Porsche is the most appealing brand in the US, says 2017 JD Power APEAL Study

Article by Christian A., on August 1, 2017

Which vehicle brand is the most appealing among customers in the United States? To answer that, a definite study has to be taken. Good thing is that for around 22 years, J.D. Power has been conducting its own study measuring emotional attachment and level of excitement that owners feel from their own new vehicles.

For this year, J.D. Power conducted the 2017 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study. And among the 32 brands that were included in the survey, Porsche was considered as the most appealing. The 2017 APEAL Study measured the answers of nearly 70,000 buyers and lessees of new (2017 model year) vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The survey – conducted from February through May 2017 – considered 77 attributes, which are then combined into an overall APEAL index score as measured on a 1,000-point scale.

Porsche received the highest index score of 884 points, allowing it to dominate the survey for the 13th time in a row. Only 15 points behind is Genesis at 869 points. Rounding up the top 5 were the big three German luxury carmakers -- BMW (855), Audi (854) and Mercedes-Benz (851).

Quite a number of brands scored huge improvements. Leading these brands is Chrysler, with a score that surged by 41 points (from 2016 survey) to 815. German brand also improved by 30 points. Japanese brands Nissan and Honda also leaped high in terms of overall index score, gaining 27 points and 25 points respectively.

Overall, the average APEAL index of the auto industry in the 2017 survey was 810, or nine points more than its score in 2016. This was thanks to better scores in nine of the 10 categories measured as well as thanks to the fact that 19 of the 32 brands increased their scores compared with 2016.

Premium brands are still the most appealing, getting an average score of 845 (plus one point). Not far behind are mass market brands, which average APEAL index score stands at 804, thereby narrowing the gap between the two segments to 41 points – the new all-time low.

Dave Sargent, vice president for global automotive at J.D. Power, explained the narrower gap: mass market vehicles are increasingly offering technology and safety features usually found in premium vehicles. As for the higher overall score, Sargent noted that many carmakers are getting better in giving customers what they want in a vehicle. He added that carmakers are now creating higher quality vehicles, without having to sacrifice performance, styling, utility or features.

The 2017 US APEAL -- a complement to the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study -- is employed by carmakers to help them create more appealing vehicles, as well as by customers in making purchase decisions.

Press Release

Consumers Find New Vehicles More Appealing Than Ever, J.D. Power Research Shows

Car owners’ love affair with new vehicles is stronger than ever, as evidenced by a 9-point increase in the APEAL index from last year—tied for the largest gain ever—according to the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study,SM released today.

In this year’s study, the industry average APEAL index increases to 810 points (on a 1,000-point scale), propelled by significantly better scores in 9 of the 10 categories measured and 19 of the 32 brands in the study making positive gains in their performance, compared with 2016.

“Many automakers are getting better and better at giving consumers what they want in a vehicle,” said Dave Sargent, vice president, global automotive at J.D. Power. “The industry is doing a very good job of creating vehicles customers like across every segment, and the APEAL study identifies why this is. One clear reason is that non-premium vehicles are increasingly offering technology and safety features found in premium vehicles.”

Following are some of the study’s key findings:

Premium and mass market brands are getting closer. The average APEAL index score for the non-premium segment (804) improves by 10 points year over year, while the premium segment (845) improves by just 1 point. The gap between the two segments has narrowed to an all-time low of 41 points.
Some vehicles deliver outstanding levels of APEAL as well as IQS.Eight models receiving APEAL segment awards also receive awards in the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM: BMW 2 Series; Chrysler Pacifica; Kia Cadenza; Kia Niro; Kia Soul; MINI Cooper; Porsche 911; and Porsche Macan. The all-new Genesis brand ranks second in both APEAL and IQS this year, while Porsche ranks top in APEAL and third in IQS.
“Manufacturers are making ever-higher quality vehicles, but this is not coming at the expense of performance, styling, utility or features,” Sargent added.

Highest-Ranked Brands
Porsche ranks highest in overall APEAL for the 13th consecutive year, with an index score of 884. Genesisranks second overall (869) followed by BMW (855), Audi (854) and Mercedes-Benz (851).

Chrysler is the most improved brand (815), with a 41-point improvement from 2016. Other brands with strong improvements include MINI (+30 points), Nissan (+27) and Honda (+25).

Segment-Level Model APEAL Awards by Corporation
The parent company receiving the most model-level awards for its various brands is Volkswagen AG (six model-level awards), followed by BMW with four.

Volkswagen AG: Audi A3; Audi A4; Audi A7; Porsche 911; Porsche Cayenne; and Porsche Macan
BMW AG: BMW 2 Series;BMW X1; MINI Clubman; and MINI Cooper
Ford Motor Co.: Ford F-150; Ford Super Duty; and Lincoln Continental
General Motors Co.: Cadillac Escalade; Chevrolet Bolt; and Chevrolet Tahoe
Hyundai Motor Co.: Kia Cadenza; Kia Niro; and Kia Soul
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Challenger
Honda Motor Co.: Honda CR-V and Honda Ridgeline
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.: Nissan Altima and Nissan Murano
The Porsche Macan receives a model-level award for the third consecutive year. The BMW 2 Series; BMW X1; Chevrolet Tahoe; Kia Soul; MINI Clubman; and Porsche 911 receive a model-level award for the second consecutive year.

The 2017 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study measures owners’ emotional attachment and level of excitement across 77 attributes, ranging from the power they feel when they step on the gas to the sense of comfort and luxury they feel when climbing into the driver’s seat. These attributes are combined into an overall APEAL index score that is measured on a 1,000-point scale. The study, now in its 22nd year, is based on responses gathered from February through May 2017 from nearly 70,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2017 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study, which complements the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study,SM is used extensively by manufacturers worldwide to help them design and develop more appealing vehicles and by consumers to help them in their purchase decisions.

Source: J.D. Power

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