Porsche and GM Top J.D. Power APEAL Study
For the 12th consecutive year, Porsche has received the highest overall brand ranking in the annual J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study. With six of its vehicles scoring best-in-category wins among the 25 segments, General Motors rolled off with top overall manufacturer honors. Currently in its 21st year, the Power APEAL Study measures “owner’s emotional attachment and level of excitement” across 77 key attributes from over 80,000 owners/lessees of new vehicles and scores them on a 1,000-point scale. Power notes that the higher a brand’s or vehicle’s APEAL rating, the greater is its owner advocacy and loyalty.
In the individual nameplate arena, Porsche topped the rankings with an 877 index number on the strength of best-in-segment ratings for its Porsche 911, Boxster and Macan. The remaining Top 10 marques -- all Premium -- included BMW (859), Jaguar (852), Mercedes-Benz (852), Land Rover (843), Lincoln (843), Audi (842), Volvo (839) Cadillac 836) and Infiniti (833). Among the Non-Premium Top 10 brands, Volkswagen headed the list with an 809 index number followed by Mini (808), Kia (807), Ford (803), Ram (803), GMC (802), Buick (798), Toyota (796), Honda (795) and Hyundai (795).
At the manufacturer level, GM’s top-rated APEAL players by segment included the Buick Cascada (Compact Sporty Car), Chevrolet Camaro (Midsize Sporty Car), Colorado (Midsize Pickup), Sonic (Small Car) and Tahoe (Large SUV) as well as the GMC Sierra HD (Large Heavy Duty Pickup). Next up was Hyundai Motor Company that scored highest with its Hyundai Tucson (Small SUV) along with the Kia Optima (Midsize Car), Sedona (Minivan) and Soul (Compact MPV). BMW AG’s standouts included the BMW 2 Series (Small Premium Car), X1 (Small Premium SUV), and X6 (Midsize Premium SUV) plus the Mini Clubman (Compact Car) while Volkswagen AG took top honors with the Audi A6 (midsize Premium Car) as well as the Porsche 911 (Midsize Premium Sporty Car), Boxster (Compact Premium Sporty Car) and Macan (Compact Premium SUV). Nissan Motor claimed two segments with the Nissan Maxima (Large Car) and Titan (Large Light Duty Pickup) as did Toyota with the Lexus RC (Compact Premium Car) and its Toyota RAV4 (Compact SUV). Land Rover earned one APEAL award for its Range Rover (Large Premium SUV) while the Smart Fortwo was tops in the City Car category – despite the fact that Smart as a maker continued to hold down the lowest overall manufacturer APEAL score.
The study found that new vehicles equipped with various driver-assist technologies, most notably blind-spot monitoring and collision-avoidance systems, tended to score higher than those without these items. Power pointed out that while factory installed navigation systems remain a sore point for many owners, the overall audio/telematics scores were up by six points over 2015 and that only the Engine/Transmission category saw any decrease – an admittedly modest one point – largely attributable to shifting smoothness issues with new 8-speed and 9-speed automatics.