We know that organizations such as Aberdeen and CIMData run all sort of scientific surveys about CAD tools. However, we couldn’t resist sharing our qualitative review of the four most prevalent CAD packages in use in the automotive and aerospace industries. This ranking is based on two roughly-defined criteria:
A. First-hand impressions using the actual CAD software ourselves
B. Comments and insights provided by users in approximately 30 different companies

The conclusion for our ranking:
1) NX (V5)
2) Solidworks (2008)
3) CATIA (V5)
4) Pro/E (WF3)

Siemens purchased a software company from UGS that provides a nice balance of providing a robust user interface, supporting complex modeling, and even supporting customers. It’s interesting to note the amount of disdain that users have for CATIA and their licensing. At the same time, there are many SolidWorks zealots. Naturally, SolidWorks has the benefit of being the “youngest” package and thus leverages the lessons learned from all of its brethren.