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Porsche tops J.D. Power list
Ford Mustang, Fusion ranked best in class

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Power players
Vehicles judged most appealing in each category in the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Automotive Performance, Execution And Layout study (APEAL), released Wednesday:
Subcompact car: Suzuki Aerio
Compact car: Mini Cooper
Compact sporty car: Scion tC
Compact premium sporty car: Porsche Cayman
Entry premium car: Lexus IS 250/IS 350
Midsize premium car: Infiniti M-Series
Large premium car: BMW 7-series
Premium sporty car: Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
Midsize sporty car: Ford Mustang
Midsize car: Ford Fusion
Large car: Hyundai Azera
Source: J.D. Power and Associates, Westlake Village, Calif.

Porsche AG and other high-end auto brands performed best in the annual J.D. Power and Associates study of satisfaction after 90 days of ownership, but domestic companies showed improvement.

Porsche topped J.D. Power's 11th-annual survey that measures performance, layout appeal and customer satisfaction with cars three months after they were driven off lots.

Lincoln ranked 11th, highest among the domestic nameplates, and two Ford Motor Co. cars were the best in their classes.

The Ford Mustang topped the midsize sporty car category, while the Ford Fusion won the midsize car class.

"The Fusion I find noteworthy because the domestics for years have shown a lack of innovation in product development of cars," said Joe Ivers, J.D. Power's executive director of quality and customer satisfaction research.

Luxury automakers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Infiniti and Audi all finished at the top of the survey, results released Wednesday show.

The results are important to automakers because cars with better exterior, interior and driving appeal draw customers and sell faster for more money, Ivers said.

Newly launched vehicles also performed better, with consumers less satisfied with older models or those that have been freshened from previous years, J.D. Power reports.

J.D. Power, of Westlake Village, Calif., based its APEAL study on responses from more than 63,000 people who bought or leased 2006 models.
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