Lexus, Toyota and Skoda took top honors in the 2002 J.D. Power and Associates customer satisfaction survey of two-year-old vehicles in the UK.
In winning the survey, Lexus stayed No. 1 in terms of quality and vehicle appeal, and came in second in service satisfaction. Corporate sister brand Toyota improved in all categories to take second position overall.
All three Skoda models covered by the survey - the Octavia, Fabia and Felicia - finished in the Top 20 individual vehicle rankings.
Skoda received high marks for cost of ownership and dealer service. Although sharing Volkswagen platforms, Skoda often ranks higher than other brands within the VW group because owners have lower expectations and are pleasantly surprised, a J.D. Power official said.
The UK survey was compiled by using a combination of 77 attribute ratings, broken into weighted categories for quality, vehicle appeal, ownership cost and service satisfaction.
Toyota and Skoda were the only two brands to be ranked in the top 10 for all four categories.
Renault was the most improved brand since last year's survey, moving from a below-average ranking to slightly above the industry average. Renault improved in all four measurement areas.
Other notable changes from last year's survey:
Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Suzuki fell from just above average to below average, although Hyundai had one vehicle - the Amica - in the Top 10. Only Renault and Proton managed to climb from below average last year to above average this year. Porsche had too small a sample size to be counted in the latest survey.
J.D. Power research analyst Mark Schwartz said the below-average automakers had been held back by poor quality and dealer service.
J.D. Power customer-satisfaction surveys are well established in the USA, but European rankings have been limited to the UK so far.