Honda Models Dominates Apeal Study

By: Kaye Leery

The top model segments of the recent 2007 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study conducted by J.D. Power and Associates was dominated by Honda models. Four vehicle models from the Japanese automaker ranked as the highest in their respective categories including the Honda Fit (Sub-Compact Car, tied with Toyota Yaris equipped with , Honda CR-V (Truck / Multi-Activity Vehicle (MAV) Segments), Honda Ridgeline (Midsize Pickup), and the Honda Odyssey for the Van segment. In addition, the 2007 Honda Civic also earned an award, ranked 3rd in the Compact Car segment.

The 2007 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study is based on the survey results conducted by J.D. Power staff. The staff surveyed customers who purchased or leased 2007 model year vehicles and asked their assessment for the vehicle during the 90 days of ownership.

According to Neal Oddes, director of product research and analysis at J.D. Power and Associates:
"Vehicle models with strong customer appeal tend to be in higher demand, which diminishes the need for dealers to incentivize to boost sales. Offering larger incentives decreases the profitability of vehicles, so it's important for manufacturers to incorporate those 'must-have' features and design elements that will entice buyers, which also reduces the need for large customer cash rebates."

Oddes added: "Whether due to fresh designs or innovative features, APEAL scores tend to be highest for models when they are first introduced. It's essential for manufacturers to get new-vehicle launches right, since vehicles with high appeal scores generally command a higher gross profit and sell more quickly. Two of the redesigned models -- the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (in a tie) and Honda CR-V -- also earned awards in the 2007 Initial Quality Study, and are examples of how manufacturers can learn from preceding models to improve in both initial quality and appeal."

Meanwhile, here is the complete list of the Top Three Models per Segment in the 2007 APEAL Study.

Sub-Compact Car
Highest Ranked: Honda Fit (Tie), Toyota Yaris (Tie)
Nissan Versa

Compact Car
Highest Ranked: Volkswagen Jetta
Volkswagen Rabbit
Honda Civic

Compact Sporty Car
Highest Ranked: Volkswagen GTI
Scion tC
Volkswagen Eos

Compact Premium Sporty Car
Highest Ranked: Porsche Cayman
Porsche Boxster
Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class

Entry Premium Car
Highest Ranked: BMW 3 Series
Lexus IS 250/IS 350
Acura TL (Tie)
Audi A4 (Tie)

Midsize Premium Car
Highest Ranked: Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Lexus GS 350/GS 430/GS 450h
BMW 5 Series

Large Premium Car
Highest Ranked: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
BMW 7 Series
Lexus LS 460

Premium Sporty Car
Highest Ranked: BMW 6 Series
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
Chevrolet Corvette

Midsize Sporty Car
Highest Ranked: Ford Mustang
Mitsubishi Eclipse
Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Midsize Car
Highest Ranked: Nissan Altima Sedan
Volkswagen Passat
Saturn AURA

Large Car
Highest Ranked: Hyundai Azera
Toyota Avalon
Dodge Charger

Truck / Multi-Activity Vehicle (MAV) Segments
Compact MAV
Highest Ranked: Honda CR-V
Mazda CX-7
Toyota FJ Cruiser

Midsize MAV
Highest Ranked: Ford Edge
Saturn Outlook
GMC Acadia

Large MAV
Highest Ranked: Nissan Armada
Chevrolet Tahoe
Chevrolet Suburban

Midsize Premium MAV
Highest Ranked: BMW X5
Audi Q7 (Tie)
Mercedes-Benz M-Class (Tie)

Large Premium MAV
Highest Ranked: Cadillac Escalade EXT (Tie), Mercedes-Benz GL-Class (Tie)
Lincoln Navigator

Large Pickup
Highest Ranked: GMC Sierra LD
Chevrolet Avalanche
Chevrolet Silverado LD

Midsize Pickup
Highest Ranked: Honda Ridgeline
Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Toyota Tacoma

Highest Ranked: Honda Odyssey
Kia Sedona
Hyundai Entourage

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