Dodge ties Porsche as most appealing brand
The folks at Dodge must know what their customers like.
The Stellantis brand that makes its living off heavy horsepower Hemis led all mass market brands and tied with Porsche overall in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study being released Wednesday. The annual APEAL study is essentially a measure of brand appeal, ranking the brands on a 1,000-point scale.
This marked the second year Dodge, with a score of 882, topped the mass market category. Dodge's sibling, Ram, grabbed the No. 2 mass market spot, followed by Nissan, GMC and Ford. Among premium brands, Genesis, Land Rover, Lincoln and BMW followed Porsche.
General Motors had the most vehicle segment-level awards with five. The other members of the Detroit Three, Stellantis and Ford, won one and two vehicle segments, respectively. The Nissan Maxima was the top overall model.
Although it took the top mass market spot with Dodge, Stellantis, which formed this year from the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Peugeot maker PSA Group, also held the lowest spot with its Chrysler brand, signaling the work that Christine Feuell, a former Honeywell and Ford executive, has ahead of her as she takes the helm as the newly appointed Chrysler brand CEO.
The other mass market brands at the bottom were Mitsubishi, Buick, Jeep and Volkswagen. The five lowest-scoring premium brands were Infiniti, Acura, Audi, Jaguar and Alfa Romeo. Both Jeep and Alfa Romeo are Stellantis brands.
The J.D. Power study is based on responses from 110,827 owners of new 2021 model year vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership, according to a news release.
The study, according to the release, asked owners to consider 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."
A fresh look can make a big difference.
New or redesigned models, such as the BMW 4 Series, Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Bronco Sport, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Genesis G80, Kia K5 and Toyota Sienna "achieved segment-topping performances in appeal," the release said.
"One of the biggest factors driving the industry's improvement this year is the introduction of several highly appealing new models," David Amodeo, director of global automotive at J.D. Power, said in the release. "The APEAL Study measures owners' emotional attachment to their new vehicle, and the product launches that took place this model year have done a really good job. Some are all-new and some are redesigns, but the new launches demonstrate that automakers are getting even better at hitting buyers' emotional triggers."
One notable absence from the official rankings is Tesla. The automaker is not officially ranked because, unlike others, it doesn't give J.D. Power permission to survey the electric vehicle company's customers in states that require it. However, J.D. Power provided a score based on a survey of Tesla customers in other states that would have given it the top ranking at 893.
According to J.D. Power, here are the automotive companies and the models that topped the various segments in its study this year, ranging from small cars to large heavy duty pickups:
—General Motors — Cadillac CT5, Chevrolet Blazer, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Sierra HD
—BMW — BMW 4 Series, BMW X4, BMW X6, and BMW X7
—Hyundai Motor Group — Genesis G80, Kia K5, and Kia Telluride
—Nissan — Nissan Maxima, Nissan Sentra, and Nissan Versa
—Ford — Ford Bronco Sport and Ford Mustang Mach-E
—Daimler — Mercedes-Benz CLA
—Honda — Honda Ridgeline
—Jaguar Land Rover Limited — Land Rover Defender
—Stellantis — Ram 1500
—Toyota — Toyota Sienna
—Volvo — Volvo XC40