Ford Wins Big in Annual J.D. Power APEAL Study

By

Automotive Editor

Armaan Almeida was an Automotive Editor who produced buying guides and sneak previews, in addition to publishing daily news stories and tracking monthly deals, incentives and pricing trends from Toyota, Nissan and Lexus.

Follow On: Google+ | Website

, Automotive Editor - July 23, 2015

Annual study uncovers interesting models which may surprise shoppers, all while offering big incentives.

As reported earlier by Automotive News, Porsche, Chevrolet and Ford all won three segment awards each in J.D. Power's 2015 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study. The study, in its 20th year of publication, measures the appeal of owning and driving a new vehicle. It painstakingly surveys 84,000 consumers who either purchased or leased a new 2015 model vehicle between February and May of 2015. Most importantly, it surveys the consumers after they've owned the vehicle for 90 days to truly solidify the responses. This helps to offer more genuine feedback while also allowing the owner to get fully acclimated to their new vehicles.

Seven Safety Features Found on Every Car »

Porsche Cayman

The 1,000 point scale uncovers models that might seem obvious (Porsche Cayman) to models that surprise many (Ford Expedition). Some models not only won their respective segments, but offer some solid incentives this month--doubling the appeal and value for prospective owners who look to take advantage of the "sleepers" on the market. Scroll down the end of this article to see the list, along with the most current incentives on each.

Ford Expedition

Compare: Expedition vs. Tahoe vs. Suburban »

The notable models which surprised us were the aforementioned 2015 Ford Expedition and 2015 Ford C-Max--models which face stout competition in their respective segments. The Expedition is relatively old, but maybe that's part of the reason why respondents were so satisfied. Purchasing a model so advanced in its generational run means that the manufacturer has had a chance to work out any kinks that might have surfaced during the vehicle's few years of production. Moreover, the manufacturer can take the feedback it receives from its dealer network to improve upon the feature set. In the case of the value-packed Expedition, it goes toe-to-toe with Chevy's $50k Suburban.

Ford C-Max

Compare: C-Max vs. Prius vs. Civic Hybrid »

On the flipside, the 2015 Ford C-Max really surprised us, as it competes against America's perennial fuel economy king, the 2015 Toyota Prius. The C-Max does offer a sportier driving dynamic than the Prius which could have given it the pronounced edge in the study.

In terms of features, consumers continue to hold certain features in high regard. Those features carry higher weights in the study and include exterior styling, engines, transmissions, and audio/navigation systems.

On a surprising note, blind spot monitoring also ranked high on consumers' minds as a must-have technology.

Here are the models which surprised us and which have base MSRPs of less than $50k. Note the incentives for each.

Small Car

Base MSRP Rebates Up To Lowest APR Lease Payment Starting At
Small Car: 2015 Chevrolet Sonic $15,070 $1,000 0.0% $179/mo

Prices and incentives may vary based on region, credit score and options selected. Base MSRPs do not include any available incentives. To see the incentives, click on the model you're interested in.

Compact Cars

Base MSRP Rebates Up To Lowest APR Lease Payment Starting At
Compact Car: 2015 Volkswagen Golf $18,815 N/A 1.9% $219/mo
Compact Sporty Car: 2015 MINI Cooper (Hardtop) $21,550 $500 1.9% $199/mo
Compact SUV: 2016 Mazda CX-5 $22,675 $500 0.9% $249/mo
Compact MPV: 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid $25,045 $1,000 0.0% $199/mo

Prices and incentives may vary based on region, credit score and options selected. Base MSRPs do not include any available incentives. To see the incentives, click on the model you're interested in.

Midsize Cars

Base MSRP Rebates Up To Lowest APR Lease Payment Starting At
Midsize Pickup: 2015 Chevrolet Colorado $20,995 N/A 3.9% $299/mo
Midsize Sedan: 2015 Mazda Mazda6 $22,315 N/A 0.0% $199/mo
Midsize Sporty Car: 2015 Dodge Challenger $27,990 $1,000 0.9% $269/mo
Midsize SUV: 2015 Nissan Murano $30,445 $500 0.0% $299/mo

Prices and incentives may vary based on region, credit score and options selected. Base MSRPs do not include any available incentives. To see the incentives, click on the model you're interested in.

Large Cars

Base MSRP Rebates Up To Lowest APR Lease Payment Starting At
Large Light-Duty Pickup: Ford F-150 $27,225 $3,750 0.9% $259/mo
Large Sedan: 2015 Dodge Charger $28,990 $3,500 0.0% $299/mo
Large SUV: 2015 Ford Expedition $45,780 $1,500 0.0% $409/mo

Prices and incentives may vary based on region, credit score and options selected. Base MSRPs do not include any available incentives. To see the incentives, click on the model you're interested in.

To see the complete list, visit J.D. Power's 2015 APEAL Study.

, Automotive Editor

Armaan Almeida was an Automotive Editor who produced buying guides and sneak previews, in addition to publishing daily news stories and tracking monthly deals, incentives and pricing trends from Toyota, Nissan and Lexus.

Follow On: Google+ | Website