Dodge Dubbed Most Appealing Mainstream Brand by J.D. Power

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
dodge dubbed most appealing mainstream brand by j d power

Dodge was deemed the mainstream automotive brand with the most appeal in a recent survey conducted by J.D. Power. While that likely means a quadrant of our readers will probably discount it outright, these accolades are always fun to mention so they can be picked apart in the comments. Still, it really shouldn’t be all that bewildering to see Dodge ranking high on the list. The brand’s fleet of V8-equipped products certainly sets it apart from its rivals, even if its lineup isn’t quite so varied as its historic rivals.

The conflict comes when you see what Dodge is surrounded by. J.D Power’s Automotive Performance Execution and Layout (APEAL) study tabulates owner assessments of vehicles after 90 days of ownership using some pretty broad metrics ( available here). The goal here is to uncover which brands offer the best overall experience. Apparently, Dodge owners aren’t quite as happy with their purchase as those who went to a Porsche dealership. Hardly surprising. Yet we were fairly gobsmacked to see the same was true for both Lincoln and Cadillac.

Premium brands are supposed to offer a superior experience and Ford Motor Company has certainly stepped up its game in that respect.

Cadillac? Meh.

Forgive the editorializing, but it seems that General Motors’ crown jewel suffers from a prolonged identity crisis and has succeeded more in changing its lineup than in successfully evolving it.

Porsche scored the highest of all brands with 881 APEAL points out of a possible 1,000. It was followed by Lincoln (876) and Cadillac (874) before Dodge (872) came in to surprise everyone with some help from truck brand Ram (871).

The next bundle of entries were every remaining luxury brand that isn’t Tesla — which J.D. Power awarded a whopping 896 points but deemed it ineligible for any awards. We suppose its role as an electric brand sort of complicates things. The official reason, according to J.D. Power, is that Tesla didn’t give the outlet permission to survey its customers in the required states.

GMC and Ford were both intermixed with the mid-pack luxury brands with 857 and 853 points, respectively. A solid performance, considering the least APEA-ing luxury brands were Audi and Acura — tied at 845 points. The remaining pedestrian brands were pretty close together; even bottom-ranked nameplates weren’t terribly far from the industry average of 838 points.

While Buick, Subaru, and Volkswagen all averaged below that with 832 points, we’d wager the sample size of 87,282 allowed for a healthy margin of error. The bottom of the list had a few of the usual suspects, notably Mitsubishi (829). Chrysler (828) was also there, along with Toyota (825) and Jeep (822). One of those names is undoubtedly a shock, but the Toyota lineup had very few darlings in it and was frequently dinged for lacking power. It would seem the GRMN Corolla can’t get here fast enough.

However, it should be mentioned that Toyota typically ranks very highly on other J.D. Power surveys. This one just happened to include a lot of questions about how stoked the car makes you when you climb inside — something that isn’t exactly Toyota’s greatest attribute. At least the company seems eager to change that ASAP. Again, it would be more useful to see a points breakdown of every car model. But J.D. Power likes to award exceptional vehicles while generalizing between brands.

[Image: FCA]

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2 of 27 comments
  • Canam23 Canam23 on Jul 23, 2020

    I think JD Powers will skew any poll to meet a manufacturers requirement, I have never believed anything they publish.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Jul 24, 2020

    Do people really buy a vehicle based on J.D. Powers?

  • Carlson Fan I think it is pretty cool & grew up with a '75 Ford window van so I can attest to their utility. $60K is a lot for any vehicle and I'm not convinced EV's are ready for prime time for a number of reasons. It would make an awesome 2nd or 3rd vehicle in a multi-car household but again the price would keep most from considering it.I agree with the other comments that those who have to have it will buy it and then sales will drop off. Offer a panel version for the commercial market, that could have possibilities.
  • Wjtinfwb Panther Black? or Black Panther? Shaped like a decade old Ford detectives sedan? Seems like an odd way to send out your marquee car...
  • Kwik_Shift Instead of blacked, how about chromed? Don't follow the herd.
  • Carlson Fan Nicest looking dash/gage cluster ever put in any PU truck. After all these years it still looks so good.
  • Wheatridger Correct me if I'm wrong, but has the widescreen digital dash usurped the space formerly occupied in every other car by an HVAC vent? I see one prominent vent well right of center, where there should be two. I rely on twin driver's side vents to warm my hands on cold mornings, and I wouldn't give that up for more screen area.