July 25 (Reuters) - New U.S. buyers found premium European cars the most pleasing to both own and drive, according to an annual J.D. Power and Associates' survey.
Porsche, a unit of Germany's Volkswagen AG , led the rankings, according to Power's 2012 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout study (APEAL), the findings of which were released on Wednesday. It was followed by Jaguar, BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover.
The highest-ranking domestic brand was General Motors Co's Cadillac, which placed eighth, behind Toyota's Lexus. It was the only U.S. brand to finish in this year's top 10.
The survey measures "how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive" in the first 90 days after purchase or lease, the influential market research firm said.
Japanese brands occupied four of the five lowest spots, with the bottom five including Suzuki, Daimler's Smart, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Toyota Motor Corp's Scion.
The Audi A8, which topped the large premium car segment, had the highest individual score in the survey, Power said. Three Chevrolet models - the Sonic, the Volt and the Avalanche - were also individual segment winners.
The APEAL survey was based on responses from more than 74,000 owners and lessees of 2012 new cars and trucks who were surveyed earlier this year, according to Power, based in Westlake Village, California.
Power also conducts an annual Initial Quality Study that measures things gone wrong in the first 90 days of vehicle ownership. (Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Bernadette Baum)