not fare nearly as well but did move up to 19th from 25th.
GMC moved up to eighth overall from 17th last year. Among other GM brands, Chevrolet improved to 16th from 21st.
"Vehicles that score highest in the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are delivering value and satisfaction across a wide range of attributes," said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, which identified the most satisfying vehicles based on responses from more than 92,000 new vehicle owners.
"The winners perform well in 50 separate categories that objectively measure the ownership experience," Peterson said.
Brands with the largest drop were Volkswagen, moving from 16th to 28th position, and Jaguar, dropping from 7th to 17th.
Highest overall satisfaction went to the new 2014 Mercedes S-Class, which is packed with technology and amenities. The large luxury sedan achieved the highest overall score ever. The best-scoring truck was the BMW X5 luxury crossover.
No single manufacturer dominated the results this year. Chevrolet had four winners; Lincoln had three; and the Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Kia and GMC brands had two winners each.
Peterson said one-third of new vehicle buyers are influenced by awards that are based on owner ratings.