J.D. Power has released its yearly Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) Study, grading vehicle manufacturers on the customer appeal of their new vehicle models. According to the study, Hyundai vehicles are some of the most appealing non-premium brand vehicles on the market.
The study, in which new car owners rate their vehicles across 77 different metrics, found that brands such as Porsche and Jaguar top the overall list. Those brands nabbed an 882 and 862, respectively, on J.D. Power's 1,000-point APEAL scale. The average score for premium brands on the list was 840. The premium brands included in the survey took the top 12 places on the overall list.
Further down the list Hyundai led the pack of non-premium brands with an 804 APEAL score and 13th place on the overall list. The brand's Genesis, Elantra, and Accent vehicles were all praised by J.D. Power in their respective segments. Hyundai's Sonata vehicle finished third in the crowded midsize car segmant. Hyundai also placed highest among non-premium brands in this year's J.D. Power Initial Quality Study as well.
"We are so pleased to see the recognition that Accent has received in this year's J.D. Power APEAL study," said Mike O'Brien, VP for corporate and product planning at Hyundai Motor America. "And it's especially gratifying coming on the heels of our best-ever IQS showing just one month ago."
Other non-premium brands to score highly in the study include Ram, Volkswagen, and MINI, which all scored over the study average of 794. Mitsubishi came in last in the study with a score of just 748.
This year's industry average is one point lower than last year's overall APEAL study average of 795. According to J.D. Power, owners of all-new and redesigned vehicle models scored their vehicles much higher than carryover models in the areas of fuel economy and interior styling. Technology features such as navigation and voice recognition were not as differentiated between new models and carryovers.
“Manufacturers often look to new features and technologies to keep their vehicles fresh and attractive, but designing systems that consumers find intuitive and easy to use has been a challenge,” said Renee Stephens, VP of U.S. automotive at J.D. Power. “Newly launched models surpass carryovers in impressing owners with the look and feel of the vehicle. But as we also see in our 2014 Initial Quality Study, owners are not as comfortable with the functionality of the features. To differentiate new models from the pack, automakers must continue to design systems that are not just attractive, but also intuitive and easy to use.”
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