Top 10 Most Appealing Mainstream Models in the 2014 APEAL Study

The annual J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) StudySM is designed to measure how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive, based on survey responses from vehicle owners after at least 90 days of ownership. Owners rate their vehicles across 77 attributes, and J.D. Power compiles the information into the annual APEAL Study, now entering its 19th year of publication.

Based on the results of the 2014 APEAL Study, the 10 models listed below, in reverse order, are America's 10 most appealing non-premium vehicles, according to those who own them.

9) 2014 Mazda 6 (tie)

Mazda redesigned the Mazda 6 for the 2014 model year, with owners who purchased this midsize sedan rating it the most appealing model in its segment. There are three trim levels, a single 4-cylinder engine choice, and numerous ways to upgrade the car's infotainment and safety technologies.

9) 2014 Chrysler 300 (tie)

Although graying around its temples, the aging Chrysler 300 remains an appealing car, as evidenced by its performance in the latest APEAL Study. Believe it or not, though, four other full-size sedans score higher in the study than the 300, which gained a new value-oriented Uptown Edition for the 2014 model year.

8) 2014 Ford F-150

In its final year before a complete redesign for 2015, the best-selling vehicle in America for decades is also one of the most appealing vehicles. For 2014, Ford introduced a new Tremor sport truck model, added power-telescopic and power-folding side mirrors as an option, and made other minor changes to the F-150.

7) 2014 Toyota Highlander

Redesigned for 2014, the Toyota Highlander is an 8-passenger crossover SUV offered with a choice between a 4-cylinder, a V-6, and gas-electric hybrid powertrains. With top safety ratings and lots of space for passengers or cargo, the Highlander is a popular midsize crossover choice.

6) 2014 Chevrolet Impala

The 2014 Chevy Impala was completely redesigned and is larger, more luxurious, and technologically sophisticated than its nearly decade-old progenitor, which continues as the Impala Limited. In fact, the Impala's APEAL score improves the most among all models in the 2014 APEAL Study.

5) 2014 Kia Cadenza

A new full-size sedan from Kia, the Cadenza is offered in Premium and Limited trim levels, each powered by a 293-horsepower, 3.3-liter V-6 engine. Limited versions are equipped with numerous exclusive features, including hydrophobic glass, a blind-spot detection system, lane-departure warning system, smart cruise control system, exclusive interior colors and trim, and more.

4) 2014 Volkswagen GTI

Volkswagen wound down production of the previous-generation GTI in 2014, offering just one body style and a limited number of configurations, but that didn't keep GTI buyers from rating it one of the most appealing vehicles on the market. A redesigned 2015 GTI is already on sale.

3) 2014 Dodge Challenger

The Dodge Challenger is a retro-styled, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger coupe modeled after classic American muscle cars. According to the 2014 APEAL Study, Challenger owners find their cars more appealing than owners of the Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang. In 2014, Dodge offers several limited-edition versions of the Challenger and has brought back the "Shaker" style hood and added new Scat Pack performance options.

2) 2014 Chevrolet SS

Built in Australia, this rear-wheel-drive, full-size sport sedan is based on a model called the Holden Commodore. Packed with performance, the Chevrolet SS is also loaded with standard features and serves as GM's entry in NASCAR racing. A 6.2-liter V-8 engine whips up 415 horsepower.

1) 2014 Dodge Charger

Here it is, the most appealing non-premium model in America for 2014: the Dodge Charger. This full-size sedan is offered with a variety of trim levels, powertrains, and color choices, and for 2014 new option packages and model variants debut, expanding the lineup. The Charger is significantly revised for the 2015 model year.

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