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WHICH CARS DO CONSUMERS REALLY LIKE BEST?

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, Jul 18, 2010

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS

Forget those other JD Power surveys; this is the one that really matters By Roy Nakano Every year, J.D. Power and Associates trots out its Initial Quality Study (IQS) or Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS); and every year, the manufacturers at the top of the rankings are quick to let everyone know the results through ads, commercials and press releases. The problem is, those surveys have little to do with how much owners like their cars. 30 years ago, the IQS and VDS studies were a lot more relevant. Today, even the least reliable cars in the surveys are better that the most reliable cars of that era. Credit J.D. Power for making quality job one amongst the manufacturers. But even J.D. Power knows that those surveys are less relevant today. One can own the top-ranked car in the IQS survey, and not like it anymore than the toaster in the kitchen. That’s why the research and information services firm came up with the APEAL study—the Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout study. The APEAL study is designed to single out how much owners really like their cars. The APEAL study examines how satisfying a new vehicle is to own and drive, based on owner evaluations of more than 80 vehicle attributes. This year, consumers were asked to rate their new vehicle’s performance, execution, layout, and design in 10 distinct categories: Vehicle exterior, vehicle interior, storage and space, audio/entertainment/navigation, seats, HVAC (climate controls), driving dynamics, engine/transmission, visibility/driving safety, and fuel economy. In J.D. Power and Associates’ own words: “Achieving high levels of vehicle appeal is important because this study demonstrates that, throughout the years, models that achieve high APEAL scores typically sell at a faster rate, tend to generate higher profit margins, and require fewer incentives. High levels of vehicle appeal also have a strong influence on recommendation rates. Among the most-highly-satisfied owners (APEAL scores averaging 950 or higher on a 1,000-point scale), 97 percent say they “definitely will” recommend their vehicle. However, among the least-satisfied owners (scores averaging below 400), only 8 percent say the same. All of this means that while initial quality and long-term dependability are certainly important, developing vehicles with high levels of appeal is another critical factor in the success of any automaker.” So, which cars do consumers really like best? Here are the 20 highest-ranking models in the 2010 APEAL Study. 2010 APEAL Study Results

2010 Honda Fit Sport

Sub-Compact Car: 2010 Honda Fit * Moves from No. 3 in the 2009 APEAL Study to highest-ranked in 2010. * Also ranked highest in its segment in 2008 and 2007 (in a tie). * Ranked highest in its segment in the 2010 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS).

mcsrfront

Compact Car: 2010 Mini Cooper * Maintains 2009 highest-rank position in 2010. * Also ranked highest in its segment in APEAL in 2008, and 2002-2006.

2011 GMC Terrain SLE

Compact Crossover/SUV: 2010 GMC Terrain * Ranked highest in its segment in APEAL in its first year on the market. Compact Multi Purpose Vehicle: 2010 Nissan Cube * Ranked highest in its segment in APEAL in its first year on the market.

VW Golf VI GTI

Compact Sporty Car: 2010 Volkswagen GTI * Maintains 2009 highest-rank position in 2010. * Ranked highest in its segment in the 2008, 2007, 2003, 2001 and 2000 APEAL Study. * Among the top 16 industry models overall in vehicle appeal.

3-series

Entry Premium Car: 2010 BMW 3 Series * Moves from No. 6 in segment in the 2009 APEAL Study to highest-ranked in 2010. * Among the top 21 industry models overall in vehicle appeal. * Ranked highest in its segment in the 2007 and 2000 APEAL Study.

q5550

Entry Premium Crossover/SUV: 2010 Audi Q5 * Top two attributes are Vehicle Exterior and Driving Dynamics. Compact Premium Sporty Car: 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe * Ranked highest in its segment in APEAL in its first year on the market. * Among the top 8 industry models overall in vehicle appeal.

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Midsize Car: 2010 Ford Fusion * Moves from No. 4 in segment in the 2009 APEAL Study to highest-ranked in 2010. * Ranked highest in its segment in the 2006 APEAL Study.

2010 Ford Flex with EcoBoost

Midsize Crossover/SUV: 2010 Ford Flex * Maintains 2009 highest-rank position in 2010. Midsize Pickup: 2010 Ford Explorer Sport Trac * Ranked highest in its segment in the 2002 and 2001 APEAL Study.

2011 Chevrolet Camaro

Midsize Sporty: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro * Ranked highest in its segment in APEAL in its first year on the market. * Among the top 14 industry models overall in vehicle appeal. Minivan: 2010 Volkswagen Routan * Moves from No. 2 in segment in the 2009 APEAL Study to highest-ranked in 2010.

5series

Midsize Premium Car: 2010 BMW 5 Series * Moves from No. 3 in segment in the 2009 APEAL Study to highest-ranked in 2010. * Ranked highest in its segment in the 2008, 2006 (in a tie), and 2004 APEAL Study. * Among the top 9 industry models overall in vehicle appeal. Midsize Premium Crossover/SUV: 2010 Audi Q7 * Moves from No. 8 in its segment in the 2009 APEAL Study to highest-ranked in 2010. * Among the top 7 industry models overall in vehicle appeal.

2010 Ford Taurus

Large Car: 2010 Ford Taurus * Moves from No. 9 in its segment in the 2009 APEAL Study to highest-ranked in 2010. * Among the top 19 industry models overall in vehicle appeal. * Also ranks highest in its segment in the 2010 Initial Quality Study, one of only two models to do so. Large Crossover/SUV: 2010 Ford Expedition * Moves from No. 4 in its segment in the 2009 APEAL Study to highest-ranked in 2010.

2011 Chevrolet Avalanche LTZ

Large Pickup: 2010 Chevrolet Avalanche * Maintains 2009 highest-rank position in 2010. * Also ranks highest in its segment in the 2010 Initial Quality Study, one of only two models to do so this year. * Ranked highest in its segment in the 2008 APEAL Study. Large Premium Car: 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class * Maintains 2007, 2008 and 2009 highest-rank position in 2010. * Has the highest score among all models in the 2010 APEAL Study. * Ranked highest in its segment in the 2000 APEAL Study.

rangerover

Large Premium Crossover/SUV: 2010 Land Rover Range Rover * Among the top 14 industry models overall in vehicle appeal. * Ranked highest in its segment in the 2008 and 2005 APEAL Study. For more information about the APEAL study, go to jdpower.com.

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