“Dodge Challenger’s win of the 2009 Motorist Choice Award was preceded by its win of the AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Award. Owners in the Sporty Car Segment gave the Challenger the nod as it packs everything the 1970s muscle car had to offer into a modern reincarnation. From flair and bravado to horsepower and braking, the Challenger has what it takes to be a success in this segment.” — AutoPacific
“The Challenger has the lowest insurance costs and was ranked first in the AutoPacific survey.” –IntelliChoice
Owner Satisfaction Highlights
* Exterior Styling
* Fun to Drive
* Power and Acceleration
* Vehicle’s Ride
* Lowest Insurance Costs
Awards Show Consumers Enjoy Luxury and Size
(August 11, 2009) — Right brain, left brain; the practical versus the emotional — an age-old dilemma often at the center of decision making when buying a new car or truck. The 2009 Motorist Choice Awards recognize new cars and trucks that give their owners both economic and emotional satisfaction, helping new-car buyers find vehicles that best satisfy all of their personal-transportation needs. The fourth annual Motorist Choice Awards survey, announced today, scores 196 cars, trucks, crossovers and SUVs. With the top overall scores in both owner satisfaction and value, the Lexus LS placed highest of any 2009 model year vehicle.
Large and luxury vehicles dominated this year’s results. The top 34 ranked cars, and 106 of the top 107, are large cars, luxury cars, sport utility vehicles, crossover SUVs or minivans. Only one small car, the BMW 1-Series, scored in the top 100, landing in the 35th slot. Toyota Prius is the next-highest-scoring small car, coming in 107th.
Awards are given for top-scoring vehicles scoring in each of twenty-three segments, as well as for the top-scoring brand. Nine manufacturers earned segment wins, led by Toyota with nine awards (including three for Lexus), followed by General Motors with six (Chevrolet 4, Cadillac 2), Honda with three, and Chrysler with two (Dodge 1, Jeep 1). Audi, Ford, Hyundai, Nissan and Volkswagen took top honors in one segment each.
(And check out our video on YouTube.)
Ask yourself this the next time you’re driving next to some high-zoot luxury or sports car: what kind of person is behind the wheel? Maybe a doctor or lawyer? Maybe a business executive of some sort? Now ask yourself this: who’s cooler, a doctor/lawyer/executive or a rock star? If you are like most people, you’d say it was the rock star.
I would then have to submit that a Sprinter is cooler than most luxury vehicles out there. Ok, I have truly gone off the deep end. Or have I?
“Dodge Challenger’s win of AutoPacific’s 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award demonstrates that Dodge has solid contender in the Sporty Car segment. A muscle car in the old style, Challenger has the presence that its owners appreciate,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, Inc. “In a product segment where buyers value styling, image and performance, Challenger delivers.” The Challenger earned class-leading scores in such critical categories as:
* Exterior styling
* Safety features
* Interior storage
* Cargo space
Public Responds Positively to Ford’s Actions, but Some Still Have Reservations
TUSTIN, Calif. (June 17, 2009) — American consumers’ opinions about Ford Motor Company have been positively influenced by the company’s decision not to accept government bailout funds, and by the bankruptcy filings of rivals General Motors and Chrysler. Automotive research and analysis firm AutoPacfic conducted an online survey of more than 900 U.S. consumers regarding their purchase intent and opinions of individual car companies. Highlights include:
* Asian and European manufacturers scored highest when the survey asked “How concerned are you about buying/leasing a vehicle from” a particular maker, with an average of 61% “Not concerned at all.” Ford scored 48%, far ahead of GM’s 15% and Chrysler’s 14%.
Over the last decade or so, we’ve seen quite a few retro-styled vehicles come into the marketplace. Most of them have been inspired by icons from the 50s and 60s. And why not? These were happy times for many, and the cultural icons from those days are still looked upon with great fondness.
There seems to be far less nostalgia for the 1970s, though. It was a time that represented challenges for many Americans. Unstable energy costs, mass unemployment, and economic turmoil meant tough times for many. Chrysler needed a bailout from the government to survive. Um, wait a minute, am I talking about the 70s or right now?
The Dodge Ram is all-new for 2009, and Dodge is setting a new and higher standard for the full-size pickup segment with this generation Ram. It offers class-leading strength in many important areas, and dramatic styling and a new coil-spring rear suspension contribute to the class win. Attributes where the new Ram is the class leader include:
• Exterior and interior appearance, and image
• Dynamic characteristics, specifically including ride, handling and braking
• Overall quality, and warranty
• Safety features, and a feeling of safety when driving
• And, perhaps most important of all, value for the money
As I write this, much attention is focused on Chrysler, a company now entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings amidst an automobile industry that has collapsed. It’s quite a backdrop to consider as we evaluated the latest Dodge Ram pickup truck. Let’s get this out of the way first: the latest Dodge Ram is the best driving pickup I’ve ever driven, and its interior is the best I’ve ever seen from Chrysler.
As true of most manufacturers, Chrysler LLC is working on a full electric vehicle. Chrysler is going for the sport-minded set, though, teasing with a two-seat Dodge sports car, complementing Jeep Patriot EV and Chrysler Town & Country more practical-minded extended-range EV concepts.
Follow the jump for more photos and the full Dodge press release.
Along with looking at new-century powertrain options, Chrysler LLC showed off ideas for connecting drivers to their cars and houses in the future. This trick interior was found inside the stunning 200C concept.
Could this be the future of the gauge cluster?
Though the primary purpose of vehicles remains getting us from point A to point B, we live in an increasingly connected world. The technology is available to have your smartphone replace these new-fangled smartkeys, find your car remotely, find out if your friends are in the areas, and even see traffic real-time by connecting to city intersection cameras.
All manufacturers are working with partners to see how quickly and how well we remain seamlessly connected to our jobs, families, fun, and obligations as we move from home to car to work or school to car to destinations and everywhere between. Follow the jump to get an idea of the solutions Chrysler is looking for.