Category Archive:

Chevrolet Corvette – Most Ideal Sports Car in AutoPacific Research

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AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) recognizes the vehicle that best hits the target its buyers demand.  Winning an IVA shows the product planners, engineers and designers of the manufacturer understand what their target customers want and have created the vehicle to best meet their demands.

Corvette Edges Jaguar XK for IVA Win: The 2012 Chevrolet Corvette comes closest to the ideal of any Sports Car.  The Corvette edges out the second place Jaguar XK to win in the sports car class.   (Porsche Boxster/Cayman and 911 scored higher in IVA calculations, but their sample sizes were to small to qualify to be included in the final ratings).  Having eighty-percent or more of owners rating a characteristic ideal is outstanding.  Achieving a score of ninety-percent is even more impressive.  Ninety-percent or more of Corvette owners rate its exterior size, passenger roominess and ride and handling ideal.  Eighty-percent or more of Corvette owners find these additional characteristics ideal:  driver’s seat visibility, driver’s seat comfort and tires.

The Chevrolet Corvette also was best in class in AutoPacific’s 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research.

A Few Shortfalls – Infotainment and Power and Ingress/Egress: A sports car is all about style, speed and handling and not about practicality.  About 43% of Corvette owners want better infotainment technology.  This may be buyer’s remorse if they did not get a package with the navigation system and Bose audio.  About 36% of Corvette owners want more power and acceleration than they have now.  With a base car with 430HP and 4.2 seconds zero to sixty, they should be satisfied, but sports car owners always seem to want more.  Corvette is extremely low to the ground leading 34% of owners to want the car to be easier to get into and out of.  About 26% want better interior storage than they presently have.  About 24% of Corvette owners want better interior lighting than now.  About 21% would like more daring exterior styling for an already expressively styled car.  Maybe they are thinking of Ferrari or Lamborghini.

You can find an Autobytel review of this IVA award winner at  http://www.autobytel.com/auto-news/awards/consumer-s-ideal-cars-revealed-in-2012-iva-awards-112116/

For a complete summary of all AutoPacific 2012 Ideal Vehicle Award results contact karin.turner@vehiclevoice.com and title your email “IVA Results”.  A copy of the results will be emailed to you within 48-hours.


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General Motors’ Failures – Kudos for Trying

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General Motors Company (formerly “Corporation”) today is a shadow of its former self.  It sells fewer models through fewer brands since its bankruptcy in 2009.  It is reconstructing itself and building itself into a competitive and profitable car company.  That transformation appears to be going very well.

Over the years, however, General Motors has often tried to be a trailblazer (no pun intended) in new vehicle design and development.  Many of these vehicles failed, but we believe GM deserves a tremendous amount of credit for trying where other companies did not have the creative thought or resources to make a “segment breaking” product.  Here are some examples…


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AutoPacific’s 2011 Plug-In Car Supertest

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Without question, one of the most buzzworthy topics surrounding automobiles this year has been plug-in cars.  Issues like fuel price instability, dependence on foreign oil (or oil of any sort!), and the environment have stirred the imaginations of many people.  Could we really rid ourselves of oil-powered transportation?  Could America really free itself of its addiction?  At the very end of last year, the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf went on sale (retailing at $41,000 and $32,780, respectively, minus a $7,500 Federal tax credit), finally bringing plug-in transportation to the masses and, plug-in fans hope, heralding a new era in automotive history.


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2012 Chevrolet Sonic: Another Small Car Done Right

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As I drove the new Sonic, Chevrolet’s replacement for the unloved Aveo, I realized something.  There really are no bad small cars in the marketplace anymore.  The Sonic accelerated with authority.  It was quiet.  It was nimble.  It rode nicely.  It had plenty of creature comforts.  It was even nice to look at.  Truly, being behind the wheel of the Sonic was an entirely agreeable place to be.


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2011 Cadillac Escalade: What Makes for an Award Winner?

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AutoPacific, as a well-respected automotive research firm, uses the voice of real consumers like you, the VehicleVoice panel member, to help automakers make the best possible cars and trucks.  The data that we collect also helps identify what vehicles are most satisfying to their owners, as well as being the closest to their owners’ ideals.  Hence, each year we publish our annual list of AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award (VSA) winners (most satisfying vehicles in their segments, as rated by owners) and AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) winners (closest to their owners’ ideals).  These awards highlight what the best vehicles are doing right as reported by their owners, and can serve as a tool to you as the consumer in finding a vehicle that you will be extremely happy with for many years.  Despite the vitriolic rants of the angry and ill-informed, we simply report on what you as the consumer tell us.


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2011 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon: Yes, I’ll Take it Over an Aston

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At first glance, I’m one of those people whose lifestyle is what automotive marketers would deem perfect for a crossover SUV.  I love outdoors activities and often carry a surfboard in my vehicle.  And I have a baby.  Thing is, I also want my vehicle to handle.  I love attacking apexes.  I like sitting low inside a vehicle and feeling connected to the road.  In other words, I love to drive.  That’s why I’m a wagon kind of a guy.  SUVs will carry stuff, but they are rarely optimized for an engaging drive.  Wagons are the perfect sort of vehicle for people who haul things and haul butt.


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2011 Cadillac SRX: A Star in an Increasingly Crowded Class

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Ever since the Lexus RX300 first hit the streets thirteen (!) years ago, the sensibly-sized luxury crossover has been hugely desirable among the upwardly mobile.  Over time, the segment has grown by leaps and bounds, not just in terms of sales but more recently in terms of the sheer number of players.  Over the past couple years, the Europeans joined the fray with the Mercedes-Benz GLK, Audi Q5, and Volvo XC60.  And last year, Cadillac ditched the slow-selling and somewhat cumbersome three-row SRX with the smaller and more pert SRX seen here.  Wait a minute, don’t we Americans always want bigger?  What’s the deal here?


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2011 Chevrolet Cruze: GM Stops Thumbing Its Nose at Compact Cars

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The Detroit Three have for most of the prior half-century treated compact cars with disdain, even disgust at times. They represented loss-making endeavors that they were forced to build only to meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations. As a result, the American automakers for years built compact cars with contempt. Vega, Cavalier, Sunbird, ION…all are nameplates synonymous with automotive underachievement.
Even Chevrolet’s Cobalt, while not entirely a bad car, never strove to be best in class; it merely tried to be class competitive. It was conceived during a time when big trucks were the profit center for GM and gas was cheap, so building a great compact car just wasn’t a priority.


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2010 Chevrolet Camaro V6: Lots of Show, Pretty Good Go

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Perhaps it’s mildly poetic that the new Camaro’s stunning design is associated to some degree with the Transformers movies. Three years before the new Camaro hit the streets after an eight year hiatus, Bumblebee, the heroic robotic Camaro, was whetting the public’s appetites for a revitalized Chevrolet. After all, if a Camaro could look this good, how about the rest of the Chevrolet lineup? That is, if Chevrolet build this new Camaro at all?
Fortunately for everyone, Chevrolet most certainly did build this new Camaro, helping to set the stage for Chevrolet’s (and General Motors’) own transformation. Yup, Camaro is quite the transformer, both in the movies and in real life!


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Driving Impressions: 2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD

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We recently had the opportunity to drive the new 2011 Silverado HD and Sierra HD pickups. They may not look very different, but with an all-new frame and chassis and an improved powertrain these vehicles should be considered all-new.
New and improved is the theme, at least in every aspect except exterior and interior appearance.


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