Growing Usage of Safety Technologies in New Vehicles Contributes to Increasing Vehicle Appeal

Porsche Ranks Highest in APEAL for an 11th Consecutive Year;

Chevrolet, Ford and Porsche Each Receive Three Segment-Level Awards

Jul 22, 2015, 10:00 ET from J.D. Power

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., July 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The safety-related technologies that manufacturers are increasingly equipping their new vehicles with are making those vehicles more appealing to their owners, according to the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) StudySM released today.

The APEAL Study, now in its 20th year, is the industry benchmark for new-vehicle appeal, examining how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive. Owners evaluate their vehicle across 77 attributes, which combine into an overall APEAL Index score that is measured on a 1,000-point scale. The overall APEAL score has increased by 4 points year over year to 798 in 2015.

The study finds that some safety features can contribute to a significant boost in APEAL scores. For example, the overall score among owners of vehicles with blind-spot monitoring and warning systems is 38 points higher than among those without them.

"Unlike other technologies, such as voice recognition, that can be challenging to operate, most safety features provide information in a more intuitive way, giving owners a greater sense of security," said Renee Stephens, vice president of U.S. automotive quality at J.D. Power. "Not only are models increasingly offering systems that improve safety and visibility, but owners are also using them on a regular basis. This can go a long way toward generating positive feelings about their vehicle overall."

  • The study finds that 36 percent of owners have blind-spot monitoring and warning systems in their vehicle (up 7 percentage points from 2014); 21 percent have lane-departure warning systems (up 5 percentage points); 46 percent have park assist/backup warning (up 4 percentage points); and 25 percent have collision avoidance/alert systems (up 4 percentage points).
  • Furthermore, 69 percent of owners who have blind-spot warning systems and 62 percent with park assist systems indicate they use them every time they drive.
  • Only 15 percent of owners say they have had previous experience with blind-spot warning systems, and only 39 percent say their dealer explained the feature to them upon vehicle delivery.
  • According to the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Tech Choice Study,SM consumers are willing to spend substantially more on vehicles that include certain safety features. For example, respondents in that study indicate a willingness to pay a market price of $750, on average, for blind-spot detection and prevention systems.

APEAL Gap Narrows between Premium and Non-Premium Brands
While premium brands historically perform significantly higher than non-premium brands in the APEAL Index, study findings show that the gap between the two in 2015 is the smallest it's been in the past 10 years, narrowing by 16 percent since 2006. The average APEAL Index score in the non-premium segment (790) has improved by 5 points from 2014, while the average score in the premium segment (841) has improved by only 1 point.

"Over the past several years, we have seen non-premium brands increasingly offer the types of in-vehicle technologies that used to be available only to premium buyers," said Stephens. "The positive impact these technologies have on owners is more pronounced among non-premium owners. In fact, owners of non-premium vehicles that include the latest technology1 register higher APEAL scores by 50 points, compared with just a 29-point increase among owners of premium vehicles with the same technologies."

Highest-Ranked Nameplates and Models
Porsche ranks highest in APEAL for an 11th consecutive year, with a score of 874 index points. Porsche is followed in the rankings by Jaguar (855), BMW (854), Mercedes-Benz (853) and Audi (852). MINI is the highest-ranking non-premium brand in the study with a score of 825.

The following brands receive multiple model-level APEAL awards:
Chevrolet (three): Colorado, Corvette and Sonic
Ford (three): C-Max, Expedition and F-150
Porsche (three): Cayenne, Cayman and Macan
Audi (two): A3 and Q3
BMW (two): 4 Series and 6 Series
Dodge (two): Challenger and Charger
Mazda (two): CX-5 and MAZDA6
MINI (two): Cooper and Countryman

Other models receiving awards are Fiat 500; GMC Sierra HD; Infiniti QX80; Kia Sedona; Mercedes-Benz S-Class; Nissan Murano; and Volkswagen Golf.

