AutoPacific surveys new car and light truck buyers annually to determine how satisfied they are with their vehicle and what changes they want made. Based on this owner research, AutoPacific calculates the vehicles that owners want changed the least. The people who have purchased the vehicle are the people it was designed for. The data result in the AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Award. Every year there are some results that stand out. The 2016 awards are no different. Here are some highlights:
• The top brand overall is Tesla – a one car brand at the time of the research, but that one car is on target with its buyers. The Tesla Model S is the top ranked Luxury Car.
• The top popular brand is GMC – for the third year in a row.
• The most ideal vehicle, overall, is the Volvo XC70.
• Subaru swept the crossover SUV categories in which it competes with the Outback winning the Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV category, the Forester winning the Mid-Size SUV category and the Crosstrek winning the Compact Crossover SUV category. That is a very impressive sweep.
Multiple year winners include:
• Jeep Grand Cherokee – winning the last six years in a row
• Volkswagen Golf – winning the last three years in a row and six of the last ten years
• Chevrolet Colorado – for the second year in a row
• Subaru Outback – for the second year in a row
• Subaru Forester – for the second year in a row
That Tesla has won so early in its lifetime is a testament to its planning, design and engineering teams. Maybe Tesla does not have the bureaucracy that bogs down bigger companies and allows it to effectively target the affluent buyers of its first vehicle.
Jeep has been fine-tuning the Grand Cherokee since the early 1990s. The fact that it has won the Ideal Vehicle Award for six years in a row shows that Jeep really does know what Grand Cherokee owners want.
The string of Ideal Vehicle Awards won by the Volkswagen Golf over the past ten years is impressive.
Finally, Subaru has solved the equation of successful small and mid-size crossover SUVs. Subaru sales have been steadily increasing and the Ideal Vehicle Award wins show the company understands crossover SUVs. Of course their “LOVE” advertising and dog-centric messages don’t hurt either.
Owners rate Kia K900 top car, Ford F-150 top truck. Tesla Top Brand
TUSTIN, Calif. (July 8, 2015) – AutoPacific today announced its 19th annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSAs), identifying the most satisfying vehicles on the market. An industry benchmark for measuring how satisfied an owner is with his/her new vehicle, VSAs are based on survey responses from over 66,000 owners of new 2015 model year cars and light trucks.
“2015 represents a year of diversity,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “Competition is fierce and no one automaker dominates the results.” The 2015 winners are spread across nearly every manufacturer, with wins by 9 out of 11 automakers. General Motors receives the most wins with 5, followed by Kia and Nissan, with 4 and 3 wins, respectively. Honda, Toyota, FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobile), Volkswagen and Ford follow with 2 wins each. Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai each take home 1 win.
“For the 2015 model year, there are 274 models and 33 brands from which to choose a new vehicle,” says Peterson. “It can be daunting for consumers to sort through all of those options and try to predict which one will work best for them in the long run. AutoPacific VSAs help to give them a strong starting point.”
The average VSA score for 2015 is 25-points higher than in 2014 confirming products and customer handling are improving markedly. The brands with the greatest year-over-year improvements are Jaguar – improving eleven positions; Volkswagen – improving ten positions; Ford – improving nine positions.
The Kia K900 – Kia’s range topping luxury car – set an all time high and wins AutoPacific’s President’s Award. This award is given only when the overall score tops the previous high score. Interestingly, the all-new aluminum bodied Ford F-150 would have won this award if the Kia was not in the running. The previous President’s Award winners were the 2014 Mercedes S-Class and the 2010 Hyundai Sonata.
Korean Manufacturers Take Over Top Spot in Satisfaction
Tesla, a domestic brand with only one vehicle, is the top scoring brand overall. General Motors’ GMC division is the top scoring mainstream brand. In aggregate, Korean brands are the top source of high scoring vehicles. With 5 winning vehicles, including the top ranking Kia K900, Korean manufacturers Kia and Hyundai come out on top in combined average score, taking over the position previously held by European manufacturers. “Kia and Hyundai are continually improving owner satisfaction in key areas like reliability and quality, yet are also hitting the mark with safety, braking, handling, styling and seat comfort, not to mention a very satisfying warranty program,” explains Peterson.
AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Awards objectively measure owner satisfaction with 50 separate attributes ranging from interior comfort and styling to fuel economy and performance.
“In many cases, an extremely satisfying vehicle is not the car or truck that has the best absolute build quality or the best safety rating,” says Peterson. “VSAs look at the big picture, which includes owners’ experiences with their vehicle’s quality and safety, but also goes deeper into the heart of the ownership experience.”
