The annual study measures customer satisfaction with maintenance or repair work, performed by service departments at franchised dealerships, among more than 72,000 owners and lessees of vehicles 1-5 years old.
In addition to overall satisfaction, the study takes into account such factors as the timeliness of service, how well the customer is treated by the service adviser, the layout of the facility, ease of drop-off and pickup, fairness of charges and quality of service.
Out of a possible 1,000 points in the J.D. Power rating system, Audi scored 874, unseating Jaguar, last year's top luxury performer, and Mini came in at 858, taking the top mass-market spot from Buick.
In addition to determining the ratings, the study also found that 94 percent of customers said the dealers' service departments fixed their vehicle properly on the first visit.
Of those who didn't, the most common answer — from 28 percent of those surveyed — was, "work performed didn't correct the problem," while 22 percent noted that the dealership "could not find the problem."
J.D. Power also discovered that communication from service departments overwhelmingly takes place by phone or in person. Just 2 percent of customers said they received service updates by text message or e-mail, despite the fact that 38 percent of Generation Y respondents (those born 1977-'94), 37 percent of those in Generation X (1965-'76) and even 22 percent of Baby Boomers (1946-'64) said they'd prefer texts or e-mails.
In general, when compared year-to-year, dealerships have improved the service they provide to customers.
According to J.D. Power, overall satisfaction with dealer service, based on the first three years of vehicle ownership, averaged 854 in the luxury segment this year, up from 852 in 2015, and in the mass-market group, this year's overall score was 797, compared to 792 in 2015.
Edmunds says: Car shoppers in the market for a new vehicle will want to take a close look at this J.D. Power study to factor dealership service into their purchasing decision.