Another day, another honor for Hyundai. Competing against the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series and Lexus LS, the perennial leaders, the Hyundai Equus luxury sedan has for the first time earned the top spot on J.D. Power and Associate’s APEAL (Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout) Study for large premium cars.
It marks the first time since the survey’s inception in 1996 that a car other than a Mercedes, BMW or Lexus has claimed the large premium category. The base starting price for the Equus is $58,900.
Hyundai, which began selling cars in the United States in 1986, had its overall biggest jump in the ranking, improving from 28th in 2010 to 15th in 2011.
The study, now in its 16th year, surveys new car buyers after 90 days of ownership, asking them to rate their impression of their vehicle’s design, content, layout, and performance. Vehicles and their brands are scored on a 1,000 point scale.
The Equus totaled more than 900 points, the highest of any individual car.
The industry average of 781 out of 1,000 points for 2011 was the highest on record, with perennial chart toppers Porsche, Jaguar and BMW leading all brands with averages at 879, 857 and 850. Suzuki was the lowest ranked with 734 points.
The Chevy Volt was the highest ranked compact car and General Motors’ only segment winner, while Ford models took home two awards and the Challenger, Charger and Durango won their respective categories for Dodge. BMW also received three segment wins.
Article Last Updated: August 1, 2011.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.