AutoPacific is a future-oriented automotive marketing and product-consulting firm. Every year AutoPacific publishes a wide variety of syndicated studies on the automotive industry. The firm also conducts extensive proprietary research and consulting for auto manufacturers, distributors, marketers and suppliers worldwide. Company headquarters are in Tustin, California, with an affiliate office in the Detroit area. Additional information about AutoPacific and the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards can be found on AutoPacific’s websites: www.autopacific.com and www.vehiclevoice.com.
Dan Hall firstname.lastname@example.org 714.838.4234
The 2016 Ford Explorer marks the 25th anniversary of the vehicle line. When it launched as a 1991 model, the Explorer redefined what a sport utility vehicle should be – it was a high volume SUV with 4-doors (Ford wrongly estimated 4-door sales would be 30% of the mix – later, it became 100%). 7,000,000 sales later, Ford is launching a nicely updated mid-cycle product change. When the 2016 Ford Explorer launches, most people won’t be able to tell the difference from the present Explorer. While the vehicle’s sheetmetal ahead of the A-Pillar is all new and the liftgate and taillamps are all new, the differences are subtle to the casual observer. So while the change for 2016 is major, its appearance change is minor.
The 2014 GMC Acadia is the highest scoring Large Crossover SUV in AutoPacific’s 2014 Ideal Vehicle Award research. The Acadia designers, planners and engineers understood who the target buyer was and developed a vehicle that meets their requirements. The GMC Acadia is at the top of the large crossover SUV category against an impressive group including the Ford Flex, Chevrolet Traverse, and the Mazda CX-9. The 2014 GMC Acadia also won the AutoPacific 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Award. “The GMC Acadia came on strong this year winning both AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award and the Ideal Vehicle Award, says George Peterson, President of AutoPacific. Clearly, General Motors has developed a product that satisfies its owners, GMC dealers provide a satisfying buying experience and owners do not want to change it in any major way. 2014 GMC Acadia owner consider their Large Crossover SUV Ideal.”
2014 GMC Acadia owners do not want a great deal of change with their vehicle. Of the fifteen categories in the Ideal Vehicle survey, the 2014 Acadia led or tied in four categories and was within three percentage points of eight other categories.
The top five highest ratings by Acadia owners are: same exterior styling, same ride/handling, same wheels, same exterior size, and the same tires as now.
No vehicle can be perfect. Acadia owners did want several things changed. Owners would like more power and acceleration, more interior storage, and better visibility from the drivers seat. Acadia owners also would like an improved information and entertainment center. Fourteen percent of owners would like a more advanced infotainment system while 18 percent would like something simpler.
The 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 is the highest scoring Light-Duty Pickup in AutoPacific’s 2014 Ideal Vehicle Award research. Even though the vehicle has been criticized in some circles because of the evolutionary and conservative change to its exterior styling, the 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 product development team knew what their consumers wanted and met their requirements. The 2014 Sierra 1500 leads its category against some impressive light duty pickup trucks such as the Honda Ridgeline, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra, and the Nissan Frontier. The 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 also won its category in AutoPacific’s 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research.
Owners of the 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 are pleased with their vehicle and do not want many changes. Of the fifteen categories in the Ideal Vehicle survey, the GMC Sierra 1500 leads or ties in five categories and is within three percentage points of another five.
The top five highest ratings by 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 owners are: same cargo space, same exterior size, same passenger room, same exterior styling (so clearly owners are not demanding different styling), and same wheels as now.
Sierra 1500 owners did want several things changed with the vehicle. Owners would like a simpler information and entertainment system, more power and acceleration, and different interior lighting. Owners would also like it to be easier to get in and out of the vehicle.
The 2014 GMC Acadia is the leading Large Crossover SUV in AutoPacific’s 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research. Coming in behind the Acadia is the Ford Flex, followed by the Chevrolet Traverse and the Mazda CX-9.
In achieving this level of satisfaction, the 2014 GMC Acadia wins in eight categories and ties in eighteen. The Acadia is also one tenth of a rating point in another eighteen satisfaction categories. The Acadia is at the top in over eighty percent of the satisfaction ratings.
The top ten highest ratings by Acadia owners are: seating capacity, exterior styling and color, overall quality and handling, brand reputation, safety rating, interior styling, the perception of reliability and dependability, and feeling safe while driving.
General Motors Lambda entries – GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse – have won the VSA award in three of the past five years with the Ford Flex outpointing them in two of the five years.
The 2014 Ford F-Series Super Duty is the highest scoring Heavy-duty Pickup Truck in AutoPacific’s 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Award. Coming in behind the F-Series SD is the GMC Sierra Heavy Duty. Followed by the Ram Heavy Duty and the Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty.
The 2014 Ford F-Series Super Duty demonstrated their excellence in Heavy-duty Pickup trucks by winning or tying in thirty-nine of fifty satisfaction attributes. The F-Series Super Duty was within one tenth of a satisfaction point in five other attributes, putting it at the top for Heavy-duty pickups.
