British brand Mini and Japan’s Subaru and Scion had the largest gains in J.D. Power’s 2015 edition of the study that covers new vehicle appeal – though Porsche topped all other brands for the eleventh straight year.
Naturally, the top ranks of the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study were dominated by premium brands. Porsche finished first, followed by Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. Mini was the best scoring non-luxury brand thanks to a strong Cooper model, taking two segment crowns with the Cooper and Countryman and jumping five places in the overall ranking to the eleventh place. The score – 825 out of a maximum 1,000, was an industry-beating 30-point jump from the figure last year. As usual, new, troublesome technologies were annoying for consumers, but surprisingly, safety systems such as blind-spot monitoring were exactly on the opposite side of the fence, elevating the appeal of the vehicles. “The safety features and the weight they had on the overall index was a surprise … For me, that was very telling,” said Renee Stephens, vice president of U.S. automotive quality at J.D. Power.
Subaru, which jumped 22 points to nail the 25th position overall and Scion with an improvement of 17 points followed Mini on the chart of the best evolvers. When it comes to the overall ranking of non-premium brands, Mini was followed by Hyundai (the leader in the segment last year) and Germany’s Volkswagen. GMC and Ram were the other entries in the top five non-luxury brands ranking.
Via Automotive News