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Buyers Question Value of Trouble-Prone Tech Features

New JD Power APEAL study finds buyers, on whole, less satisfied with latest vehicles.

by on Jul.23, 2014

Porsche dominates APEAL with products like the 911.

Automakers are intent on entering the connected world, loading their latest vehicles up with high-tech features such as 4G WiFi hotspots, voice-operated navigation, and even infotainment systems that can read out Facebook posts. But while these may appeal to young, tech-savvy shoppers, other buyers question the benefits, according to a new report by J.D. Power and Associates.

The quality consultancy’s latest APEAL study finds that, on the whole, car buyers are slightly less pleased with the new cars, trucks and crossovers they are being offered this year. But the survey of recent buyers did find gains in owner satisfaction when it comes to improvements in vehicle fuel economy. Buyers are much more ambiguous about high-tech additions to their new vehicles.

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Porsche was the highest-ranked brand in the latest study, while Hyundai delivered a surprise by landing the top spot among mainstream brands.

“Manufacturers often look to new features and technologies to keep their vehicles fresh and attractive, but designing systems that consumers find intuitive and easy to use has been a challenge,” said Power Vice President Renee Stephens.


Domestic Brands Dominate in New Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

Lincoln named top premium brand, though Mercedes S-Class still top car.

by on May.19, 2011

Caddy's big Escalade is named the most satisfying truck model in the 2011 VSA.

Long written off by much of the American public, Detroit’s Big Three automakers have been gaining sales and market share in recent months, in part due to the accolades the makers are receiving for their newest products.  So, the results of the 2011 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards will likely contribute to that momentum.

Domestic brands dominated the annual study by California-based research firm AutoPacific, Inc. which looks to find which vehicles do the best job of pleasing their owners.

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The study found that two brands often described as “struggling” actually led the list: Lincoln being named the Top Premium Brand, Chrysler ranked Top Popular Brand by the motorists who participated in the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards, or VSA.

Ford Motor Co. captured seven awards overall, the most of any maker in individual product segments.  The Cadillac Escalade, meanwhile, was the overall highest-ranked light truck model in the 2011 study, though an import, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, did top the list when it came to most satisfying passenger car.