The top ten highest ratings by F-Series SD owners are: exterior color and size, brand and vehicle reputation, handling and braking, power and acceleration, exterior styling, the perception or reliability and dependability, and feeling safe while driving.
Ford is not to be left falling behind its competition. With its convincing win in 2014, the Super Duty is updated for the 2015 model year with a more powerful PowerStroke diesel engine and enhanced up-market trim packages – the King Ranch and Platinum models. These are very profitable units for the Ford and the Super Duty models represent about one third of Ford’s F-Series production.
The 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 is the highest scoring Light Duty Pickup in AutoPacific’s 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction research. Finishing behind the Sierra 1500 is the Toyota Tundra, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ram 1500, Ford F150, and the Honda Ridgeline.
The 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 led its category with thirty-one of fifty wins or ties in satisfaction attributes. The Sierra 1500 was also within one tenth of a rating point of fourteen other satisfaction attributes. GMC demonstrated their excellence in Light-duty Pickup Trucks, leading in forty-five of fifty categories. That is a very convincing win.
The top ten highest ratings by 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 owners are: exterior color and styling, braking, the vehicle and brand reputation, the perception of reliability and dependability, the quietness inside the vehicle, the safety features, the perception feeling safe in the car, and the exterior size.
While much of the automotive press pans the styling of the 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 because of its very evolutionary styling, this appears to not bother its owners. Even with its conservatively evolved styling, clearly GMC changed enough under the skin to give it a sollid victory in the Light Duty Pickup category.
On Monday June 16, 2014, AutoPacific announced its 18th annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSA), identifying the most satisfying 2014 model year vehicles on the market. Other automotive awards provide information on defects – things gone wrong. AutoPacific’s research looks at the issue of vehicle ownership in a totally different way – how satisfied a new vehicle is to its owner. While it’s important to know how well a vehicle is screwed together, it is even more important to learn how well buyers and drivers feel about their vehicle.
The AutoPacific 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards objectively measure owner satisfaction with 50 separate attributes ranging from interior comfort and convenience to fuel economy and performance. “Vehicles that score highest in the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are delivering value and satisfaction across a wide range of attributes,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “The winners perform well in 50 separate categories that objectively measure the ownership experience.” An industry benchmark for measuring how satisfied an owner is with his/her new vehicle, AutoPacific’s VSA are based on the results of responses from over 92,000 new vehicle owners.
For 2014, the most satisfying brands are Lincoln, Top Premium Brand and GMC, Top Popular Brand. The vehicle – car or truck – registering highest overall satisfaction is the new-for-2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class that also wins AutoPacific’s second President’s Award for achieving the highest VSA score ever. The truck with the highest overall satisfaction score is the new BMW X5 Premium Luxury Crossover SUV.
“With the launch of each new car and truck, carmakers try to improve the product and increase the satisfaction of their buyers,” explains Peterson. “By surveying a substantial number of owners who have purchased a new 2014 model year vehicle, The AutoPacific’s 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards provide an objective measurement of how well the makers are doing. More than one-third of new vehicle buyers are positively influenced by objective awards based on owner ratings when deciding on a new car or truck.”
The awards in 2014 are much more diverse than they have been in previous years, with no single brand dominating the results. Multiple top-ranked award winners are: Chevrolet with four winners; Lincoln with three winners; Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Kia, and GMC with two winners each.
The brands that improved their relative ranking positions in 2014 compared with 2013 are: GMC moving from 17th to 8th position; Lincoln moving from 6th position to 1st position; Ford moving from 25th to 19th; Chevrolet moving from 21st to 16th. Brands with the largest drop in position were Volkswagen moving from 16th to 28th position and Jaguar dropping from 7th to 17th.
From a manufacturer perspective, General Motors was tops with seven wins and Ford had four wins.
“AutoPacific 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards help vehicle buyers sort through an increasingly complicated selection of brands and models. For the 2014 model year, there are 274 models and 32 brands from which to choose a new vehicle. The VSA clearly shows the buyers which vehicles are at the top of the class they are considering,” says Peterson.
Top 2014 model year performers are:
PRESIDENT’S AWARD FOR HIGHEST VSA SCORE EVER: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
HIGHEST SATISFACTION PREMIUM BRAND: Lincoln
HIGHEST SATISFACTION POPULAR BRAND: GMC
2014 PASSENGER CAR WINNERS:
|Premium Luxury Car
Executive Luxury Car
Aspirational Luxury Car
Luxury Mid-Size Car
Premium Compact Car
BMW 3-Series GT
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
2014 LIGHT TRUCK WINNERS:
|Heavy Duty Pickup
Light Duty Pickup
Premium Luxury Crossover SUV
Luxury Crossover SUV
Large Crossover SUV
Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV
Mid-Size Crossover SUV
Compact Crossover SUV
|Ford F-Series Super Duty
Jeep Grand Cherokee