Volt Rated Most-Loved Compact Car

According to J.D. Power and Associates’ latest U.S. APEAL (Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout) study, the Chevrolet Volt was named the most-loved compact car, ahead of the Volkswagen Golf and Honda CR-Z Hybrid. In fact among the awards for each class of vehicle, Chevrolet received the most accolades of any one brand, with the Avalanche and Sonic also garnering most-loved status in the large pickup and subcompact car categories.

The APEAL study is designed to examine how gratifying a new car or truck is to own and drive, using owner evaluations of more than 80 different vehicle attributes. For the 2012 study, data was gathered from over 74,000 different vehicle purchases and lessees between February and May this year. These motorists were survey after owning their vehicles for approximately 90 days.

The APEAL study, which is designed to supplement J.D. Power’s well-known Initial Quality Study, highlighted some fairly industry trends for 2012; notably that 27 percent of new vehicle buyers downsized when trading in.

According to David Sargent, J.D. Power and Associates’ vice-president of global automotive, a significant factor for this is due to the fact that “new-vehicle buyers who downsize aren’t making the sacrifice they once were. Automakers are heavily focused on providing [the U.S. market] with smaller models and buyers may be surprised at just how good they are.”

Interestingly, the Volt was the only EV to make the 2012 list, the only other significant “green” vehicles being the CR-Z and Toyota Prius v, both of which ranked third in their respective categories.