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J.D. Power’s 2022 APEAL Study Shows Slight Drop in Overall Satisfaction Among Vehicle Owners

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Kia EV6
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Kia EV6

J.D. Power recently released the 2022 edition (the 27th to date) of its U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, which looks at how new-vehicle owners perceive their experience with their new model.

This year, the agency notes three general trends:

One, new owners are slightly less satisfied with their purchase than before (the first such drop recorded since 2014). Higher gas prices, which are making owners more cognizant of their vehicle’s fuel economy performance, may be part of the cause, says J.D. Power.

Two, the level of satisfaction of EV owners (in relation to charging times and availability and range) has risen to close to the satisfaction levels reported by owners of gas-fed vehicles. At the same time, there remains a stubborn difference between levels of satisfaction reported by owners of ICE models (846 average score, based on a 1,000-point scale) and of PHEVs (835), hybrid vehicles (832) and all-electric vehicles (838, excluding Tesla).

Three, the gap in emotional appeal between mass-market vehicles and premium models, as reflected in the score allotted by J.D. Power, has widened this year. The average 2021 gap of 19 points between the two sectors has grown to 31 points in 2022.

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The best premium brands in 2022, as per J.D. Power, fig. 1
The best premium brands in 2022, as per J.D. Power, fig. 1
The best premium brands in 2022, as per J.D. Power, fig. 2
The best premium brands in 2022, as per J.D. Power, fig. 2
The best mass-market brands in 2022, as per J.D. Power, fig. 1
The best mass-market brands in 2022, as per J.D. Power, fig. 1
The best mass-market brands in 2022, as per J.D. Power, fig. 2
Photo: J.D. Power
The best mass-market brands in 2022, as per J.D. Power, fig. 2

The best brands
Among premium car brands, Porsche performed best with a score of 888 (on a 1,000-point scale), followed by Genesis (886) and Cadillac (885). Dodge (882) was the top mass-market brand, coming in ahead of Ram (863) and GMC (856).

Note that Tesla has been included in the rankings for the first time, but as the company does not allow J.D. Power access to owner information in the states where that permission is required by law, Tesla models remain ineligible for awards.

The best models in 2022, as per J.D. Power
The best models in 2022, as per J.D. Power
The best models in 2022, as per J.D. Power, fig. 2
Photo: J.D. Power
The best models in 2022, as per J.D. Power, fig. 2
The best models in 2022, as per J.D. Power. fig. 3
The best models in 2022, as per J.D. Power. fig. 3

The best models
As for the best-ranked individual models, JD Power ranks them by category, and no manufacturer placed more of its vehicles at the top of their segment than the Hyundai Group. Seven of its models – the Genesis G80, Genesis GV70, Hyundai Palisade, Hyundai Santa Cruz, Kia Carnival, Kia EV6 and Kia K5 – scored highest in their category.

After that, BMW won three categories with its BMW X6, MINI Clubman and MINI Cooper, ditto Nissan with its Infiniti QX60, Nissan Murano and Nissan Versa and Stellantis with its Jeep Wagoneer, Jeep Grand Wagoneer and Ram 1500.

Across all categories, the highest-scoring individual model was the BMW X6 SUV.

The 2022 U.S. APEAL Study is based on responses from 84,165 owners of new 2022 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study was fielded from February 2022 through May 2022, based on vehicles registered from November 2021 through February 2022.