Honda and Acura both improved in an annual survey about which auto brands are the most fun to drive, although Honda remained below average.
The J.D. Power and Associates report, issued yesterday, shows that new-car drivers were generally more pleased with their vehicles than a year ago, and that switching to a smaller vehicle does not necessarily diminish the pleasure of driving.
The research group's Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout survey is a lesser-known companion to its Initial Quality study, the latest version of which was issued last month.
Honda scored 771 on a 1,000-point scale on the "fun to drive" survey, which ranked it 25th among 34 brands. Last year, Honda earned 762 points and ranked 28th out of 32.
Acura, which is Honda's luxury brand, scored 816 points, which placed it 10th on this year's list. Last year, its score of 808 was good for 11th place.
Honda has a major presence in central Ohio, where it assembles the Honda Accord and Acura TL sedans and the Honda CR-V crossover, among others.
The industry average was 788, up from 781.
"The most-notable thing was that Honda and Acura improved at a rate greater than the industry," said Chris Martin, a Honda spokesman. "It shows we're moving in the right direction."
The top performer was Porsche with 887, the brand's eighth-consecutive year on top. Jaguar and BMW also held their places, in second and third, respectively.
The top 10 finishers were all luxury brands. The top nonluxury brand was Volkswagen with 812 points and a No. 13 ranking. Suzuki remained at the bottom, with 745 points.
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