American motoristsare trending more toward smaller vehicles than big gas guzzlers, according to a recent study released today.
The annual J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study found that 27 percent of new-vehicle buyers purchased a car or truck in a smaller-size segment than the one they replaced, compared with 13 percent trading up for a larger vehicle. Sixty percent, according to the study, purchased a new vehicle in the same segment as their previous vehicle.
“New-vehicle buyers who down are not making the sacrifice that they once were,” said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates, in a statement. “Automakers are heavily focused on providing the U.S. market with appealing smaller models, and buyers may be surprised at just how good some of them are.”
The study also found 47 percent of owners say gas mileage was one of the most important factors in choosing their new vehicle, up from 40 percent in 2011.
The APEAL Study — based on responses from more than 74,000 purchasers — examines how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive, based on owner evaluations of more than 80 vehicle attributes.
Overall, the study found Chevrolet received the highest number of segment awards of all brands included in the study for the Sonic, Volt and Avalanche models.
Seven brands, including Dodge and Ford, each receive two model awards. Porsche was the highest-ranking nameplate for an eighth consecutive year. Dodge, Jaguar and Ram achieve the greatest year-over-year improvements, increasing scores by 21, 20 and 19 points, respectively.
“Although larger models continue to attain higher APEAL Study scores than smaller models, as they typically provide higher performance, have more pleasing styling, are more comfortable and include more features, owners who down find that today’s compact models are not the ‘econoboxes’ that they may have imagined,” Sargent said.
Cadillac was the highest-ranking brand for the Detroit Three, followed by Lincoln, RAM, Ford and Chrysler — all were over the industry average rating of 788 points.
Brands below the industry average for the Detroit Three were Dodge, Buick, GMC, Chevrolet, Fiat and Jeep.
Source: mlive / Mike Wayland