Lexus took the top spot in all three luxury car categories in the J.D. Power and Associates 2001 Automotive, Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study released Oct. 1. The LS 430 was ranked the Most Appealing Premium Luxury Car, scoring higher than its chief competitor, the Mercedes Benz S-Class. The GS 430/300 high performance sport sedans took the top spot in the mid-luxury car category, while the ES 300 was named Most Appealing Entry Luxury Car. The IS 300 sport sedan was second, right behind the ES 300 in the entry luxury car category. "Lexus' passionate pursuit of perfection is shining through," said Denny Clements, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "Our goal is to offer vehicles that customers want with features that are meaningful. With nearly all of our models appearing either at or near the top of their segments, we believe this demonstrates that Lexus customers truly love their vehicles." The 2001 APEAL study, now in its sixth year, is based on responses from more than 110,000 new-vehicle owners and measures what excites and delights them with their vehicle's features and design. The study comprises eight specific areas of vehicle performance and design, including more than 110 attributes that identify what consumers like and dislike about their new vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership. The areas include vehicle exterior styling; engine and transmission; comfort and convenience; ride, handling and braking; seats; heating, ventilation and cooling; cockpit and instrument panel; and sound system. All Lexus cars, including the LS 430, GS 430/300, ES 300, IS 300 and SC 430, as well as the LX 470 premium luxury sport utility vehicle, appear in the top-three of their segments in the 2001 study.