Dodge first domestic brand to lead class in IQS and APEAL
Tesla tops overall. With an asterisk
At the top of the J.D. Power APEAL study this year are a couple of surprises. Tesla had a score higher than any other brand, while Dodge topped the mass market brand group making it the first domestic automaker to win that category in the APEAL and Initial Quality Study in the same year.
The APEAL study, short for Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout, rates the owner’s “emotional attachment to their new vehicle,” and measures where it might not be delivering a positive experience. It’s more about warm fuzzies a car gives you than how long it might stay trouble free, but those fuzzies are still important.
Topping the charts overall is Porsche, leading the luxury segment with a score of 881. Lincoln was second at 876, trailed closely by Cadillac, BMW, and Land Rover.
Tesla was included in the study for the first time this year, and their score of 896 was well ahead of Porsche’s. So why doesn’t it win the Premium class? “Unlike other manufacturers, Tesla doesn’t grant us permission to survey its owners in 15 states where it is required,” said Doug Betts, president of the automotive division at J.D. Power. Because it’s an incomplete score, it’s not on the official rankings. Tesla is similarly not technically included in the IQS study, either, but the calculated score in that one put it firmly at the bottom of brand rankings.
Dodge topped the list of mass market brands at 872, just ahead of Fiat Chrysler stablemates Ram with 871. GMC, Ford, and Mini followed with scores of 857, 853, and 846 respectively. Surprisingly, also on the FCA dealer lots, Jeep was last with 822 and Chrysler was just two spots ahead.
The difference between luxury brands and regular brand APEAL was closer than ever this year, with just a 23-point gap between the averages of the two segments. The top-ranked individual vehicle was the BMW X6 with Hyundai (and Genesis) getting five individual model awards, BMW and Nissan getting four each.