Top 5 Least Appealing Car Brands

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu
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top 5 least appealing car brands

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

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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