The 2019 J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study has a top dog: Porsche.
J.D. Power released the latest findings for its annual APEAL study last Friday and they showed that, overall, the industry has improved. Scores from all 10 categories improved with infotainment and visibility and safety the most improved. Overall, in-car technology is still a sore spot for new car owners, however.
2019 JD Power APEAL brand rankings
The study ranks brands and vehicles on a 1,000-point scale. This year, the average score improved by three points from 820 to 823. Porsche's first-place finish with 891 points led the pack. BMW and Genesis tied for second place with 868 points, Audi was third with 867 points, Volvo placed fourth with 863 points, and Land Rover and Lincoln rounded out the top five with a tie at 860 points.
Showcasing the major strides Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has taken with Ram, the automaker's truck division was the top-rated mass-market brand with 851 points. Right behind Ram? Dodge, another FCA brand, with 848 points. Dodge actually tied Lexus, though the two are categorized differently. Third place for mass-market brands went to Mini with 835 points, Volkswagen took fourth with 829 points, and fifth place went to Ford with 828 points. General Motors' Cadillac division placed seventh overall behind luxury brand rivals, and its highest-ranking mass-market brand was GMC with 826 points in sixth place.
Although many of the big brands fell below the industry average, it's worth noting the average includes premium brands. Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet, Hyundai, and Nissan were among those that fell below the 823-point average. The mass-market average is 818 points with most brands just a couple of points off. That's the closest gap between premium and mainstream brands in the survey's history. The bottom three spots went to Subaru, Buick, and Mitsubishi.
The study asks new owners to assess the "design, content, layout, and performance of their new vehicle" after 90 days of ownership. It does not take into account vehicle problems. That is the Initial Quality Study. The APEAL study measures customer responses in 90 different attributes. Some 68,000 new-vehicle owners responded this year.
In addition to the overall brand ratings, the study ranked vehicles in 20 automotive categories. The winners in those categories are listed below:
Small car: Toyota Yaris
Small premium car: BMW 2-Series
Compact car: Kia Forte
Compact sporty car: Mini Cooper
Compact premium car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Mid-size car: Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry (tie)
Mid-size sporty car: Dodge Challenger
Mid-size premium car: Audi A7
Large car: Nissan Maxima
Small SUV: Mini Countryman
Compact SUV: GMC Terrain
Compact premium SUV: BMW X4
Mid-size SUV: Chevrolet Blazer
Mid-size premium SUV: Porsche Cayenne
Mid-size pickup: Ford Ranger
Minivan: Honda Odyssey
Large SUV: Ford Expedition
Large premium SUV: Lincoln Navigator
Large light-duty pickup: Ford F-150
Large heavy-duty pickup: Ford Super Duty
The 2019 results show that the industry continues to improve and meet buyers' needs. While luxury brand generally take the top positions, several mass-market brands deserve a pat on the back for topping the average, and in some cases, other premium brands.