J.D. Power isn't the be-all and end-all of automotive evaluation, but the influential research firm and its various studies are a solid and fairly comprehensive resource to consult when searching for a new car, as the results are based on the responses of real owners.
One of the most popular with automakers and customers alike is the Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout study, or APEAL for short, which looks at the gratification a car owner experiences with each new vehicle on the market.
Porsche has managed to top the results of the APEAL study in 2017, making this the 13th year in a row the German marque has come out on top. More than 69,000 new car owners took part in the study, assessing 243 models from 33 manufacturers in 10 categories. Ranking at the bottom this year is Mitsubishi. Note, only volume brands are included to avoid skewing the results.
The study surveys buyers of new cars, 90 days after the buyers have taken delivery. In total, 77 characteristics are examined. The list includes driving dynamics and design as well as aspects such as day-to-day usability and comfort. Finally, a score is given based on a 1,000-point scale. According to the researchers, cars are more appealing than ever, as evidenced by a significant 9-point increase in the industry average from last year.
In addition to a brand category, the study also provides awards for popular segments. In the case of Porsche, the 911, Cayenne and Macan models also took the top positions in the Mid-Size Premium Sporty Car, Mid-Size Premium SUV and Compact Premium SUV categories, respectively.
Also worth a mention is the strong performance of Genesis which despite being a new brand was second in the rankings.