Buying a small car used to mean compromising features or luxury compared to larger models, but automakers are heavily focused on building small cars that have wide appeal to car buyers who are used to larger models. The effort has paid off according to the 2012 APEAL Study from J.D. Power and Associates, which reported that more than half of the new or redesigned car models earned better scores than their segment average.
Among the findings in this year's APEAL Study, which stands for Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout, was that the average score of compact/sub-compact models is 765 (out of 1,000), which is the same average score for midsize cars in 2008. Similarly, midsize premium cars scored 844 in the latest study, the same average score for large premium cars in 2008.
The study found that nine cars that were either all-new or fully redesigned outperformed their segment average, including the Chevrolet Sonic, which topped the small/compact segment average by 28 points, and the Volkswagen Passat, which surpassed the midsize car segment average by a whopping 38 points. Other models that outperformed their segment average included:
- Buick Verano.
- Fiat 500.
- Ford Focus.
- Honda CR-V.
- Hyundai Accent.
- Kia Rio.
- Toyota Prius v.
- Volkswagen Beetle.
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.