Porsche is far and above the most “APEAL”-ing brand when it comes to American auto buyers, but the all-new Hyundai Equus, the Korean maker’s first premium luxury sedan, was far and away the highest-rated individual model in the latest annual APEAL study by J.D. Power and Associates.
Short for Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout, the APEAL Study takes a very different look at the automotive market compared to traditional defect-based surveys, such as Power’s Initial Quality Study, or IQS. It looks at what might be called “things-gone-right,” the surprise-and-delight features that might make one model a standout even when compared to a product with a lower overall things-gone-wrong quality rating.
By that measure, the 2011 models are more appealing, in fact reaching a historic high for the study, which was first conducted in 1996. On a 1,000-point scale, the average 2011 model scored 781, up from 778 last year. Significantly, the industry seems to be figuring out what it takes to make their products more enticing, as demonstrated by the class of 2011. All-new 2011 models, on average, scored 29 points higher than holdover products – the biggest gap since the APEAL survey was launched.