The Most Appealing Cars in Every Category: 2017

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

A recent J.D. Power study has revealed the most appealing cars for 2017.

Now in its 22nd year, the J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study measures owners’ emotional attachment and level of excitement across 77 attributes. Those can range from the power they feel when they step on the gas to the sense of comfort and luxury when climbing into the driver’s seat.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Least Appealing Car Brands: 2017

Along with ranking each automaker on a 1,000-point scale, J.D. Power recognizes individual vehicles by segment that deliver outstanding levels of APEAL.

Small Car: Chevrolet Bolt

The Chevrolet Bolt beat out the Chevrolet Sonic and the Toyota Yaris in the Small Car segment.

Small Premium Car: Audi A3 / BMW 2 Series (tie)

There’s a tie for the highest ranked vehicle in the Small Premium Car category between the Audi A3 and BMW 2 Series.

Both vehicles were ranked higher than the BMW i3.

Compact Car: MINI Clubman

Beating out the Honda Civic and the Volkswagen Jetta in the Compact Car segment this year is the MINI Clubman.

Compact Sporty Car: MINI Cooper

The MINI Cooper was the only vehicle that performed above segment average in the Compact Sporty Car category, making it the default winner.

Compact Premium Car: Audi A4

The competitive Compact Premium Car segment saw the Audi A4 taking the win, beating out the Infiniti Q60 and BMW 4 Series.

Midsize Car: Nissan Altima

There’s also plenty of competition in the Midsize Car segment, with the Nissan Altima getting ranked highest over the Honda Accord and Kia Optima.

Midsize Sporty Car: Dodge Challenger

The Ford Mustang is nowhere to be seen in the Midsize Sporty Car category, which is led by the Dodge Challenger. The Chevrolet Camaro came in second.

Midsize Premium Car: Audi A7 / Lincoln Continental (tie)

There’s another tie in the Midsize Premium Car category, with the Audi A7 and Lincoln Continental highest ranked.

Both vehicles performed better than the Volvo S90, which was also recognized in the segment.

Midsize Premium Sporty Car: Porsche 911

The sole vehicle that performed above segment average is the Porsche 911, making it the highest ranked Midsize Premium Sporty Car.

Large Car: Kia Cadenza

The Kia Cadenza rises to the occasion, taking highest ranked in the Large Car segment. The Korean automaker’s sedan beat out the Nissan Maxima and Dodge Charger.

Small SUV: Kia Niro

The Kia Niro is of the newest faces in the Small SUV category, but it’s already the most appealing. Tying for second place are the Buick Encore and Kia Sportage.

Small Premium SUV: BMW X1

Only two vehicles are recognized in the Small Premium SUV segment, with the BMW X1 ranked higher than the Range Rover Evoque from Land Rover.

Compact SUV: Honda CR-V

For the Compact SUV segment, the Honda CR-V took top honors, rising above the Nissan Rogue and Buick Envision.

Compact Premium SUV: Porsche Macan

Porsche continues its success in this year’s APEAL study with Macan as the highest ranked Compact Premium SUV. Following in second is the Mercedes-Benz GLC, while the BMW X3 took third.

Compact MPV: Kia Soul

The Kia Soul was the only Compact MPV to perform above the segment average, making it the most appealing model.

Midsize SUV: Nissan Murano

It may be tough to choose a Midsize SUV these days, but the Nissan Murano wins the segment in this year’s study. The Dodge Durango followed in second and the Subaru Outback finished third.

Midsize Premium SUV: Porsche Cayenne

The Midsize Premium SUV segment win goes to the Porsche Cayenne, followed by the Audi Q7 and BMW X5.

Midsize Pickup: Honda Ridgeline

The Midsize Pickup category is getting more competitive, but the Honda Ridgeline is highest ranked this year. Coming in second is the GMC Canyon, while the Chevrolet Colorado finished third.

Minivan: Chrysler Pacifica

Crossovers and SUVs are overtaking the Minivan segment, but the Chrysler Pacifica proves there’s life left. It’s the only model that performed above segment average.

Large SUV: Chevrolet Tahoe

Only two Large SUVs performed above the segment average, with the Chevrolet Tahoe coming out highest ranked. But the familiar GMC Yukon came in second.

ALSO SEE: Top 9 Interesting Findings in the 2017 JD Power APEAL Survey

Large Premium SUV: Cadillac Escalade

Beating out the Infiniti QX80 and the Mercedes-Benz GLS in the Large Premium SUV segment is the Cadillac Escalade.

Large Light Duty Pickup: Ford F-150

The highly competitive Large Light Duty Pickup segment has the Ford F-150 coming out on top, beating out the Nissan Titan. The Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra tied for third.

Large Heavy Duty Pickup: Ford Super Duty

The Ford F-Series Super Duty is the highest ranked Large Heavy Duty Pickup, beating out the GMC Sierra HD.

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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