JD Power: Toyota Highlander is the Top Mid-Sized SUV

In case you missed it… JD Power recently named the new (2014+) Toyota Highlander the top mid-sized SUV based on the results of their Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) Study. Surprised? I’m not.

The APEAL Study examines owner opinions of the design, content, layout, and performance of their new vehicles after 90 days of ownership. It looks at a variety of vehicle attributes in eight categories:

  • Styling/exterior
  • Engine/transmission
  • Ride, handling, and braking
  • Heating, ventilation, and cooling
  • Cockpit/instrument panel
  • Comfort/convenience
  • Sound system
  • Seats

JD Power has further distilled the numbers down into an “Overall Performance and Design” rating as well as four sub-categories:

  • Performance (powertain & suspension)
  • Comfort (comfort/convenience features & seats)
  • Features and instrument panel (audio system, gauges, & HVAC)
  • Style (uniqueness and color options for interior & exterior)

And guess what? The Highlander got five stars across the board.

Related: Consumer Reports loves the Highlander, too.

While the goal of this study is to provide manufacturers and suppliers with feedback on owner perceptions regarding quality and design, it also serves as an indicator of owner satisfaction for new car buyers, particularly following a major re-design.

Since the 2015 Highlander is the same as the 2014 model, all of this info is still applicable as we roll into the new model year.

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