The Audi A7 was the top-scoring model in J.D. Power’s latest APEAL study, but the German factory...

The Audi A7 was the top-scoring model in J.D. Power’s latest APEAL study, but the German factory placed fourth among all manufacturers, trailing Porsche, BMW, and Genesis.

Photo courtesy Audi USA. 

Improvements in infotainment systems and increased availability of advanced driver assistance systems are making customers increasingly satisfied with their new vehicles, according to the J.D. Power 2019 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study.

The industry average satisfaction index score increases to 823 (on a 1,000-point scale) from 820 in 2018, with 22 of the 32 brands included in the study improving from last year.

“Every automaker is producing vehicles that consumers like, but some of them are doing it at a higher level than others,” said Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. “Satisfaction with new technology is improving, but infotainment remains an area where automakers can get better.

“Owners have higher satisfaction if their vehicle is equipped with safety features such as blind spot monitor, collision avoidance and lane departure warning,” Sargent added. “This should serve as a positive sign for manufacturers, as these features are some of the early building blocks for fully automated vehicles.”

Analysts found scores improved in all 10 categories in the 2019 study. The gap between luxury and mass-market brands has narrowed to 35 points in 2019, down from 50 points just three years ago. In general, larger and more expensive vehicles achieve higher APEAL scores than smaller and less expensive vehicles.

A brand’s ranking, therefore, is a function of the types of vehicles the manufacturer produces and how well it executes on those vehicles, analysts said. In this year’s study, Porsche ranks highest in overall APEAL with a score of 891. BMW and Genesis (868) tied for second, followed by Audi (867) and Volvo (863).

Ram ranks highest in the mass-market segment with a score of 851. Dodge (848) ranks second, followed by MINI (835), Volkswagen (829) and Ford (828).

Ram is the most-improved brand, increasing 26 points from 2018. Other brands showing significant improvement are Dodge (up 24 points); Jaguar (16), Land Rover (15), Audi (14), and Jeep (14).

To read the full report, click here.

This story originally appeared on Auto Dealer Today, another Bobit Business Media publication. 

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