Best in Class 2012 Mid-Size Crossover SUV: Honda CR-V
2012 Honda CR-V Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award
Owners of the all-new 2012 Honda CR-V Mid-Size XSUV give the vehicle an overwhelming win in AutoPacific’s 2012 Vehicles Satisfaction Award research with top ratings in forty, that is FORTY, of forty-eight attributes. We won’t list all the wins. It would take too much space, but let’s talk about the ratings of 4.5 or higher out of a possible 5.0 satisfaction rating points. CR-V owners give the XSUV ratings 4.5 or higher in: Overall Satisfaction, Exterior Size, Ease of Getting In and Out, Seating Capacity, Vehicle’s Reputation, Brand’s Reputation, Exterior Color, Braking, Handling, Reliability, Feeling Safe While Driving, Safety Features, Safety Ratings, Overall Quality and Durability. There are only three ratings under 4.0 satisfaction rating points: Recyclability, Collision Avoidance Technology and Price. The CR-V 2012 VSA win is an example of overwhelming superiority in a very competitive product class.
Best in Class 2012 Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV: Honda Pilot
2012 Honda Pilot Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award
Owners of the 2012 Honda Pilot give the Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV top ratings in twelve of forty-eight rating categories in AutoPacific’s 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research. Pilot owners give the vehicle top ratings in Seating Capacity, Driver’s Seat Comfort, Flexible Seating, Ease of Loading Cargo, Interior Storage, Cupholders, Wheel Size and Style, Feeling Safe While Driving, Safety Features, Safety Ratings, Price, and Durability. With a possible high score of 5.0 satisfaction rating points, a score of 4.5 or higher can be considered to be very good. Pilot owners rated the Pilot at 4.5 or higher in: Overall Satisfaction, Seating Capacity, Driver’s Seat Comfort, Ease of Loadingn Cargo, Vehicle’s Reputation, Brand’s Reputation, Handling, Reliable/Dependable, Feeling Safe While Driving, Safety Features, Safety Ratings, Quality, and Durability. Pilot owners give the Pilot ratings under 4.0 satisfaction points in five attributes: Fuel Economy, Cruising Range, Easy to Understand Controls, Recyclability, Collision Avoidance Technology.
Going on sale in July 2012, the new Nissan Altima joins the most competitive car class in the market. Representing the second largest car segment (after small cars), the mid-size car class is critically important to each manufacturer in the class; volume, profits and image are on the line.
It is hard to believe that the AutoPacific 2010 President’s Award Winner, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata, is about to be the oldest major competitor in the class. The 2013 Nissan Altima joins the new Toyota Camry (new for the 2012MY) and Chevrolet Malibu (2013 Eco model is on the market now) and awaits the launches of the upcoming 2013 heavyweights – Honda Accord and Ford Fusion in Fall 2012.
First seen at the 2012 New York International Auto Show in April, the Altima drew “WOWs” from the media at its unveiling. The management of some competitors gulped and looked a bit nervous. Most were very complimentary; the new Altima has gone upscale in a big way without adding much to its price tag.
Traditionally, the mid-size car class has been noted for its relatively bland styling. That changed with the launch of the 2011 Sonata in early 2010 where over half of the buyers indicated that exterior styling was extremely important in their selection of the car. Sonata’s swoopy styling broke the mid-size car mold. The 2011 Kia Optima that followed the Sonata is strikingly handsome in its own Euro-Korean way. Toyota stayed very conservative with its new 2012 entry and Honda is rumored to have continued its very conservative streak with the next generation Accord coming this fall. The 2013 Ford Fusion is another game changer in the mold of Sonata and Optima, but even with Fusion’s advanced styling, Altima may have pushed the envelope the farthest. Nissan calls it “Altimaness”.
Honda just can’t seem to catch a break these days. With the fallout from the tsunami, a profit sucking Japanese currency issue, the floods in Thailand, and the media in an uproar over the new Civic, well, Honda’s public relations team is working overtime. So, is the Civic really the worst car out of Honda in years or has the segment just gotten that good?
