The gap is narrowing between the appeal of premium brand cars and nonpremium brand cars.
The reason? High-tech safety features.
The J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, released Wednesday, shows the “appeal gap” is as narrow as it’s been in a decade — 16 percent smaller than it was in 2006.
The type of safety features that helped close the gap include blind-spot monitoring and warning systems, park assist/backup warning, and collision avoidance/alert systems.
Renee Stephens, vice president of U.S. automotive quality at J.D. Power and Associates, explains in a press release:
“Unlike other technologies, such as voice recognition, that can be challenging to operate, most safety features provide information in a more intuitive way, giving owners a greater sense of security.”
The APEAL Study, now in its 20th year, measures how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive.
This year’s study is based on responses from more than 84,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2015 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership.
The average 2015 APEAL Index score for nonpremium cars is 5 points higher than last year, bringing it up to 790 out of 1,000 points. The average score for premium cars is only 1 point higher, bringing it to 841.
The top-ranked models in each of the 26 vehicle classes in the APEAL Study are:
- City car: Fiat 500
- Small car: Chevrolet Sonic
- Small premium car: Audi A3
- Compact car: Volkswagen Golf
- Compact sporty car: Mini Cooper
- Compact premium car: BMW 4 Series
- Compact premium sporty car: Porsche Cayman
- Midsize car: Mazda 6
- Midsize sporty car: Dodge Challenger
- Midsize premium car: BMW 6 Series
- Midsize premium sporty car: Chevrolet Corvette
- Large car: Dodge Charger
- Large premium car: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
- Small SUV: Mini Countryman
- Small premium SUV: Audi Q3
- Compact SUV: Mazda CX-5
- Compact premium SUV: Porsche Macan
- Compact multipurpose vehicle: Ford C-Max
- Midsize SUV: Nissan Murano
- Midsize premium SUV: Porsche Cayenne
- Midsize pickup: Chevrolet Colorado
- Minivan: Kia Sedona
- Large SUV: Ford Expedition
- Large premium SUV: Infiniti QX80
- Large light duty pickup: Ford F-150
- Large heavy-duty pickup: GMC Sierra HD
Click the above link to explore the APEAL Study results in more detail.
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