For the third 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. The study measures owners' delight with the design, content, layout and performance of their new vehicles.

MINI has been successful attracting buyers with a fun, unique design, including the cars' signature contrasting roof, and wheels pushed to the four corners. 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 have enjoyed the freedom to individualize the content of their MINI with every option offered a-la-carte. This is all combined with the MINI brand?s fun and “cheeky” personality, offering customers a truly enjoyable ownership experience.

“We are excited to have received this award,” said Jack Pitney, vice president of MINI USA. “To receive this honor for the third year in a row is a true testament of how much delight owners are having behind the wheel of their MINIs and it underscores the performance, fun and value our cars provide to them.”

The 2004 APEAL Study is based on responses from 102,951 new-vehicle owners during the first 90 days of ownership. The study, now in its ninth year, is based on eight specific categories of vehicle performance and design that identify what consumers like and dislike about their new vehicles. The areas are: engine/transmission; ride, handling and braking; comfort/convenience; seats; cockpit/instrument panel; heating, ventilation and cooling; sound system; and styling/exterior.