Automakers have control of many facets of their vehicles, including build quality, technological features and price point. However, they can only hope that their vehicle also arouses emotional excitement in the hearts of their customers. Although every automaker aims to achieve this, some do this better than others.
J.D. Power and Associates conducts the annual Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, which measures vehicle owners’ emotional attachment and level of excitement with their new vehicles on a 1,000-point scale. Vehicles are awarded an aggregated APEAL index score measured across 77 attributes collected from qualitative owner feedback. “Satisfaction with new technology is improving, but infotainment remains an area where automakers can get better,” said Dave Sargent, vice-president of global automotive at J.D. Power. He also goes on to note that owners experience greater satisfaction “if their vehicle is equipped with safety features such as blind-spot monitor, collision-avoidance and lane-departure warning.”
J.D. Power found that 22 of the 32 brands included in this year’s APEAL Study saw their scores improve year-over-year. After momentarily having slipped to second place, Porsche was once again crowned victor, with last year’s winner, Genesis, tying with BMW in second place. Ram was not only the top ranked mass-market brand, but was also the most improved brand year-over-year with a whopping gain of 26 points.
We’ve featured some of our favourite offers this week on vehicles named by J.D. Power as the best in-class for customer satisfaction. If you don’t find an offer that suits you, be sure to check out the Globe Drive Build and Price Tool to see the latest incentives and discounts on any new car, truck or SUV.
Audi A7 – Best Mid-Size Premium Car, Best Overall Model
Audi scored 867 points in J.D. Power’s 2019 APEAL study, a single point behind joint-runners up BMW and Genesis. In addition, its A7 Sportback led the mid-size Premium Car category, beating out the Mercedes-Benz CLS and its own sibling, the A6.
The Audi A7 entered its second generation in the 2019 model year. Its standard 3.0-litre, V-6 turbo engine generates 335 horses and 369 lb.-ft of torque. The exterior retains its distinctive fastback sloping roofline while the front fascia now boasts sharper lines with LED headlights, lending a more aggressive stare. An LED light strip that connects its redesigned LED taillights now highlights its rear fascia. Its interior takes a more minimalist approach with clean lines, leather seating and premium finishes. Its infotainment system can be controlled via touchscreens in the front and rear seat areas. The 2019 A7 is also equipped with the Audi pre sense city-collision avoidance system and the Audi pre sense basic-injury-mitigation system.
2019 Audi A7 55 TFSI Quattro Progressiv S tronic
- MSRP: $78,000
- Manufacturer cash incentive: $3,500 (as compared to no incentive in July)
- Estimated dealer discount: $1,000
- Freight, PDI, government fees: $2,820
- Cash purchase price before tax: $76,320
- Finance for 60 months at 2.48 per cent interest for $1,550 per month including tax, which includes a $2,500 manufacturer incentive (as compared to no incentive in July) and assumes zero down payment
- Lease for 48 months at 3.98 per cent interest for $1,213 per month including tax, which includes a $1,500 manufacturer incentive (as compared to no incentive in July) and assumes a 20,000 annual kilometre allowance with zero down payment
Honda Odyssey – Best Minivan
Similar to last year, the Honda Odyssey and the Chrysler Pacifica were the only two contenders in the Minivan category. However, while the Pacifica took home the prize last year, the Odyssey claimed it this year.
The 2019 Honda Odyssey comes standard with a 3.5-litre i-VTEC V-6 engine that produces 280 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft of torque. The EX-Res trim features a 150-watt, 7-speaker audio system, a 10.2-inch rear entertainment system, tri-zone automatic climate-control, remote engine-ignition capability, multiangle rear-view camera with dynamic guidelines, windshield-wiper de-icing capability and active grille shutters. All 2019 Odyssey trims come standard with collision-mitigation braking, forward collision-warning, lane-departure warning and road-departure mitigation.
2019 Honda Odyssey EX-Res
- MSRP: $40,190
- Manufacturer cash incentive: $2,000 (applied after tax)
- Estimated dealer discount: $750
- Freight, PDI, government fees: $1,925
- Cash purchase price before tax: $39,595
- Finance for 48 months at 3.99 per cent interest for $1,055 per month including tax and assumes zero down payment
- Lease for 48 months at 4.99 per cent interest for $688 per month including tax and assumes a 20,000 annual kilometre allowance with zero down payment
Kia Forte – Best Compact Car
The Kia Forte entered its third generation with a major redesign for the 2019 model year borrowing design cues from the Stinger. The Forte led the Compact Car category, edging out the Volkswagen Jetta and Beetle.
Thanks to its short deck and long hood, the 2019 Forte now boasts a fastback-style profile. A next-generation 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine produces 147 horses and 132 lb.-ft of torque, and is mated to an infinitely variable transmission. Notable interior features on the EX Premium trim include an eight-inch infotainment display, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, dual-zone automatic climate-control and wireless cellphone-charging functionality. Most 2019 Kia Forte trims, including EX Premium, were also named IIHS Safety Pick+, thanks to forward collision-avoidance assist and LED exterior lighting.
2019 Kia Forte 2.0 EX Premium IVT
- MSRP: $25,065
- Manufacturer cash incentive: $3,000
- Estimated dealer discount: $250
- Freight, PDI, government fees: $1,775
- Cash purchase price before tax: $23,590
- Finance for 60 months at 0.99 per cent interest (as compared to 1.99 per cent in July) for $475 per month including tax, which includes a $2,000 manufacturer incentive and assumes zero down payment
- Lease for 48 months at 1.99 per cent interest for $359 per month including tax, which includes a $2,000 manufacturer incentive and assumes a 20,000 annual kilometre allowance with zero down payment
Nissan Maxima – Best Large Car
The Nissan Maxima bested the Dodge Charger, the only other contender in the Large Car category. The 2019 Nissan Maxima produces 300 horsepower and 261 lb.-ft of torque through a 3.5-litre, V-6 engine, mated to a continuously variable transmission. All trims come standard with an 11-speaker Bose surround sound system, an eight-inch multimedia display, remote engine-ignition and climate-control, leather-appointed seating and LED exterior lighting. Safety equipment on the SL trim includes intelligent emergency braking, intelligent cruise-control, blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert.
2019 Nissan Maxima SL
- MSRP: $40,790
- Manufacturer cash incentive: $1,000 (as compared to $500 in July)
- Estimated dealer discount: $1,000
- Freight, PDI, government fees: $1,945
- Cash purchase price before tax: $40,735
- Finance for 60 months at 1.5 per cent interest (as compared to 1.9 per cent in July) for $816 per month including tax and assumes zero down payment
- Lease for 48 months at 2.5 per cent interest for $603 per month including tax and assumes a 20,000 annual kilometre allowance with zero down payment
Manufacturer incentives and pricing calculations are based on Ontario customers and subject to availability of inventory. Dealer discounts shown are estimates for illustrative purposes only, may vary by region and are given at the discretion of individual dealers. Please note that while every effort is made to ensure the information above is accurate at the time of publication, pricing, incentives and discounts are subject to change or discontinuation at any time. Vehicle images may not represent the exact model featured in the pricing provided. Consult your local dealership for details.
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