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The studies

The studies: How they rate cars Add to ...


2013 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study

J.D. Power and Associates says the most appealing vehicles tend to remain on dealer lots for shorter periods, command higher transaction prices, and are more likely to create owner loyalty. The 2013 study, the 18th in the history of APEAL, was just updated to better measure the appeal of today’s vehicles.

“Appealing vehicles are simply good news for both consumers and auto makers,” said David Sargent, vice-president of global automotive at J.D. Power. “Even within the same vehicle segment, consumers are willing to spend substantially more on vehicles that they find attractive, provide the performance and utility they are looking for and have well-executed interiors.”

The APEAL study examines how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive, based on owner evaluations of 77 vehicle attributes. Porsche was the highest-ranked nameplate for a ninth consecutive year. Ram is the highest-ranked non-premium nameplate. The 2013 APEAL study is based on responses gathered between February and May, 2013, from more than 83,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2013 model-year cars and light trucks who were surveyed after the first 90 days of ownership.


2013 Initial Quality Study By J.D. Power And Associates

The U.S. Initial Quality Study was redesigned for 2013. J.D. Power says the study was changed to better measure the quality of today’s vehicles, particularly problems related to new technologies and features now being offered. The IQS is in its 27th year.

According to the 2013 study, nearly two-thirds of the problems experienced in the first 90 days of ownership are related to the vehicle’s design, not a malfunction. For example, says Power, a component may be working as designed, but owners deem it a problem because it may be difficult to understand or operate.

The 2013 IQS is based on responses from more than 83,000 purchasers and lessees of new 2013 model-year cars, trucks and multi-activity vehicles surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study is based on a 233-question battery designed to provide manufacturers with information to facilitate identification of problems and drive product improvement. The study was fielded between February and May, 2013.


2013 J.D. Power And Associates Vehicle Dependability Study

The latest Vehicle Dependability Study measures problems experienced over the last 12 months by original owners of three-year-old (2010 model-year) vehicles. Overall dependability is determined by the level of problems experienced per 100 vehicles. A lower score reflects higher quality.

“Building vehicles with high levels of dependability is obviously a necessary element in reshaping consumer perceptions,” said J. D. Power vice-president David Sargent. “Negative quality perceptions are notoriously difficult to change, and it takes considerable time, but effectively communicating improvements in dependability.”

The 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from more than 37,000 original owners of 2010 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership.


Consumer Reports 2013 Top Picks report is part of a comprehensive effort to evaluate new vehicles. Along with recommendations and Car Brand Report Cards, key findings are reported in the Annual Auto Issue.

Complete details hit newsstands in the spring. Consumer Reports argues that its testing procedures are the most comprehensive of any U.S. publication or website. More than 50 individual tests are performed on every vehicle. Recommendations are also based on owner/subscriber feedback.

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