updated 5/16/2005 1:13:51 AM ET 2005-05-16T05:13:51

Nissan Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. were the top performers in a new survey of vehicle quality, with satisfied owners praising power and styling.

BMW was the highest-scoring individual nameplate in the survey by Strategic Vision Inc., a San Diego-based marketing research firm. The tenth annual survey, which was released Monday, questioned around 40,000 owners of 2004 vehicles between October and November. The survey asked owners about their emotional response to vehicles as well as any problems they have experienced.

Six GM vehicles got top ratings in the survey’s 20 vehicle categories, the highest number of any automaker.

The Pontiac G6 was the top mid-size car, while the Buick Rainier was the top mid-size sport utility vehicle and the GMC Sierra was the top heavy-duty pickup. The Cadillac Escalade and the Hummer H2 tied with Land Rover’s Range Rover in the luxury SUV category, while the Chevrolet Corvette was tops among luxury specialty cars.

The ranking was news for GM, which saw its U.S. vehicle sales fall 7.7 percent in the first four months of this year. Strategic Vision said GM needs its top-selling vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Silverado pickup and Impala sedan, to get quality marks as high as specialty vehicles like the Corvette and the H2.

Nissan delivered five first-place winners and got the highest overall quality scores. The Nissan Maxima sedan tied with the Ford Five Hundred among large cars, while the Nissan Titan was the top full-size pickup. The Nissan Murano was the top crossover, the Nissan Armada was the top large SUV and the Infiniti FX35 was the top near-luxury SUV.

Strategic Vision said Nissan owners repeatedly said their vehicles gave them feelings of power, individuality, excitement and fun. Nissan’s sales had a 27 percent increase in the first four months of this year.

Strategic Vision also noted that two pickups from Japanese manufacturers — the Toyota Tacoma and the Nissan Titan — did best in the compact and full-size pickup categories.

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