2011 APEAL Study Results

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 , 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.

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 : 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.

    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
    BMW Z4
    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
    BMW X3
    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
    BMW X6
    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  
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