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J.D. Power Reveals Which Cars Are Most APEAL-ing

JD Power APEAL Award

American auto buyers are continuing to downsize their vehicle purchases, but are totally okay with the result. So says the just-released J.D. Power and Associates annual APEAL Study. The somewhat forced acronym stands for Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout, and it measures the responses from consumers after 90 days of ownership on over 80 factors involving driving performance, interior comfort and convenience, and styling.

What they found is that consumer satisfaction with smaller cars is on par with the satisfaction levels of larger vehicles just four years ago. For instance, the APEAL score for compacts and subcompacts in this year’s study is 765 (out of 1000). This matches the score of midsized vehicles in 2008. This makes sense; carmakers have taken great strides in making smaller cars more upscale.

J.D. Power also named the most APEAL-ing vehicles in each class, as well as a ranking of all the brands.

This is by no means a sales award; many of these vehicles aren’t amongst the top sellers in their class, but it does measure the satisfaction level of the people that bought them. “Gratifying” is the word J.D. Power uses. Even though they’re not the best sellers, these results may open your eyes to a vehicle you had not been considering.

Chevy had the most vehicles winning their category with the Volt, Sonic, and oddly, the soon-to-be-discontinued Avalanche. Seven other brands had two vehicles at the top of their class. Check out the full list here.

For the brand awards, it’s no surprise to see the luxury makes topping the list, with Porsche, Jaguar and BMW in the top slots. Trailing the pack are three brands that have failed to gain much traction in the U.S. marketplace: Mitsubishi, smart, and Suzuki.

If the J.D. Power APEAL Study has you thinking twice about your choice for your next auto purchase, use AutoBuying101.com’s research tools to help you make your decision.