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If you’ve ever been super attached to a car, you can probably understand why J.D. Power measures the emotional appeal of vehicles. You may have never considered whether a car or truck you’re thinking about buying will give you emotional satisfaction, but maybe you should. And just how attached to your vehicle you might get is quantifiable, thanks to J.D. Power’s Appeal award. If you’re shopping for a new pickup truck, and you want to really, really love it, the Appeal award shows that you should buy a 2021 Ram 1500.

A black 2021 Ram 1500 parked outside of a house.
2021 Ram 1500 | Ram

How does the 2021 Ram 1500 do in the J.D. Power APEAL study? 

The 2021 Ram 1500 and the Stellantis brand in general do well in the J.D. Power APEAL study. The Ram took the number one position in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study. This measures how well a vehicle performs over the first three months of ownership. Dodge was a close second. Of course, Dodge and Ram are closely related, with Ram having split off from the Dodge brand in 2009. Still, the fact that these siblings secured the number one and number two positions proves how strong each brand has remained. 

The J.D. Power APEAL study named the 2021 Ram 1500 the best vehicle in the large light-duty pickup category for the second year in a row. In the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, Ram Heavy Duty pickup trucks also scored the best. The Ram Heavy Duty pickup trucks performed better than any other large pickups. 

What is the J.D. Power APEAL study?

So the 2021 Ram 1500 did well in the APEAL study; what even is that? The J.D. Power APEAL study measures how someone feels about their vehicle. “The APEAL Study measures owners’ emotional attachment to their new vehicle…” says J.D. Power’s director of global automotive, David Amodeo. The APEAL study asks evaluators to respond to 37 attributes, “ranging from the sense of comfort they feel when climbing into the driver’s seat to the exhilaration they get when they step on the accelerator.”

It isn’t new, even if you’ve never heard of it. J.D. Power has been running this study for 26 years. They do it in conjunction with their Power Initial Quality Study, and their Tech Experience Index Study. In addition to measuring someone’s attachment to their new car, truck, or SUV, the J.D. Power APEAL study also tries to measure how excited a person is about their new vehicle. 

What does this all mean for the 2021 Ram 1500?


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You’re probably not surprised to learn that people get attached to their cars. Perhaps you have fond memories of your first clunker, or of the luxury SUV you bought after a job promotion. Maybe you had an especially difficult time parking with the minivan you brought your first child home from the hospital in. 

What may be surprising is that someone has found a way to measure this feeling. It’s a good feeling though, isn’t it? To get into a car that you genuinely love, to feel secure in your chosen vehicle, like it’s looking out for you as much as you’re taking care of it. And who wouldn’t want that feeling?

So if J.D. Power has found a way to measure how emotionally attached people get to various cars, then it makes sense that car shoppers would want to pay attention to that. If you know that more pickup truck owners are attached to their Ram 1500 than any other pickup truck, and all other factors are more or less equal, then it would make sense to buy a 2021 Ram 1500. 

The next time you’re shopping for your pickup truck, you might want to take a look at the J.D. Power APEAL awards to get a sense of just how much you’re going to fall in love with your truck. If you love everything else about that pickup, perhaps it’s the perfect choice. If you’re looking at the 2021 Ram 1500, there’s a very good chance that you’ll fall head over heels in love with it.