As a brand, Ford enjoyed some solid results in J.D. Power’s 2021 APEAL Study, as the automaker finished fifth among all mass-market brands, a slight drop from its fourth-place finish last year. In terms of individual models, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E ranked first in the compact SUV segment, as did the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport in the small SUV ranks. The 2021 Ford Ranger didn’t fare quite as well in the mid-size pickup category but it did bring home a third-place finish, at least.
The 2021 Ford Ranger ranked behind only the segment-leading Honda Ridgeline and Jeep Gladiator, rounding out the top three in the most recent APEAL Study, which is now in its 26th year. The study 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.
One of the biggest takeaways from this year’s APEAL Study is that new vehicle launches over the past few months have had a big impact on customer perception of brands like Ford, as J.D. Power noted that those new models helped boost the industry’s overall vehicle emotional appeal this year. That figures to pay off for The Blue Oval when the all-new 2023 Ford Ranger launches next year.
“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.”