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Porsche tops list while U.S. automakers show most improvement
Each year J.D. Power & Associates does a study that examines the most appealing cars to consumers and this year there is one big surprise. The Hyundai Genesis sedan topped the BMW 5 Series and Jaguar XF in the mid-sized luxury segment for the 2009 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.
The APEAL Study is based off of owner evaluations of over 80,900 new car consumers from February to May 2009 and takes into account over 90 factors and generally evaluates how those buyers or leasers feel about their car new car.
Other winners include the VW Passat in the Mid-sized car segment, the Nissan Maxima in the Large Car segment, the Honda Odyssey in the Minivan Segment, a tie between the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Avalanche in the Pickup Truck segment and the Smart fortwo in the Sub-compact Car segment. And on that note, we urge you to take the list with a grain of salt, as the Smart beat out cars like the Honda Fit.
In terms of manufacturers, Porsche topped the list for the fifth consecutive year, while domestic brands like Dodge, Pontiac, Buick and Cadillac showed the most improvement. As a manufacturer Cadillac placed third overall.
Overall, scores for 2009 improved over 2008, due mostly to improvements in the fuel-economy segment. J.D. Power lists three contributing factors to this increase: improved fuel-economy of the vehicles; an increase in ownership of fuel-efficient cars, with over 50 percent (as compared to 39 percent in 2008) of the surveyed vehicles powered by four-cylinder engines; and a drop in fuel prices that has also meant consumers are less interested in fuel economy.
One other trend that has emerged is the increasing appeal of domestic brands, as they ranked, on average, just five points below import brands. This compares to a difference of 15 points last year and 27 points in 2007.
GALLERY: J.D. Power 2009 APEAL Study