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Top-Rated 2014 Sedans: Performance & Design

Top-Rated 2014 Sedans: Performance & Design

By Jeff Youngs,

The annual J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) Study is designed to measure how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive. For nearly two decades, J.D. Power has conducted this study in order to learn more about which vehicles owners find most appealing in terms of design, comfort, performance, and ease of use. New-vehicle owners who have owned their new car, truck, SUV, or van for at least 90 days are invited to complete the survey, and from this information J.D. Power generates Power Circle Ratings that are designed to represent owner sentiment in a simple, summarized format.

Based on the J.D. Power 2014 APEAL Study, the following sedans receive a Power Circle Rating of 5 out of a possible 5 for overall appeal. They are listed below in alphabetical order.

2014 Audi A8
The A8 is Audi's flagship sedan, offered in regular- and extended-length wheelbase format, and with a range of engine selections. The Audi S8 is the performance-tuned version of the car. Notably, the Audi A8 and Mercedes-Benz S-Class tied as the most appealing vehicles in the entire 2014 APEAL Study.

2014 Dodge Charger
The 2014 Dodge Charger is a full-size family sedan equipped with retro design cues. Though it has not been completely redesigned in nearly a decade, the people who buy a Charger find it quite appealing. A significantly refreshed 2015 Charger goes on sale in the fall.

2014 Dodge Dart
The 2014 Dodge Dart is a little bigger than most small cars, and a little smaller than most midsize cars. It is derived from an Alfa Romeo model sold in Europe, and this year Dodge replaced the previous turbocharged, 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and automated manual transmission for a more conventional 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and a traditional automatic.

2014 Hyundai Accent
The smallest model that Hyundai sells in the United States, the Accent is offered as a 4-door sedan or a 5-door hatchback. For 2014, Hyundai spruced up the Accent with revised standard and optional features.

2014 Hyundai Sonata
In its final year before a complete redesign, the Sonata midsize sedan is one of three models in its segment to receive the top rating of 5 Power Circles for overall appeal. Offered with or without a turbocharger, and in several trim levels ranging from basic to plush, the Sonata ranks third in its segment in the 2014 APEAL Study.

2014 Kia Optima
Kia refreshed the 2014 Optima, revising the styling, adding new technologies, and refining the car overall. Based on the 2014 APEAL Study results, the people who bought the Optima liked what they purchased. This Kia ranks second in its segment in overall appeal.

2014 Mazda 6
Mazda's redesigned Mazda 6 has been well received by the media, and now owners have expressed their fondness for the car, resulting in the sedan ranking highest in the Midsize Car segment in the 2014 APEAL Study. Mazda keeps the Mazda 6 pretty simple, but offers a number of ways to upgrade in terms of equipment and technology.

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
Billed as a 4-door coupe, this midsize luxury car is based on the E-Class but features sleek styling and an extra dose of class and refinement. Buyers select between the CLS550 and the CLS63 AMG, the latter an all-wheel-drive, performance-tuned variant. The CLS-Class is updated for the 2015 model year.

2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Completely redesigned, the Mercedes-Benz flagship sedan ties with the Audi A8 as the most appealing car in its segment, and in the entire 2014 APEAL Study. Buyers may choose between a V-8 or a V-12 engine, or between two different AMG performance variants. Depending on the model and options selected, the price can rise to nearly $240,000.

Additional Research:

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