Top 10 Most Appealing Car Brands: 2017

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

Some automakers just have what it takes to produce exciting cars.

Each year, J.D. Power releases its U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, which uses 77 attributes to measure a vehicle owner’s emotional attachment and level of excitement. All the attributes are combined to create an overall APEAL index score that is measured on a 1,000-point scale. This year’s industry average is 810.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Least Appealing Car Brands: 2017

This year’s study surveyed nearly 70,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2017 model-year vehicles, who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. Here are the top car brands from this year’s APEAL Study.

9. MINI (tie)

MINI is the highest-ranked mass market brand this year with a score of 838. In last year’s study, the British automaker was just one point shy of being at the top of mass market brands, with Volkswagen beating it out with a score of 809. MINI had two models ranked highest in their segments, with the Clubman topping the Compact Car segment and the Cooper being the only model in the Compact Sporty Car segment to perform above industry average.

9. Jaguar (tie)

Jaguar actually ties MINI with a score of 838, but the British automaker saw a steep drop in its rankings compared to last year. In 2016, Jaguar finished in third place with a score of 852 compared to an industry average of 801.

8. Lexus

Lexus drops a few spots compared to last year’s results, finishing with a score of 842. The Japanese luxury arm of Toyota was tied for fifth last year with a score of 843.

7. Cadillac

Cadillac improved from last year’s results, finishing with a score of 843. Last year, the American automaker finished 10th with a score of 836. The Cadillac Escalade is the highest ranked model in the Large Premium SUV category.

6. Lincoln

Last year, Lincoln was part of a three-way tie for fifth place with Lexus and Land Rover with a score of 843. This year, the brand finishes sixth with a score of 849. The Lincoln Continental tied for highest-ranked Midsize Premium Car.

5. Mercedes-Benz

When it comes to the popular German luxury automakers, Mercedes finishes behind the competition this year, with a score of 851. Last year, Mercedes tied Jaguar for third place with a score of 852. While no Mercedes-Benz models topped their segments, the GLC did finish second in the Compact Premium SUV segment, while the GLS came in third in the Large Premium SUV category.

4. Audi

Audi slides into the fourth spot this year with a score of 854. It’s a nice jump for the German automaker after finishing eighth last year with a score of 842. The Audi A4 is the highest ranked model in the Compact Premium Car segment, while the Audi A3 tied in first with the BMW 2 Series in the Small Premium Car segment. The Audi A7 also tied for highest ranked with the Lincoln Continental in the Midsize Premium Car segment, while the Audi Q7 finished second in the Midsize Premium SUV segment.

3. BMW

BMW drops a spot from its second place finish last year when it scored 859. This year, the brand finishes third with a score of 855. Several BMW models were recognized in their segments, with the 2 Series tying for top honors in the Small Premium Car segment. The BMW i3 also finished third in that category, while the BMW 4 Series was third in the Compact Premium Car segment. The BMW X3 and X5 also finished third in their respective categories, Compact Premium SUV and Midsize Premium SUV.

2. Genesis

Hyundai’s luxury arm, Genesis, is off to a solid start in the J.D. Power APEAL Study, finishing in second place with a score of 869. The brand was not included in last year’s rankings.

1. Porsche

Named most appealing car brand yet again is Porsche, with a score of 884. Last year, the brand topped the list with a score of 877. Several Porsche models topped their categories as well, including the 911 (Midsize Premium Sporty Car), Macan (Compact Premium SUV), and Cayenne (Midsize Premium SUV).

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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Join the conversation
  • Ganapolskiy Leonid Ganapolskiy Leonid on Jul 27, 2017


  • Straight is OK too? Straight is OK too? on Jul 27, 2017

    Haha, the only ones on the road in 5 years will be the Lincoln and the Lexus. Mini? BMW? Porsche? Hundai, Audi, Jag? Did they do this survey in London? Look at the value lost in those cars in just 3 years when their warranty ends. Over 50%!!!! WOw!

    • Onry1 . Onry1 . on Aug 23, 2017

      Right! Not even a Lincoln, its a tarted up Ford Taurus and as for Lexus...Ricer