J.D. Power isn't the end-all, be-all of automotive evaluation, but the data crunching firm is a solid and nearly comprehensive start when looking for a new car.
Along with its annual Dependability and Initial Quality studies, another of J.D. Power’s useful tools is the Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study. This looks at the gratification a car owner experiences when driving off the lot in a new set of wheels.
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The results of the 2016 APEAL study is now out. It was based on responses from more than 80,000 purchasers and lessees of new vehicles, surveyed after 90 days of ownership. Brands and individual vehicles are awarded a score out of a possible 1,000 points.
Aspects the study looks at are things like fuel economy, powertrain smoothness, usefulness of the navigation system, ease of use of the infotainment system, visibility and safety.
The top make for the 12th year in the row was Porsche, which received a score of 877 points. Coming in at the bottom of the brands that were sampled was another German firm, in this case Smart with just 745 points. The industry average this year was 801 points, which represents a rise on last year’s average of 798 points.
In addition to being the top-ranked brand, Porsche also had some top-ranked cars when looking at individual segments. The Boxster, Macan and 911 took out the respective Premium Sporty Car, Premium SUV and Midsize Premium Sporty Car categories.