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Few relish the car-buying experience, though the dealership you choose could color your opinion of it. The J.D. Power Sales Satisfaction Index Study for 2020 is out, and not all dealerships are equal. The study, which was adjusted for this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, points to Lincoln and Mini having the best dealership experience when buying new, the two supplanting Porsche and Buick, respectively.

Lincoln improved significantly in the luxury dealer segment, jumping from a score of 819 to 827 out of a possible 1,000, the same as Porsche last year. However, Porsche fell two points in 2020 to 825, which it shares with Infiniti and Cadillac. Lincoln last topped the list in 2017. J.D Power included Tesla in the study for the first time, earning 914 points; however, Tesla couldn’t rank because it doesn’t meet the study’s criteria. Lexus and Mercedes took second with 826 points each.

Gallery: 2021 Lincoln Nautilus

For mainstream brands, Mini is again on top with 824 points, replacing Buick, which fell to third with 803 points, one point behind its corporate sibling GMC. Ford earned fourth with 789 points. The study was revamped to place a larger focus on online shopping, which became vital for some dealers during the pandemic and its restrictions. According to the survey, dealers that implemented or refined their digital shopping experience saw increased customer satisfaction.

Buyers who completed most of the process and paperwork online averaged 873 points in the study, 35 points more than those who avoided online paperwork. The study also discovered one in four of those who bought online were less likely to shop in person in the future. Online shopping is here to stay, and that will give customers a lot more leverage in the deal-making process.

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