GMC, Ford, and Ram Beat Industry Average in J.D. Power APEAL Study
Colorado, Canyon, F-150, and Sierra HD Take Class Honors
The J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) Study is one of the industry standards in evaluating customer pleasure and satisfaction with their vehicles, and as with the J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey (IQS), domestic truck manufacturers are finding themselves near the top of the heap. Unlike IQS, APEAL relies on how much customers enjoy driving their vehicles, taking into account available safety features, performance, design, and overall satisfaction.
Taking the APEAL crown in the midsize pickup market is the Chevrolet Colorado, followed closely by the GMC Canyon. Those pickups are available with features like forward-collision warning systems, which, according to the survey, are important to many owners. Other midsizers such as the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier were not ranked because their APEAL scores were below the non-premium brand average.
The Ford F-150 was the top-rated fullsize truck, thanks no doubt to its abundance of available active safety features, technologically advanced construction, and excellent performance. However, both the Ram 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 achieved APEAL scores higher than the industry average. The GMC Sierra HD was awarded the APEAL award in the heavy-duty truck category, followed by a Second-Place tie between the Chevrolet Silverado HD and Ford F-Series Super Duty.
Interestingly, the Chevrolet Silverado took the 1/2-ton cake in IQS, while the Ford Super Duty won that award for HD trucks, whereas APEAL came to the opposite result, giving Ford the nod for light-duty trucks and GM the award for larger pickups. The message we think that sends is you can’t go wrong, and if our memory serves from Pickup Truck of the Year 2015, we agree. All of our domestic fullsize trucks won fans, including the Ford F-350 King Ranch, GMC Sierra 2500HD All-Terrain, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country, Ram 2500 Power Wagon, and our winner, the Ford F-150.
The highest-ranked small SUV was the MINI Cooper Countryman, followed by the Volkswagen Tiguan and Buick Encore. The best compact SUV, according to APEAL, is the Mazda CX-5, beating out the GMC Terrain and Subaru Forester. The Nissan Murano topped the Toyota Highlander and Buick Enclave for the highest-ranked midsize SUV, while the best large SUV was (bizarrely) the updated Ford Expedition, taking honors over the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon.
The Audi Q3 was the highest-ranked small premium SUV, followed by the Range Rover Evoque and Mercedes-Benz GLA. The sporty Porsche Macan beat the BMW X4 and Audi Q5 for the compact premium SUV title. Porsche took top honors again for midsize premium SUV, with the BMW X5 placing Second and the X6 and Audi Q7 tying for Third. The Infiniti QX80 was awarded the large premium SUV title, with the Range Rover and Lincoln Navigator rounding out the podium (where’s the Escalade?).
Unfortunately, the APEAL survey took issue with Jeep as a brand, ranking the company near the bottom of the list. That’s a bit of a puzzler, as we had very few issues or complaints about our Grand Cherokee long-termer, and we know many Jeep owners are die-hard fans. We will acknowledge that Uconnect infotainment can sometimes be a bit finicky, and, as we learned yesterday, it’s even vulnerable to hacking (thank goodness for the software update, then).
Regardless, there’s lots of good news here. Owners find their vehicles more gratifying than ever before, with the overall APEAL score increasing four points year over year to 798/1000. A greater percentage of surveyed owners also had safety features like blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, backup-assist, and forward-collision warning systems on their vehicles, hopefully making the road a safer place for everyone.
Source: J.D. Power