The results of the 2023 J.D. Power APEAL Study have thus far been quite positive for The Blue Oval, as the automaker managed to rank above the mass market average as a whole, while the Ford Bronco Sport tied for second place in the small SUV/crossover segment, and the Lincoln Nautilus was the third-ranked mid-size premium SUVs/crossover. However, those models weren’t alone in that regard, as the Ford Mustang Mach-E also managed to rank among the best compact SUVs/crossovers on the market, which was also the case with the Ford Maverick in the “mid-size pickup” category – fresh off a top-three ranking last year as well.
This year, the Ford Maverick also finished third in the mid-size pickup segment of the 2023 J.D. Power APEAL Study, falling behind the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Nissan Frontier – the latter of which is actually a mid-size pickup, not a compact model like the Santa Cruz and Maverick. Regardless, these were the only three models to make the cut in this year’s APEAL Study in this particular category.
As a whole – for the first time in the 28-year history of the APEAL Study – the overall market suffered a consecutive year-over-year decline in owner satisfaction, however, dropping by two points last year and three in 2021. This particular study measures owners’ emotional attachment and level of excitement with their new vehicle by asking them to consider 37 different attributes. This year’s results were derived from the responses of 84,555 owners of new 2023 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership.
“The decline in consecutive years might look small, but it’s an indicator that larger issues may lie under the surface,” said Frank Hanley, senior director of auto benchmarking at J.D. Power. “Despite the technology and design innovations that manufacturers put into new vehicles, owners are lukewarm about them. While innovations like charging pads, vehicle apps, and advanced audio features should enhance an owner’s experience, this is not the case when problems are experienced. This downward trajectory of satisfaction should be a warning sign to manufacturers that they need to better understand what owners really want in their new vehicles.”