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Safety Features Boost Satisfaction Levels in 2016 U.S. APEAL Study

Safety Features Boost Satisfaction Levels in 2016 U.S. APEAL Study

By Philly Murtha, July 27, 2016
Advanced safety systems, or driver-assistance technologies, add to the satisfaction and confidence of new-vehicle owners, according to the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.SM This is especially true as more new models—both premium and non-premium—are available with these technologies.

Based on verified owner responses from more than 80,000 buyers and lessees who have owned their 2016 model-year vehicle for at least 90 days, when asked what delights and pleases them, Feeling of safety when driving vehicle and Steering responsiveness are among the highest-rated of 77 attributes measured in the study. Further, among 10 categories measured in the study, the Safety and Visibility category is the third-most improved in this year’s APEAL Study and ranks fourth (809 on a 1,000-point scale) in terms of overall appeal.

To help illustrate the importance of safety to consumers, vehicles equipped with blind-spot monitoring/warning systems achieve higher overall APEAL scores than those without the feature (821 vs. 787, respectively). In the 2016 study, 41% of owners say their vehicle includes this advanced safety feature—up 5 percentage points from 36% in the 2015 study.

If we focus on just the Visibility and Safety category, the index score for non-premium cars with the technology is 38 points higher than for cars without the assistance feature (826 vs. 788, respectively). Similarly, the index score is 33 points higher for premium vehicles with the technology than for those without (859 vs. 826, respectively) in this year’s study. The lower increase for premium vehicles could indicate that premium-vehicle owners expect the feature to be standard.

Also boosting this year’s overall APEAL Study industry average index is satisfaction with another Visibility and Safety feature—collision-avoidance/alert systems. The APEAL score in the Visibility and Safety category surges by 49 points among owners whose vehicle has collision-avoidance technology, compared with among those whose vehicle doesn’t have such technology (843 vs. 794, respectively). Further, 30% of owners say their new vehicle is equipped with a collision-avoidance/alert system—up 5 percentage points from 25% in 2015.

The Visibility and Safety score for non-premium vehicles with collision avoidance is 44 points higher than for vehicle owners who didn’t know about/didn’t have the feature installed (835 vs. 791, respectively). Among owners of premium vehicles with collision avoidance, the Visibility and Safety category score also increases significantly (865 vs. 832, respectively).

Additional Research:

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