The results of the study, released on Wednesday, showed an average score increase of 10 points on a 1,000 point scale across the industry, a sign that almost all new vehicles are getting better by the year. Additionally, 23 of 31 brands showed improvement over 2017.
“The automotive industry is performing exceptionally well, with manufacturers making record-breaking improvements year over year,” said Dave Sargent, Vice President of Global Automotive at J.D. Power.
For the APEAL study, J.D. Power surveyed about 80,000 new-car owners and lessees during the first 90 days they'd had their cars. The study's questions focus not as much on reliability and assembly quality as they do on the vehicle's design.
The study also found that mass market brands were closing in on luxury marques, with the gap between the average scores for each at an all-time low. Of all vehicles included, the Lincoln Navigator posted the highest overall score, with a total of 915 points, the highest recorded in the study since 2013. Genesis, Hyundai’s new offshoot luxury brand, took home top honors among all automakers with 884 points, followed closely by Porsche at 883. The highest non-luxury brands were Chevrolet and GMC, tied at 826 points.
- Highest ranked overall brand: Genesis (884)
- Highest ranked brand in the mass-market: Chevrolet and GMC (884)
- Lowest ranked brand: Mitsubishi (783)
- Lowest ranked luxury brand: Acura (821)
- Most-improved brand: Mitsubishi (+33 from 2017)
- Most-awarded parent company: Ford
- Highest ranked small car: Kia Rio
- Highest ranked small premium car: Audi A3
- Highest ranked compact car: Volkswagen Jetta
- Highest ranked compact premium car: Kia Stinger
- Highest ranked midsize car: Honda Accord
- Highest ranked midsize sporty car: Ford Mustang
- Highest ranked midsize premium car: Lincoln Continental
- Highest ranked large car: Nissan Maxima
- Highest ranked small SUV: Mini Countryman
- Highest ranked small premium SUV: BMW X1
- Highest ranked compact SUV: Chevrolet Equinox
- Highest ranked compact premium SUV: BMW X3
- Highest ranked midsize SUV: Chevrolet Traverse
- Highest ranked midsize premium SUV: Porsche Cayenne
- Highest ranked midsize pickup: Honda Ridgeline
- Highest ranked minivan: Chrysler Pacifica
- Highest ranked large SUV: Ford Expedition
- Highest ranked large light-duty pickup: Ford F-150
- Highest ranked large heavy-duty pickup: GMC Sierra HD