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September 16, 2021

Dodge, RAM Owners Most Emotionally Attached To Their Cars

Fresh from being ranked number one in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study or IQS, Dodge and RAM have now taken the top two spots when it comes to the Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study for 2021.

A complement to the J.D. Power IQS and the J.D. Power Power Tech Experience Index (TXI), the J.D. Power APEAL Study measures owners’ emotional attachment and level of excitement with their new vehicle in the United States. The APEAL Study asks owners to consider 37 attributes, ranging from the sense of comfort they feel when climbing into the driver’s seat to the exhilaration they get when they step on the accelerator. Vehicle owners’ responses to queries about these attributes are aggregated to compute an overall APEAL index score measured on a 1,000-point scale.

The 2021 U.S. APEAL Study is based on responses from 110,827 owners of new 2021 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study was fielded from February through July 2021.

As mentioned, Dodge is the top-ranking mass-market brand when it comes to APEAL with a score of 882. It equals the top-ranked premium brand, Porsche. This shows that mass market brands have closed the gap to premium brands. In fact, overall, the gap is just 19 points from 23 points a year ago (845 for mass market, 864 for premium brands).

Unofficially though, Tesla is the highest-ranked automaker with an APEAL index score of 893. The automaker is not officially ranked among other brands in the study as it doesn’t meet ranking criteria. Unlike other manufacturers, Tesla doesn’t grant J.D. Power permission to survey its owners in 15 states where it is required. However, Tesla’s score was calculated based on a sample of surveys from owners in the other 35 states.

Elsewhere, Toyota is the biggest gainer in the mass market rankings, placing five rank positions higher than in 2020. Genesis gains the most in the premium brand rankings, up four places year over year. Nissan is the biggest gainer in terms of index points, improving 22 from a year ago.

The parent company receiving the most model-level awards (given to models ranking highest in their respective segment) is General Motors Co. (five awards), followed by BMW AG with four awards. Hyundai Motor Group and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. each receive three awards.

In terms of specific models, seven models provide both the highest level of emotional appeal and initial product quality, according to analysis of the 2021 APEAL and IQS studies. The models that receive both APEAL segment awards and awards in the 2021 IQS are: BMW X4, BMW X6, BMW X7, Cadillac CT5, Chevrolet Corvette, Genesis G80, Kia Telluride, and Nissan Maxima. The Maxima also is the highest-scoring model in both studies, a remarkable achievement and the first time ever for a mass market model.

The complete list of winners are:
  • General Motors Company: Cadillac CT5, Chevrolet Blazer, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Tahoe, and GMC Sierra HD
  • BMW AG: BMW 4 Series, BMW X4, BMW X6, and BMW X7
  • Hyundai Motor Group: Genesis G80, Kia K5, and Kia Telluride
  • Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.: Nissan Maxima, Nissan Sentra, and Nissan Versa
  • Ford Motor Company: Ford Bronco Sport and Ford Mustang Mach-E
  • Daimler AG: Mercedes-Benz CLA
  • Honda Motor Company: Honda Ridgeline
  • Jaguar Land Rover Limited: Land Rover Defender
  • Stellantis NV: Ram 1500
  • Toyota Motor Corporation: Toyota Sienna
  • Volvo Motor Corporation: Volvo XC40

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