Home / Auto News / News article: Top 5 Least Appealing Car Brands - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Jul 26 2014, 11:01 AM

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A big factor in selling cars is the power of the brand a model is tied to. With that in mind, these five brands must have a tough time moving units at their dealerships.

The 2014 J.D. Power U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study has been reveal, outlining the most appealing car brands. . . but also highlighting those that are the least appealing.

The industry benchmark for new-vehicle appeal, the APEAL study has vehicle owners evaluating their cars over 77 attributes, which combine into an overall APEAL score that is measured on a 1,000-point scale. As with all studies, there are winners and losers with 16 automakers scoring less than the industry average of 794. But for the sake of a fair comparison, eight non-premium automakers scored under the non-premium average of 785, and here are the top five least appealing car brands for 2014.

5: Scion (779 APEAL score)

A brand that has remained mostly stagnant except for the introduction of the FR-S sports car, Scion is the fifth least appealing car brand with a score of 779. The Japanese automaker’s current lineup consists of the iQ, xD, xB, tC and FR-S and while its goal is to attract younger buyers to eventually upgrade into the Toyota and Lexus brands, the lack of changes has caused Scion’s sales to continually decrease over the last few years.

SEE ALSO: 2013 Scion FR-S Review – Video

4: Fiat (768 APEAL score)

The recent J.D. Power Initial Quality Study pegged Fiat as the most troublesome automaker and by a wide margin. Those problems were reflected in this year’s APEAL study, helping make the Italian automaker the fourth least appealing car brand with a 768 APEAL score. Currently, Fiat shoppers can choose from the 500, 500L, 500c and the electric 500e, but with 206 problems per 100 vehicles, the Italian automaker isn’t even winning over its current owners.

SEE ALSO: 2014 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study Slams Fiat

3: Subaru (766 APEAL score)

While the brand has continued to increase its sales in North America, Subaru remains one of the least appealing brands in the U.S. with a score of 766. It has a variety of models available ranging from sporty coupes to crossovers and practical sedans. To help potentially increase its appeal in coming years, Subaru is focusing on a hybrids and electric vehicles to flesh out its lineup.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Ford Fiesta ST vs. Subaru BRZ

2: Jeep (762 APEAL score)

Perhaps one of the more surprising automakers to score so low on this year’s APEAL study is Jeep. Most recently, the American automaker introduced its compact Renegade model, that hopes to attract new and younger buyers to the brand. More troublesome though is that Chrysler is the latest automaker to be involved with an ignition switch recall, with various Jeep models being affected.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Review 

1: Mitsubishi (748 APEAL score)

While Jeep being one of the least appealing brands in America might be surprising to some, it might come as little shock that Mitsubishi is this year’s least appealing car brand. The Japanese automaker has struggled in the U.S. market but has slowly turned things around. Similar to Subaru, the company plans to focus its future development in electrified vehicles and perhaps going green will make it more appealing in the future.

Discuss this story at our Mitsubishi forum

  • http://www.davinp.com/ Davin Peterson

    I’m not suprised about FIAT, which used to stand for Fix It Again Tony. Chrysler cars are not reliable either.

  • smartacus

    J. D. Power is correct Scion, Subaru, and Mitsubishi are the least appealing car brands.
    Oh my Lord! Even the smart car brand is more appealing and they only have one model!
    Even GM is more appealing. I’m surprised Toyota, Lexus, and Acura are not on the list.

  • William Scott Hutton

    Subaru? These must be national results. Subarus are all over Seattle!

  • Noah

    I personally would add Smart

  • Noah

    If Toyota was one of the least appealing brands, then why do sooo many people buy them? (don’t say because they’re inexpensive- because if you go there then why not buy a Scion or Fiat?)

