For the 12th year in a row, Porsche tops the J.D. Power APEAL Study.
Short for Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout, the 2016 J.D. Power U.S. APEAL Study measures owners’ emotional attachment and level of excitement across 77 attributes, ranging from the power they feel when they accelerate to the sense of comfort and luxury they feel when getting into the driver’s seat. The attributes are then combined into an overall score that is measured on a 1,000-point scale, and the study has shown that higher APEAL leads to significantly higher advocacy and customer loyalty.
Helping raise APEAL scores for certain automakers are new vehicles equipped with safety features like blind spot monitoring and low-speed collision avoidance.
Overall scores were higher among the 41 percent of owners whose vehicles have blind spot monitoring than those without, 871 versus 787, respectively. Scores were also higher among the 30 percent of owners whose vehicles have collision avoidance technology than among those whose vehicles are not equipped with the technology, 828 vs. 790, respectively.
The overall industry APEAL score increased by three points to 801, with 22 of the 30 all-new or major redesigned models for 2016 included in the study scoring higher than their respective segment average.
In the 2016 study, Porsche scored 877 points to lead the way, while BMW finished second with a score of 859. Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz tied in third at 852, while Land Rover, Lexus and Lincoln all ranked fifth in a tie at 843.
Among the non-premium brands, Volkswagen ranked highest at 809, followed by MINI (807), Kia (807), Ford (803), Ram (803) and GMC (802).
“Technology-enabled safety features help drivers feel more comfortable and confident while driving their vehicles,” said Renee Stephens, vice president of U.S. automotive quality at J.D. Power. “These features are also ‘gateway technologies’ to autonomous driving capabilities, so the continued level of consumer interest in them will be a critical metric to watch as the industry evolves toward including more automation in new vehicles.”