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Hyundai Azera First Impression and Test Drive

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If you were to have ever told me that I would actually feel comfortable peering through Korean glass at the road ahead, I would have laughed and told you that it would only be on the off chance I took an unplanned road trip through Seoul.
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However, when the Hyundai Azera won AutoPacific‘s Vehicle Satisfaction Award as top rated car I broke down and decided to take one home for the night, just to take a closer look. My initial reaction was one of surprise as I walked over to a substantial vehicle with contemporary styling and opened the solid drivers door to a plush, high-grade leather interior. This is a Hyundai? I’m used to bland aesthetics and plastic wheel covers, this car actually had decent lines. I was about to realize how quickly a manufacturer could sneak up on my perceptions. The simple fact was that the Azera, Hyundai’s luxury flagship, was going to introduce me to the tenacity of the Hyundai Motor Company, and their fierce determination in this market segment.


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AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Results – Japanese Brands On Top

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The AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards honor products in nineteen categories or segments. Nine categories are cars and ten are trucks.
Overwhelming Win by Japanese Brands in Satisfaction by Vehicle Type
Overall, owners of Japanese brand vehicles rate their cars or trucks at the top of their category in ten of the nineteen categories. Owners of European brand vehicles rated their vehicle tops in two categories – Volkwagen Passat in the Premium Mid-Size Car Category and the MINI Cooper in the Image Compact Car class. The American Big Three had five wins… Lincoln Navigator won it all with the highest rating of any vehicle – car or truck; Cadillac CTS, Mercury Milan, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty. OK, that leaves two winners unaccounted for… those are from Hyundai.
The Hyundai Azera is the top rated car, even beating top class luxury cars like the Lexus LS430, jaguar XJ, BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The Hyundai Santa Fe is the top rated Mid-Size SUV for the fifth time in its six year history… this win comes just months before it is replaced by an all new Santa Fe to be produced in America.
So…
Japanese Brands – 10 with Suzuki having its first ever win
American Brands – 5 with Chrysler Group having zero wins
European Brands – 2
Korean Brands – 2
Check http:/.vehiclevoice.com for the complete listings.


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Acura RSX Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Sporty Cars

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The Acura RSX is a small sporty coupe priced substantially below other Acura entries. This value, combined with a great powertrain and sports car like handling provide RSX owners with class-topping satisfaction. This satisfaction was communicated as the RSX won AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award in the ‘sporty car’ category. Interesting that this award comes soon after Acura management has announced that the RSX is being dropped.


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Nissan Titan Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Large Pickups

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Owners of the 2006 Nissan Titan rate the pickup at the top of the Large Pickup category. The 2006 model year is the third year in a row Titan has topped its segment in the AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. This is an outstanding accomplishment and testament to the satisfaction Titan is giving its owners.
Titan’s achievement is truly remarkable and demonstrates the inherent differences in AutoPacific’s way of measuring satisfaction compared with others. Titan is immensely satisfying, but owner surveys conducted by others show Titan has a fair share of niggling problems. But, if you are not counting things gone wrong and looking at what really matters – how well buyers are satisfied – Titan shines. Its big, powerful V8 engine combined with outstanding styling and features provide the top-satisfying product package for 2006.
We cannot ignore that two large trucks produced at Nissan’s Canton Mississippi assembly plant won top place in their categories for both the 2004, 2005 and 2006 – Nissan Titan and Nissan Armada. This is a sweep any company can be envious of.


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Chevrolet Silverado Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Heavy-Duty Pickup Trucks

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The Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty wins the AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award among Heavy Duty Large Pickups.

A workhorse near the end of its run, the Silverado HD nosed out Dodge Ram Heavy Duty and Ford F-Series Super Duty entries. Much of its win has to be credited to its up-graded Duramax diesel for the 2006 model year.


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Lexus LS430 Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Top Brand:

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The Lexus LS430 is rated at the top of the Luxury Car category in the AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. While some luxury car buyers opt for sportier vehicles, the LS430 appeals to people valuing its sensory deprivation chamber quietness and isolation. Providing bulletproof quality and reliability, good handling, an outstanding ride and surprisingly powerful performance when pushed, the LS430 claims the title of top Luxury Car for 2006.


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Honda Ridgeline Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Sport Utility Trucks:

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Complementing the numerous awards the Honda Ridgeline has received since its introduction, Ridgeline customers weigh in by rating it as the most satisfying pickup on the market in the AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. Scoring higher than all Full Size, Heavy Duty and Compact pickups, Ridgeline proves that a softer pickup doing car and truck duty can provide great satisfaction for its owners. Heaped with innovations, including the first-ever trunk in a pickup, Ridgeline breaks the pickup mold.


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Volkswagen Passat Wins AutoPacific 2006 Premium Mid-Size Car Vehicle Satisfaction Award

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In its first year out, the all-new Volkswagen Passat has established itself as an extremely satisfying Premium Mid-Size sedan winning the AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award. Passat handily beat segment volume leaders Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Hyundai Sonata. Passat wins by virtue of its outstanding interior design, use of high touch materials and European driving dynamics.


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Lincoln Navigator Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Luxury Sport Utility Vehicles – Also Top Ranked Truck and TOP RANKED VEHICLE Overall

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The Lincoln Navigator is the top ranked vehicle for satisfaction in AutoPacific‘s 2006 vehicle satisfaction research. Not only did the Lincoln flagship beat its Luxury SUV competition, but it was ahead of all other trucks and cars as well. While Cadillac’s Escalade may be the new King of Bling, Navigator achieves its class leading status with an industry benchmark interior, full fold flat rear seating, tasteful styling and a great performing V8.


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Cadillac CTS Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Entry Luxury Cars:

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Cadillac CTS moves to the top of the Entry Luxury Car category in the AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. The European ambience of the CTS makes it a clear alternative to the Japanese and European brand entries in this segment. The fact CTS comes from an American brand is a testament to Cadillac understanding what buyers in this product category really want.


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