Audi finds itself in the position of taking a victory lap or two: its A8 executive sedan took top honors as the highest-scoring car in J.D. Power and Associates' yearly APEAL study. Not to be out-done, Chevrolet also took top honors with three awards for its Avalanche, Chevrolet Volt, and Sonic vehicles.
J.D. Power's yearly Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout Study--dubbed APEAL--surveyed more than 74,000 people between February and May 2012 who had been leasing a 2012-model-year car for 90 days, and asked them about the attributes of their cars that they liked. Nicknamed the "things that go right study," it complements the Initial Quality Study that looks for automotive problems that owners have within their first 90 days.
The APEAL study results include both brand rankings and name individual models winners in their respective segments. As far as brands are concerned, there should be little surprise that Porsche, Jaguar, and BMW took top honors with scores of 887, 877, and 859 out of 1000, respectively. The top non-premium and American brand was Ford, which scored a 791. Jaguar's second-place finish also came with a most improved award: it improved 20 points over last year, making it one of the top-three biggest brand leaps. The other two were Dodge, with a 21-point jump, and Ram, with a 19-point boost over 2011.
As far as individual cars were concerned, Chevrolet took top honors with three segment leaders. Those cars are the Chevrolet Sonic sub-compact, the Volt plug-in hybrid, and the Chevrolet Avalanche large pickup (which narrowly beat the segment leader, the Ford F-150). Other multi-award winners include Audi (with nods for the Audi A6 and A8), Mini (with its Countryman and Coupe/Roadster models getting awards), Kia (which garnered praise for its Soul and Optima), Porsche (Cayman and 911), Nissan, (the Frontier and Quest), Dodge (for the Challenger and Charger), and Ford (for its Flex and Expedition).
But Audi's A8 scored an industry-high score along with top honors in the Large Premium Car segment. While that may or may not be surprising, what did surprise us was that the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque vaulted over competitors like the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 to score top honors in the Entry Premium Crossover segment. It would seem that owners--the lucky few who can actually get their hands on an Evoque--quite enjoy their cute utes.
Source: J.D. Power and Associates