Honda captures four model segment awards -- more than any other vehicle nameplate this year -- according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study(SM) released today.

The study, now in its 12th year, measures owner delight with the design, content, layout and performance of their new vehicles. APEAL is designed to complement the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study(SM) (IQS), which focuses on problems experienced by owners during the first 90 days of ownership. APEAL measures how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive.

Honda's four segment-leading models are the Fit (in a tie), CR-V, Ridgeline and Odyssey. BMW and Mercedes-Benz receive three segment awards, while Ford, Nissan and Volkswagen each garner two awards. BMW models receiving awards include the 3 Series, 6 Series and X5, while Mercedes-Benz earns awards for the E-Class, S-Class and GL-Class. Ford models earning awards are the Mustang and Edge. Volkswagen receives awards for the Jetta and GTI, while Nissan earns awards for the Altima Sedan and Armada.

The study also finds that, for models with higher APEAL scores, vehicle manufacturers and dealers can offer lower incentives to new-vehicle buyers. On average, owners of vehicles with APEAL scores lower than 800, based on a 1,000-point scale, report receiving dealer incentives of approximately $2,000. For purchasers of models with average APEAL scores higher than 800, the incentive amount can decline by up to 10 percent.

"Vehicle models with strong customer appeal tend to be in higher demand, which diminishes the need for dealers to incentivize to boost sales," said Neal Oddes, director of product research and analysis at J.D. Power and Associates. "Offering larger incentives decreases the profitability of vehicles, so it's important for manufacturers to incorporate those 'must-have' features and design elements that will entice buyers, which also reduces the need for large customer cash rebates."

A number of all-new and redesigned models lead the model rankings for 2007. Ten of the top-ranking models in the APEAL study -- the BMW X5, Cadillac Escalade EXT (in a tie), Ford Edge, GMC Sierra LD, Honda Fit, Honda CR-V, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class (in a tie), Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Nissan Altima Sedan and Toyota Yaris (in a tie) -- were all-new or redesigned this year. Also receiving awards are the Hyundai Azera and Porsche Cayman.

"Whether due to fresh designs or innovative features, APEAL scores tend to be highest for models when they are first introduced," said Oddes. "It's essential for manufacturers to get new-vehicle launches right, since vehicles with high appeal scores generally command a higher gross profit and sell more quickly. Two of the redesigned models -- the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (in a tie) and Honda CR-V -- also earned awards in the 2007 Initial Quality Study, and are examples of how manufacturers can learn from preceding models to improve in both initial quality and appeal."

The Nissan Armada ranks highest in its segment for a fourth consecutive year. Several models, including the Ford Mustang, Honda Ridgeline and Honda Odyssey rank highest in their respective segments for a third consecutive year, while the Porsche Cayman and Hyundai Azera earn awards for a second consecutive year. The Mustang and Mercedes-Benz E-Class also rank highest in their segments in both the APEAL study and IQS.

Porsche is the highest-ranking nameplate in APEAL for a third consecutive year. The most improved nameplate in the 2007 study is Scion.

The 2007 APEAL Study is based on responses gathered between February and May 2007 from more than 91,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2007 model-year cars and trucks who were surveyed after the first 90 days of ownership.

Find more detailed findings on new-vehicle APEAL performance as well as model photos and specs by watching a video, reading an article and reviewing appeal ratings at JDPower.com.

2007 Nameplate APEAL Ranking(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
Porsche 849
BMW 847
Mercedes-Benz 844
Jaguar 841
Lexus 836
Audi 829
Infiniti 823
Cadillac 818
Land Rover 816
Acura 815
Lincoln 810
Scion 809
Volkswagen 800
Volvo 792
Saab 784
Mazda 777
Honda 776
Nissan 776
HUMMER 773
Industry Average 772
Mitsubishi 770
GMC 768
Hyundai 766
Chevrolet 763
Pontiac 762
Toyota 761
Saturn 757
Ford 754
Buick 750
Mercury 743
Kia 742
Chrysler 740
Suzuki 738
Dodge 737
Subaru 724
Jeep 718

Top Three Models per Segment
Sub-Compact Car
Highest Ranked: Honda Fit (Tie), Toyota Yaris (Tie)
Nissan Versa
Compact Car
Highest Ranked: Volkswagen Jetta
Volkswagen RabbitHonda Civic
Compact Sporty Car
Highest Ranked: Volkswagen GTI
Scion tC
Volkswagen Eos
Compact Premium Sporty Car
Highest Ranked: Porsche Cayman
Porsche Boxster
Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class
Entry Premium Car
Highest Ranked: BMW 3 Series
Lexus IS 250/IS 350
Acura TL (Tie)
Audi A4 (Tie)
Midsize Premium Car
Highest Ranked: Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Lexus GS 350/GS 430/GS 450h
BMW 5 Series
Large Premium Car
Highest Ranked: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
BMW 7 Series
Lexus LS 460
Premium Sporty Car
Highest Ranked: BMW 6 Series
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
Chevrolet Corvette
Midsize Sporty Car
Highest Ranked: Ford Mustang
Mitsubishi Eclipse
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Midsize Car
Highest Ranked: Nissan Altima Sedan
Volkswagen Passat
Saturn AURA
Large Car
Highest Ranked: Hyundai Azera
Toyota Avalon
Dodge Charger
Truck / Multi-Activity Vehicle (MAV) Segments
Compact MAV
Highest Ranked: Honda CR-V
Mazda CX-7
Toyota FJ Cruiser
Midsize MAV
Highest Ranked: Ford Edge
Saturn Outlook
GMC Acadia
Large MAV
Highest Ranked: Nissan Armada
Chevrolet Tahoe
Chevrolet Suburban
Midsize Premium MAV
Highest Ranked: BMW X5
Audi Q7 (Tie)
Mercedes-Benz M-Class (Tie)
Large Premium MAV
Highest Ranked: Cadillac Escalade EXT (Tie), Mercedes-Benz GL-Class (Tie)
Lincoln Navigator
Large Pickup
Highest Ranked: GMC Sierra LD
Chevrolet Avalanche
Chevrolet Silverado LD
Midsize Pickup
Highest Ranked: Honda Ridgeline
Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Toyota Tacoma
Van
Highest Ranked: Honda Odyssey
Kia Sedona
Hyundai Entourage

  • «
  • |
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • View Full Article