As a brand, Ford recorded some solid results in J.D. Power’s newly released 2021 APEAL Study, as the automaker finished fifth among all mass-market brands, a slight drop from its fourth-place finish last year. However, there were other bright spots from the study worth pointing out as well, including the fact that the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E ranked first in the compact SUV segment ahead of the Nissan Rogue and Mazda CX-5, dethroning last year’s segment leader, the Ford Escape, in the process. But it wasn’t the only Blue Oval vehicle to win a segment award, as the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport also took top honors among all small SUVs.
The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport beat out the Mini Countryman and Chevrolet Trailblazer – the two runners-up in the small SUV segment – in the latest APEAL Study. The study – now in its 26th year – polls owners of new vehicles and asks them to rank those vehicles based on 37 attributes, mostly related to the way that vehicle makes them feel when they get behind the wheel. The goal of the study is to measure an owner’s level of excitement surrounding both the brand and the vehicle. Those responses are then aggregated to calculate an overall APEAL score based on a 1,000-point scale.
This year’s APEAL Study is proof that the automotive industry continues to produce more appealing vehicles with each passing year. Ford’s recent new vehicle launches have helped the automaker tremendously in this area, as we can see from the impressive results recorded by the brand new Mach-E and Bronco Sport, which has attracted quite a few non-Ford owners to the brand in recent months.
“One of the biggest factors driving the industry’s improvement this year is the introduction of several highly appealing new models,” said David Amodeo, director of global automotive at J.D. Power. “The APEAL Study measures owners’ emotional attachment to their new vehicle, and the product launches that took place this model year have done a really good job. Some are all-new and some are redesigns, but the new launches demonstrate that automakers are getting even better at hitting buyers’ emotional triggers.”