Dodge, Ram top APEAL study

Dodge has, for the second year in a row, topped the mass-market brands in J.D. Power’s APEAL™ study, which looks at the “emotional bond” between customers and their vehicles after three months of ownership. The surveys are placed on a thousand-point index; APEAL stands for Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout.

For 2021, Dodge and Ram came in with scores of 882 and 881; both were ten points higher than in 2020, when they also came in #1 and #2. Dodge not only topped mass-market brands, but it tied with last year’s overall winner, Porsche.

2021 Apeal

In contrast to Dodge and Ram, as with the initial-quality survey, Chrysler was at the absolute bottom of the list, and Jeep was fourth from the bottom, albeit ahead of Buick and Mitsubishi, and possibly not significantly different from VW, Subaru, and Toyota, among others (J.D. Power does not reveal their standard deviation).

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Honda and Toyota were both below average. On the premium rankings, Porsche edged out Genesis for the #1 position; Alfa Romeo was below average, though above Jaguar, Audi, Acura, and Infiniti, and Maserati was not on the list.

“I said last year that we would keep the throttle wide open, and these various results demonstrate our continuing resolve to do so,” said Mark Champine, Stellantis Head of Customer Experience, North America. “We remain on a mission to do better for our customers, and we know we have more work to do… Ours is a journey that never ends, because you can always do better.”

The overall top score from last year was garnered by Porsche, followed by Lincoln, Cadillac, BMW, and Land Rover. Dodge topped the mass market segment, followed by Ram, GMC, Ford, and Mini.  For 2021, Toyota was the biggest gainer, moving up five points. The only Mopar “best in class” car was the Ram 1500; while GM did not top the list, it had the most class winners (CT5, Blazer, Corvette, Tahoe, and Sierra HD).

The U.S. APEAL study used 110,827 surveys, issued from February through July 2021.

David Zatz started what was to become the world’s biggest, most comprehensive Mopar site in 1994 as he pursued a career in organizational research and change. After a chemo-induced break, during which he wrote car books covering Vipers, minivans, and Jeeps, he returned with some friends to create StellPower.com, which is intended to end up as an enduring partnership. Contact him at (973) 925-6058 or check out the new junkyard/slant six book he edited.

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