Porsche Top Brand for 13th Straight Year in JD Power Study; Chrysler Most-Improved Brand

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Porsche was the most appealing brand for the 13th straight year, as luxury brands dominated the top spots in J.D. Power’s 2017 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study. Genesis, BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz rounded out the top five.

Mitsubishi and Fiat were the least appealing brands in the study. Fiat sales in the United States have plunged again in 2017.

Chrysler showed the biggest improvement in J.D. Power’s latest study of new-vehicle appeal, while MINI, Nissan, Honda and Jeep all posted significant gains in the latest report, which was released yesterday.

The J.D. Power study, now in its 22nd year, gauges owners’ emotional attachment and level of excitement across 77 attributes. These attributes are combined into an overall APEAL index score that is measured on a 1,000-point scale.

The study was based on responses gathered from February through May 2017 from nearly 70,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2017 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership.

Porsche had the top score of 884. MINI’s score climbed 30 points to 838 and Nissan gained 27 points to 811. Both were above the industry average of 810. Honda’s score rose 25 points to 820, and Jeep gained 17 points to 773.

Mitsubishi lost 20 points, the most of any brand as its score plunged to 750. U.S. sales at Fiat, whose score was 752, have fallen sharply. Over the first six months of this year, sales have dropped 12% to 14,682.

Chrysler’s brand surged 41 points to 815 and J.D. Power cited the addition of the all-new Pacifica minivan as a factor in the brand’s improvement. Good news for parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU).

Volkswagen led all companies with six model-level awards for the Audi A3, A4 and A7; Porsche 911; Cayenne; and Macan. BMW was second with four segment awards.

Overall, the industry average rose by nine points to 810 in 2017.