Premium Brands Earn Higher APEAL Scores; Land Rover Range Rover Ranks Highest

David Amodeo

David Amodeo

A new feature of our redesigned 2013 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study is the division and ranking of APEAL performance into two major categories: Premium and Non-Premium Brands.

At the industry level, the APEAL score averages 795 points on a 1,000-point scale. With our change in segment designations, the Premium segment average is 844 points and the Non-Premium segment average is 786.

As it has for the past nine years, Porsche leads all brands in the nameplate rankings and earns a score of 884 points, which also means it ranks highest in the Premium category. Rounding out the top five premium brands are, respectively: Audi (857); BMW (854); and Land Rover (853), followed by Lexus and Mercedes-Benz in a tie (847). The highest-ranking domestic premium brand in the study is Cadillac at No. 7.

In the Non-Premium segment, for the first time, Chrysler Group’s Ram nameplate is the most appealing brand with a score of 817. Ram is followed by Volkswagen (809); MINI (801); Buick (800) and Kia (797) in the Non-Premium category. All of these mass-market brands receive scores that are above the industry average of 795 points. Continue reading ›

Smartphone App Use Challenges Satisfaction with Factory-Installed Navigation Systems

Mike VanNieuwkuyk

Mike VanNieuwkuyk

Nearly one-half (47%) of owners of new vehicles with factory-installed navigation systems indicate they use a downloaded app on their smartphone to receive driving directions in their vehicle, which is up from 37% in 2011, according to our 2012 U.S. Navigation Usage and Satisfaction Study.

We also find that 46% of the 20,704 respondents, who purchased or leased a new 2012 model-year vehicle with a factory-installed system, say they “definitely would not” or “probably would not” buy another factory-installed navigation system if their smartphone navigation could be displayed on a central screen in their vehicle.

Factory-Installed Nav Systems: Better than Previous Systems but Frustrate Owners

Even though new-vehicle owners say their current factory navigation system is better than their previous system, they are frustrated by complex menu systems and voice control commands, and they indicate having difficulty inputting destinations. For these reasons, among others, this year’s industry average satisfaction with factory-installed navigation systems declines to 681 points (on a 1,000-point scale)—a drop of 13 points from 694 in 2011. Continue reading ›