A Wide Array of Brands Produce Models that Delight Their Owners
A baker's dozen of nameplates produce models that earn the highest
scores in their segments in each of the award categories in our 2012 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.
Chevrolet receives three of the 22 segment awards--the most of any nameplate in the 2012 APEAL Study--and also the most APEAL awards for the General Motors flagship brand since 1997. Chevrolet models that receive segment awards include two small models and one large pickup: the Avalanche, Sonic and Volt.
Seven more nameplates included in the study each receive two segment awards for models with the highest index scores in their categories. In alphabetical order, the nameplates with top-ranked models in two segments are: Audi, Dodge, Ford, Kia, Mini, Nissan, and Porsche. Also receiving highest-ranking model awards at the segment level for one model each are: BMW, Infiniti, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen.
In related news, South Korea's Kia nameplate continues to improve its performance in our APEAL Study for a sixth straight year. Audi makes news this year because it is the first year that one of its models, the A8 from the Large Premium Car segment, earns the highest score in the study, at 902 points (on a 1,000-point scale).
It's noteworthy that five of the models receiving segment awards this year for delighting their owners also received segment awards in our 2012 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS), which focuses on problems experienced during the first 90 days of ownership. In alphabetical order, the five models that earn both IQS and APEAL recognition are: Ford Expedition, Kia Soul, Nissan Frontier, Nissan Quest, and Porsche 911.
This year, nearly one-half of the top-performing models in each of the award segments are first-time award recipients in our APEAL Study.
Since the APEAL Study was last redesigned in 2006, all-new and redesigned models have received the highest APEAL mean index scores on average. However, this year, for the first time, freshened and carryover models receive a higher mean index score (789 vs. 781 for all-new and redesigned models).
|Award Segment (Non-Premium)||Highest-Ranked Model||Index Score*|
|Sub-Compact Car||Chevrolet Sonic||770|
|Compact Car||Chevrolet Volt||848|
|Compact Sporty Car||Mini Coupe/Roadster||841|
|Large Car||Dodge Charger||834|
|Mid Sporty Car||Dodge Challenger||843|
|Compact Crossover SUV||Mini Countryman||809|
|Mid Van||Nissan Quest**||812|
|Mid Pickup||Nissan Frontier**||770|
|Mid Car||Kia Optima (tie) Volkswagen Passat (tie)||829|
|Compact MPV||Kia Soul**||776|
|Large Crossover SUV||Ford Expedition**||811|
|Large Pickup||Chevrolet Avalanche||827|
|Mid Crossover SUV||Ford Flex||823|
|Award Segment (Premium)||Highest-Ranked Model||Index Score*|
|Entry Premium Car||BMW 3 Series||857|
|Mid Premium Car||Audi A6||877|
|Large Premium Car||Audi A8||902|
|Entry Premium Crossover SUV||Land Rover Range Rover Evoque||845|
|Mid Premium Crossover SUV||Porsche Cayenne||878|
|Compact Premium Sporty Car||Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class||860|
|Premium Sporty Car||Porsche 911**||901|
|Large Premium Crossover SUV||Infiniti QX56||854|
*Mean Index Score on a 1,000-point scale
**These models rank highest in their award segment in both the 2012 IQS and APEAL Studies.