The results of J.D. Power’s latest Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study have been revealed and the most interesting findings are at the bottom of the list.
The APEAL study takes responses gathered between February and May 2015 from over 84,000 new owners of 2015 model-year vehicles. The surveys occurred after just 90 days of ownership.
Owners evaluate their vehicle across 77 attributes, which combine into an overall APEAL Index score that is measured on a 1,000-point scale. This year, the overall APEAL Score increased to 798/1,000. J.D. Power suggests that features like blind-spot monitoring and other safety systems have helped some brands climb through the APEAL rankings, but how does that explain the brands that ended up at the bottom?
See Also: Is J.D. Power IQS a Bunch of BS?
Interestingly, huge carmakers with huge global sales like Toyota and Honda are found in the bottom 10 brands in the rankings, so popularity and APEAL don’t go hand-in-hand. In the past, we’ve always been told that these Japanese brands are known for reliability and excellent quality especially in terms of fit and finish, but this study seems to indicate otherwise. In fact, half of the bottom 10 are Japanese brands.
Here’s the list of the 10 least appealing cars brands of 2015, according to J.D. Power:
10. Dodge – 795
Dodge starts the list off with an APEAL score of 795 out of 1,000. The company is known for its affordable cars, but has flubbed a few new cars like the Dodge Dart, which is heavy, inefficient and not very spacious when compared to its competition. Interestingly, the study found the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger as the best vehicles in their respective classes.
9. Chrysler – 788
Chrysler comes in the No. 9 least appealing spot, ranking in with a score of 788, making it slightly worse than Dodge.
8. Subaru – 788
It’s strange to see Subaru sitting at the No. 8 spot of least appealing cars. Every car it sells features all-wheel drive, and 2015 models are offering features like adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning. Its APEAL score is also 788.
7. Honda – 768
Honda is apparently a less appealing brand than Subaru and Chrysler, scoring 768/1,000. New this year is the HR-V subcompact crossover, which is based on the Fit and poised to take on the Mazda CX-3 and Jeep Renegade. Honda’s place on this list is interesting, especially when you consider how popular the Civic and CR-V are.
6. Nissan – 786
Nissan has been releasing a steady stream of new vehicles, but that’s not saving the company from tanking in the APEAL study. The new Maxima sedan and Murano crossover are just hitting dealerships now and have a focus on luxury. Maybe they will help the brand perform better next year.
5. Toyota – 781
The big T sits five spots from rock-bottom, thanks to an APEAL score of 781.
4. Jeep – 763
Another nameplate from the Fiat-Chrysler Alliance (FCA), Jeep isn’t faring so well in the APEAL study, scoring 763/1,000.
3. Mitsubishi – 755
Surprise! Another Japanese automaker is on the non-appealing cars list. It’s not like Mitsubishi is pumping out amazing vehicles though. The latest new cars from the company include the extremely affordable and bare bones Mitusbishi Mirage and the recently facelifted Outlander.
2. Fiat – 749
Fiat’s been slowly increasing its offering of vehicles, with the more family friendly 500L and 500X hitting the market this year. Sadly, that’s not helping its ranking with owners. The company scored just 749 out of 1,000.
1. smart – 683
Lastly, sitting in the last spot of the APEAL rankings is smart. The automaker known for the small city cars doesn’t have a very diverse lineup, and they’re not very luxurious. A new model is on the way with better transmissions, and more features, so maybe that will help smart climb the rankings for next year.