Top 5 Least Appealing Luxury Car Brands

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

The results for this year’s J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study are in with every luxury automaker scoring above the industry average.

Based on a 1,000-point scale, the 2014 APEAL study has vehicle owners evaluate over 77 attributes, which combined into an overall score. This year, the industry average was 794 but for premium brands, that number rose to 840. Still, five luxury automakers scored below the premium average, making them the top five least appealing luxury car brands in the U.S.

5: Lincoln (835 APEAL score)

Ford’s luxury arm scored five points shy of the premium industry average but continues to impress with the MKX taking the Midsize Premium SUV category in this year’s Initial Quality Study. Lincoln is actually the most appealing luxury automaker from America and is second only to Lexus for a premium brand not from Europe. Through the first half of the year, Lincoln’s sales have improved by in recent months has seen a slight drop. The company hopes to continue its growth with new models on the horizon.

SEE ALSO: 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Review – Video

4: Cadillac (826 APEAL score)

Cadillac has made strides in recent years, separating itself from Japanese competitors with more refinement and performance. Currently, the American automaker is working on its next-generation ATS-V and CTS-V models which will appeal to performance enthusiasts looking for comfort and luxury amenities. The brand has also focused on sporty styling while keeping the classy lines that has made the brand such a staple in the automotive market for generations.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport vs 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0T

3: Infiniti (826 APEAL score)

Considering how many Infiniti vehicles are on the road today, it might come as a surprise to see that it’s less appealing than Lincoln and tied with Cadillac. But expect things to change for Nissan’s luxury arm as the company continues to focus on innovating technologies and more additions to its lineup. The company still has a ways to go however in order to compete with Europe’s finest.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Infiniti QX70 Review

2: Acura (814 APEAL score)

Honda’s luxury brand has been more evolutionary than revolutionary in recent years, but the addition of its upcoming NSX might change things. For now, its lineup of family sedans, crossovers and SUVs may appeal to the mass market, but none of them truly excite automotive enthusiasts. As a result, Acura is the second least appealing luxury automaker with a score of 814.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid Review

1: Volvo (812 APEAL score)

In the last few years, Volvo has gone from bankrupt to developing three new concepts for the world to see. Though it may be the least appealing luxury automaker currently, the company hopes to turn things around in the coming years with its all-new models and fuel-efficient powertrains. Known for its tradition of being safe and boring, Volvo hopes to turn things around by being sporty, luxurious and exciting.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E FWD Review

Discuss this story at our Volvo 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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  • James James on Jul 29, 2014

    All Acura makes these days are ugly high end Camry's. The MDX and 2015 NSX are gonna be the only cool things on the lot. Not to mention... they altered the TLX so far from the concept that it's just plain boring now. The demise of Acura started when the RSX died. Acura may sell well... but they sure have lost their edge on beauty and performance!

    • HDLuffy HDLuffy on Jul 30, 2014

      RDX prints money for Acura. Its feature content is so low compared to the rest but it sells like a cake thats hot!

  • HDLuffy HDLuffy on Jul 30, 2014

    Surprised to see the Japanese BMW here. Infiniti's are the best driving and if bmw could go back to their roots and make their cars like they used to...i.e. infiniti's they would be good again. Volvo sucks nobody wants that Acura same thing except for RDX/MDX Lincoln who? caddy who?