J.D. Power 2011 APEAL study: Porsche reigns, Hyundai shines

The results of the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study have just been released and the numbers for this annual index once again proved most revealing. The APEAL Study queries buyers of new cars, trucks and SUVs on their opinions regarding more than 80 different attributes of their vehicles to determine how gratifying each is to own and drive by converting the results into a 1,000-point cumulative rating. This time around, Porsche extended its streak as the top-rated overall brand to seven consecutive years, notching an 879 point tally. It was followed by Jaguar (857), BMW (850), Land Rover (841) and Audi (835).

While Hyundai ranked 15th with a 793 nameplate score, the Korean automaker upped its composite figure by 33 points from last year -- recording the single biggest jump of any automaker in the 2011 APEAL Study. That moved it comfortably above the 781 industry average and placed it ahead of Ford (785), Buick (783) and Scion (782), which also ended up in positive territory. Perhaps the most unexpected APEAL finding was that the Hyundai Equus earned the highest rating in the Large Premium Car category, besting the BMW 7 Series and Audi A8 in the process.

Among other manufacturers whose 2011 APEAL nameplate scores fell below industry average were Hyundai's cousin, Kia (777) and Japanese maker's Mazda (769), Mitsubishi (767), Toyota (763), Honda (762), Nissan (762), Subaru (758) and Suzuki (734). Although their APEAL numbers still remained below the line, both Chrysler (775) and Jeep (759) were singled out for having made notable improvements from their respective 2010 study stats.

Complete results of the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study can be found by visiting www.jdpower.com.

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