  • smartacus

    If GM has some of the least appealing brands, then why do sooo many people buy them? (don’t say they’re inexpensive- because if you go there then why not buy a Scion or Fiat if they are all least appealing?) According to J. D. Power (2014), Porsche and Jaguar have the highest APEAL, Lexus (2013) was not in the top 4 across 77 attributes, and Acura is Acura, it couldn’t go both ways. All 3 (Toyota, Lexus, Acura) are fairly reliable…but after 3 years Buick, Cadillac, and Mercedes Benz are just as reliable and in fact almost the MOST reliable (Initial Quality is another story, Toyota, Lexus, Acura only had one winning model; Lexus ES, the rest are all Hyundais, Porsches, GM’s, Mazdas).

  • Richard Joash Tan

    for me, Subaru IS the most appealing brand IN THE WORLD!

  • Felix James

    But not for everyone.

  • Felix James

    LOL. They should be numbers 1 through 5.

  • Jamal

    True Any JD Power or Consumer reports reliability study just doesn’t follow the cars for enough years. I want to know about 5 year reliabilty. Or 8 year…?

  • http://everything.blog.jp/ Hajime Kishi

    All five least appealing brands concentrate on cheap cars! What a coincidence!

  • Hans

    Mitsubishi is not long for this world.

  • Shiratori90

    What an idiot…….

  • Joe Bob

    Of course they are national results. This is obvious.

  • Chris W

    And you say Chrysler is not reliable how? In your opinion ? Did you ever own one? I have been buying Dodge and Jeep vehicles for years and not 1 problem with any of them. I had 1 Ford in between all of these Dodge products and it was the biggest pos car I ever owned.

  • Eric Cameron

    Here in Toronto I see a ton of Jeep products. Fiat looks like it’s doing quite well here, due to it being densely populated area. Mitsubishi is virtually non-existent, aside from the existing Lancers. Scion has also sold quite a few FR-S’s here as well. Other than that, I agree with these 5.

  • smartacus

    You can’t even get a job giving free blowjobs to dolphins at SeaWorld ;)

  • Richard Joash Tan

    but they ARE for everyone

  • Shiratori90

    You are a moron who twists facts in order his own biases and partisanship. Turn off your computer and go to bed before your mom yells at and grounds you again.

  • Shiratori90

    Yeah, because the grand cherokee has been soo reliable……..

  • smartacus

    Don’t mind him, he is a eunuch

  • smartacus

    Your own eyes are twisting the truth. Look here, another day and yet another Toyota recall
    http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2014/07/toyota-camry-hybrid-target-recall-demand.html

  • DoctorNickRiviera

    Seriously? Toyota, Honda, and Acura have probably the worst styling of any manufacturer. Technology? Let’s be honest, Hyundai/Kia beat them to the punch on that most of the time. Also, let’s be honest, American Consumers are idiots if they think Toyota is “appealing” and “reliable.”

  • DoctorNickRiviera

    I’d like to see where Subaru ranks when talking about states with snowy weather.

  • caladan59

    Jeep and Subaru? Really? Who are the morons who took this “study?”

  • Guest

    Tell me again about Acura and the worst styling of any automaker

    In all honesty, they’ve come a long way from things like the recent TSX, and ZDX

  • Noah

    Please, tell me again about Acura and the worst styling of any automaker

    In all honesty, they’ve come a long way from things like the recent TSX, and ZDX

  • DoctorNickRiviera

    They simply do. Bad design isn’t something you can explain – it just is. And, when I say that, remember you’re talking to a graphic designer.

  • Shiratori90

    Your precious GM has had 30+ million cars recalled, and the year isn’t even over yet.

    You’re grasping at straws, troll…..

  • Shiratori90

    That’s what you do (and you do it for free).

  • Shiratori90

    What an idiot…….

  • smartacus

    You pay to do it

  • smartacus

    You’re an idiot

  • smartacus

    I have facts, you have your delusions (which are just as good as facts)

  • Shiratori90

    Except you don’t.

  • smartacus

    I do have the facts, but you just say no . You lost

  • Shiratori90

    Your facts are fallacies within that mom-fucking head of yours.

  • smartacus

    Then prove that Luke Vandezande and Jason Siu’s facts are fallacies.