For an impressive fifth year in a row, the MINI Cooper ranked highest in the Compact Car Segment in J.D. Power and Associates latest Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study. This is one of only two cars in the history of the APEAL study to achieve this status. The study measures owners’ delight with the design, content, layout and performance of their new vehicles.

MINI continues to successfully attract buyers with a fun, unique design that celebrates the cars’ compact dimensions, and is instantly recognizable as a MINI. The wheels at the four corners, along with a responsive chassis, give MINI its go-kart-like performance – another appeal that has drawn customers to MINI. And customers also enjoy the freedom to individualize the content of their MINI with every option offered a-la-carte. Fans of top-down motoring can enjoy this same appeal with the MINI Cooper and Cooper S Convertibles.

“To receive this award for the fifth year in a row – every year since MINI arrived in the U.S. – is extremely gratifying,” said Jim McDowell, vice president of MINI USA. “It is a true testament of how much delight owners experience with their MINIs and it underscores the performance, fun and value our cars provide to them.”

The APEAL Study, now in its 11th year, is based on responses from more than 63,000 new-vehicle owners during the first 90 days of ownership. The study which has been enhanced for 2006 includes ten specific categories of vehicle performance and design that identify what consumers like and dislike about their new vehicles. The areas are: Vehicle exterior, driving dynamics, Vehicle interior, Engine/transmission, Visibility and driving safety, HVAC, Storage and space, Audio/entertainment/navigation, Seats and Fuel economy.