In the latest J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, MINI is tops in the hotly contested Compact Segment, ahead of the VW Jetta and the Honda Civic, and a horde of other brands. A win in such a broad category with a lot of excellent competition, not a narrow segment like Compact Convertibles or Sporty Hatchbacks or what have you, is indicative of how well the MINI is designed right from the start. This is one of the most important segments in the market, and MINI has walked away not only with the bragging rights, but a whole lot of vindication for the basic superiority of design.

This study also shows very plainly that all-new models, or models that have undergone a major redesign very recently, usually receive APEAL scores that are above average, by a wide margin. The MINI is a four year old design, with only facelifts recently, so finishing in ninth place in the overall 2006 Nameplate APEAL Chart, behind a slew of luxury brands and well ahead of any direct competitors, is quite a feat. J.D. Power Surveys may have their critics, but they are widely recognized as benchmark reports industry-wide, and are usually seen as definitive by the general consumer.

The APEAL Study identifies what consumers like and dislike about their new cars during the first 90 days of ownership, particularly with the vehicle’s design, content, layout and performance. This result vindicates what many MINI owners have felt since the J.D. Power 2006 Initial Quality Study came out recently – the MINI is much more than a first impression car. The market is
full of makes that might start strong, but fade into also-rans within 90 days, but not MINI! There’s been a lot of talk lately about MINI’s direct competition, and what’s out there, but this goes a long way to show how far the others, who were barely blips on the radar in this study, have to go to
beat MINI.

[ 2006 APEAL Press Release ] JD Power