Chevrolet garnered the largest number of top ratings in J.D. Power’s 2012 APEAL study, which goes beyond their “initial quality” study by asking buyers to rate their new vehicle on over 80 attributes. This year, the study found that 27% of buyers went down to a smaller size vehicle, while 13% went to a larger one; and ratings of small cars are higher than in the past.
Chevrolet, though it was ranked below average overall, had the most segment leaders in the study (three), including compact car (Volt) and subcompact car (Chevrolet Sonic).
Chrysler and Ford each won in two segments. Fiat took second place in its segment. Overall, the study showed a marked improvement for Chrysler brands, with Ram beating all other truck-heavy brands (Ford, GMC, Toyota, and Chevrolet, declining order of satisfaction). However, the Jeep brand — like the Fiat brand — was rated well below average, along with exclusively-small-car brands Scion and smart. The top brands were generally the most expensive, with Porsche at the top, followed by Jaguar, BMW, and other luxury marques; not until Mini, at #12, does a brand with “regular priced” cars appear.