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2011 APEAL Study Results

By Jeff Youngs, July 27, 2011
In spite of high consumer demand for tech-related features, increasing government fuel economy and safety standards, and ever-changing market conditions, auto manufacturers are managing to design and build vehicles that owners find appealing. Indeed, owner satisfaction with the performance and design of their new vehicles is at its highest levels since 2006, according to a new study from J.D. Power and Associates.

The J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) StudySM examines how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive. The study reveals that the industry average APEAL score in 2011 increases by 3 index points from last year-to 781 (on a 1,000-point scale) from 778 in 2010. The 2011 APEAL Study is based on owner evaluations of more than 90 vehicle attributes, and complements the recently released J.D. Power and Associates 2011 US Initial Quality StudySM (IQS), which focuses on problems experienced by owners during the first 90 days of ownership.

The APEAL Study measures owner satisfaction in 10 categories:2011 APEAL Study Award Recipients
  • Fuel Economy
  • Audio/Entertainment/Navigation
  • Vehicle Interior
  • Seats
  • Engine
  • HVAC
  • Storage
  • Visibility
  • Driving Experience
  • Vehicle Exterior

Of the 10 APEAL measures, Vehicle Exterior, Interior, and Seats have improved the most, each by 6 index points, compared to 2010. Fuel Economy is the only measure that has decreased from last year-by 17 index points-likely due to increasing gas prices, which are about 30% higher compared to the same time period last year.

b> Gallery: 2011 APEAL Award Recipients   2011 APEAL: Top 3 Models by Category
b> 2011 APEAL: Ratings by Category   2011 APEAL: Ratings by Brand
Overall New-Vehicle Appeal Continues to Improve
Auto manufacturers appear to be on a roll, both in terms of quality and appeal. Since 2008, the overall industry appeal score has increased from 770 to 781-an 11-point increase. Likewise, quality has also improved-during the past six years, initial quality for the industry has improved at an average rate of 3% per year. Building vehicles with both high initial quality and vehicle appeal is a win for both manufacturers and consumers.

Other highlights of the 2011 APEAL Study include:2011 APEAL Study Award Recipients
  • Porsche ranks highest in the industry for a seventh consecutive year, achieving a score of 879. Jaguar (857), BMW (850), Land Rover (841), and Audi (835) round out the top five in the nameplate rankings.
  • Hyundai (793), driven by a strong performance from the redesigned Sonata and the all-new Equus (detailed below), improves its nameplate score from last year by 33 points, moving Hyundai up 13 rank positions to 15th overall.
  • Jeep (759), with a 32-point gain, climbs three rank positions, and Chrysler (775) improves its score by 27 points and 10 rank positions.
  • BMW Group earns four model awards-for the Mini Countryman, BMW X3, BMW Z4 Roadster, and the BMW 5 Series. Chrysler Group earns three awards-for the Dodge Durango, Dodge Challenger, and the Dodge Charger. Ford Motor Company (Ford Fiesta and Ford F-150); Toyota (Scion xB and Lexus IS); and Honda Motor Co. (Honda Ridgeline and Honda Odyssey) each earn two model awards.
  • Three models receive APEAL segment awards this year that also received awards in the recent 2011 IQS: the Ford F-150, Honda Ridgeline, and the Dodge Challenger.
  • Three models rank highest in their respective segment for a second consecutive year: the BMW 5 Series, Land Rover Range Rover, and the Volkswagen GTI.
  • The Hyundai Equus (904) achieves the highest score of any "all-new" model in the 2011 APEAL Study. The Equus is the highest-performing model in the industry and the only model that scores above 900 in APEAL this year.
  • Most-improved models in the 2011 APEAL Study include the Dodge Charger (up 73 points from last year), Jeep Grand Cherokee (+66), Ford Explorer (+65), and the Hyundai Sonata (+57).
  • Among all vehicle award segments, the Premium Sporty and Large Premium Car segments have the highest APEAL scores, while scores in the Midsize Pickup and Sub-Compact Car segments are lowest.
Fuel Economy Ratings
For the APEAL study, new-vehicle owners provide feedback on fuel economy. These ratings are based on owner-reported fuel economy for various brands and models.

b> Gallery: 2011 APEAL Award Recipients   2011 APEAL: Top 3 Models by Category
b> 2011 APEAL: Ratings by Category   2011 APEAL: Ratings by Brand

Sub Compact Car
Ford Fiesta
Mazda Mazda2
Honda Fit

Compact Car
Chevrolet Volt
Volkswagen Golf
Mitsubishi Lancer

Compact Sporty Car
Volkswagen GTI
MINI Cooper
Volkswagen Eos

Midsize Car
Suzuki Kizashi
Hyundai Sonata
Kia Optima

Midsize Sporty
Dodge Challenger
Chevrolet Camaro
Ford Mustang

Large Car
Dodge Charger
Ford Taurus
Nissan Maxima

Entry Premium Car
Lexus IS
BMW 3 Series
Volkswagen CC

Compact Premium Sporty Car
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/    Convertible
Nissan 370Z

Midsize Premium Car
BMW 5 Series
Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Jaguar XF

Large Premium Car
Hyundai Equus
BMW 7 Series
Audi A8

Compact Crossover/SUV
MINI Countryman
Volkswagen Tiguan
Hyundai Tucson

Compact MPV
Scion xB
Kia Soul
Chevrolet HHR

Entry Premium Crossover/SUV
Audi Q5
Volvo XC60

Midsize Crossover/SUV
Dodge Durango
Ford Flex
Ford Explorer

Large Crossover/SUV
Nissan Armada
Chevrolet Tahoe
Ford Expedition

Midsize Premium Crossover/SUV
Porsche Cayenne
Audi Q7

Large Premium Crossover/SUV
Land Rover Range Rover
Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

Large Pickup
Ford F-150 LD
Chevrolet Avalanche
2011 Ford F-250/F-350 Super Duty    Pickup

Midsize Pickup
Honda Ridgeline
Nissan Frontier
Toyota Tacoma

Honda Odyssey
Toyota Sienna
Chrysler Town & Country

  Gallery: 2011 APEAL Award Recipients   2011 APEAL: Top 3 Models by Category
  2011 APEAL: Ratings by Category   2011 APEAL: Ratings by Brand

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