2015 APEAL Nameplate Index Ranking
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

Porsche

874

Jaguar

855

BMW

854

Mercedes-Benz

853

Audi

852

Land Rover

843

Lincoln

842

Cadillac

838

Infiniti

835

Lexus

831

MINI

825

Volvo

825

Acura

810

Hyundai

809

Volkswagen

806

GMC

804

Ram

803

Buick

801

Ford

798

Kia

798

Industry Average

798

Chevrolet

797

Mazda

796

Scion

796

Dodge

795

Chrysler

788

Subaru

788

Honda

786

Nissan

786

Toyota

781

Jeep

763

Mitsubishi

755

Fiat

749

smart

683



Premium Average

841

Non-Premium Average

790

Top Three Models per Segment

City Car*
Highest Ranked: Fiat 500

Small Car
Highest Ranked: Chevrolet Sonic
Kia Rio
Ford Fiesta

Small Premium Car
Highest Ranked: Audi A3
BMW 2 Series
Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

Compact Car
Highest Ranked: Volkswagen Golf
Subaru WRX
Volkswagen Beetle

Compact Sporty Car*
Highest Ranked: MINI Cooper
Compact Premium Car
Highest Ranked: BMW 4 Series
Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Lexus RC

Compact Premium Sporty Car*
Highest Ranked: Porsche Cayman
Porsche Boxster

Midsize Car
Highest Ranked: Mazda MAZDA6
Hyundai Sonata (tie)
Nissan Altima (tie)

Midsize Sporty Car*
Highest Ranked: Dodge Challenger
Ford Mustang

Midsize Premium Car
Highest Ranked: BMW 6 Series
Audi A7
Infiniti Q70

Midsize Premium Sporty Car*
Highest Ranked: Chevrolet Corvette
Porsche 911

Large Car
Highest Ranked: Dodge Charger
Chevrolet Impala
Chrysler 300 (tie)
Toyota Avalon (tie)

Large Premium Car*
Highest Ranked: Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Small SUV
Highest Ranked: MINI Countryman
Volkswagen Tiguan
Buick Encore

Small Premium SUV
Highest Ranked: Audi Q3
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

Compact SUV
Highest Ranked: Mazda CX-5
GMC Terrain
Subaru Forester

Compact Premium SUV
Highest Ranked: Porsche Macan
BMW X4
Audi Q5

Compact MPV*
Highest Ranked: Ford C-Max
Kia Soul

Midsize SUV
Highest Ranked: Nissan Murano
Toyota Highlander
Buick Enclave

Midsize Premium SUV
Highest Ranked: Porsche Cayenne
BMW X5
Audi Q7 (tie)
BMW X6 (tie)

Midsize Pickup*
Highest Ranked: Chevrolet Colorado
GMC Canyon

Minivan
Highest Ranked: Kia Sedona
Honda Odyssey
Toyota Sienna

Large SUV
Highest Ranked: Ford Expedition
Chevrolet Tahoe
GMC Yukon

Large Premium SUV
Highest Ranked: Infiniti QX80
Land Rover Range Rover
Lincoln Navigator

Large Light Duty Pickup
Highest Ranked: Ford F-150
Ram 1500 LD
GMC Sierra LD

Large Heavy Duty Pickup
Highest Ranked: GMC Sierra HD
Chevrolet Silverado HD (tie)
Ford Super Duty (tie)

* No other model in this segment performs above segment average.

The APEAL Study is used extensively by manufacturers worldwide to help them design and develop more appealing vehicles and by consumers to help them in their purchase decisions. It complements the J.D. Power Initial Quality StudySM (IQS), which focuses on problems experienced by owners during the first 90 days of ownership. The 2015 U.S. APEAL Study is based on responses gathered between February and May 2015 from more than 84,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2015 model-year cars and light trucks who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership.

Find detailed information on vehicle quality, as well as model photos and specs, at www.jdpower.com/performance

Media Relations Contacts
John Tews; J.D. Power; Troy, Mich.; 248-680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules www.jdpower.com/about-us/press-release-info 
About McGraw Hill Financial www.mhfi.com

1 Vehicles equipped with blind-spot monitoring/warning system, navigation system, and park assist/backup warning

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SOURCE J.D. Power



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