This year’s J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout Study (APEAL) are out and some people might be shocked by the results. This year, BMW came in first in terms of APEAL award winning cars but what might shock you is that BMW was tied with Dodge who also had three cars win awards. The winning BMW’s were the Z4, 5 Series, and X3 while Dodge’s winning trio was the Challenger, Charger, and Durango. Despite winning only one award for the Cayenne, Porsche received the highest overall ratings of any brand in the APEAL Study. In the end, American manufacturers did slightly worse than the competition as they only brought home six awards out of twenty categories, while European and Asian manufacturers brought in seven awards each.
In regards to scoring for the awards, the cars were judged with a score ranking from 0-1,000 points. The scores are determined from owner evaluations on over 90 vehicle attributes which can be grouped into 10 categories. Those categories are fuel economy, vehicle interior, seats, audio/entertainment/navigation, engine, HVAC, storage, visibility, driving experience, and vehicle exterior.
Overall, the ratings on these scores have, for the most part, increased. Vehicle Exterior, Interior, and Seats have improved the most with an increase of six points compared to the 2010 models. Fuel economy surprisingly is the only one that decreased by an astounding 17 points. This is most likely attributed to rising gas costs as gas is approximately 30% more expensive than in the previous year. Combined though, the average car scored three points higher than last year for a cumulative score of 781 out of 1,000 showing a promising trend in increased car quality.
For more information on which vehicles earned top spots in the survey check out J.D. Power's article.
Check back tomorrow for our next installment of Winner or Dinner: The Best and Worst Vehicles for Surviving the Zombie Apocolypse.