The Honda Ridgeline is the top ranked Compact Pickup based on owner ratings in AutoPacific’s 2011 Ideal Vehicle Research. As the class winner, owners don’t want much changed with some exceptions. About 30% of Ridgeline owners want better visibility. About 25% want more infotainment technology. About 20% want more power. They like Ridgeline’s ride comfort, seat comfort and size. In a class of otherwise underachievers, Ridgeline wins by a wide margin over second place Chevrolet Colorado.
Two new, completely different high efficiency cars entered the American car market earlier this year – the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt – and AutoPacific set out to find out how different the owners of those cars were from owners of hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight. We also are looking at how satisfied buyers are with the cars and what they would like changed.
Think of these four cars as being purpose-built for their technology. They did not simply adapt their new powertrain technology to an existing vehicle such as the Ford Fusion Hybrid or the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. The Chevrolet Volt is an Extended Range Electric Vehicle. The Nissan Leaf is a pure Battery Electric Vehicle. And the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight are pure Hybrids.
Based on AutoPacific’s annual New Vehicle Satisfaction Survey which has a total of almost 73,000 new car and light truck owner responses to a comprehensive questionnaire about the car buying and ownership experience, the comparison finds some interesting and insightful results.
Leaf and Volt Owners are Dramatically Different from Prius and Insight Owners: Volt owners paid $43,000 for their new car. Leaf owners paid $34,500. Prius and Insight owners paid $25,000 and $21,000 respectively. Given the price points, Volt and Leaf owners are the most affluent with incomes of $150,000. Prius owners have an income of $100,000 and Insight owners have an income of $80,000.
Leaf and Volt owners are much more likely to be male and much more into the technology of their new car. They are very similar to early buyers of hybrids who were enamored with the new innovative technology of their vehicle. The Leaf and Insight owners are the youngest of the group at 53 and 54 years of age respectively. Owners of the much more expensive Volt are 58 as are owners of the Prius.
Leaf owners have the highest level of education. About 90% have a college education. About 70% of Volt, Insight and Prius owners have a college education. Leaf owners are much more likely to be retired (almost 50%). Only 17% of Insight owners are retired. About a third of Leaf owners are in a technical profession as are 20% of Volt owners.
Leaf owners are most likely (24%) to have owned a hybrid before. Prius owners are almost as likely to have owned a hybrid (23%) as Leaf owners. Volt (8%) and Insight (8%) owners are newcomers to the world of alternative fuel vehicles. Volt owners are most likely to have previously driven a compact car (18%) or mid-size car (14%), Insight owners were most likely to have previously driven a compact car (23%) or a mid-size car (23%).
Satisfaction – Volt Wins: About 86% of Volt owners are very satisfied with their vehicles compared with 80% of Leaf owners, 70% of Prius owners and 54% of Insight owners. Among these four cars, Volt owners are most satisfied by a substantial margin. Leaf and Prius owners are about equally satisfied. Insight owners are the least satisfied among the four cars. Out of 48 satisfaction categories in the research, Volt owners are the most satisfied in 38 of the categories… an overwhelming win.
Honda has been hard at work on a new Odyssey minivan. They want you to notice this one with it’s unique styling and a utopia of mom (and dad) friendly features. But is it enough to sway buyers out of a stylish crossover?
Economy Car: Great things can come in small packages! The Honda Fit is proof positive that owners in the Economy Car segment don’t have to feel relegated to the penalty box. After winning the 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction Award it was not too surprising that owners would elevate it back up to the top of its class for a 2010 IVA award. Owners tout the Fits exterior size and styling along with its safety and ingress/egress.
Owners of the 2010 Honda Accord rate the car strongly a give the Accord a win in the hotly contested Premium Mid-Size Car Category. The Accord’s victory comes with the car winning twenty-two of forty-eight satisfaction categories.
Accord Delivers on Honda’s Promise Accord’s win comes from some superlative scores (4.5 or higher on a 5.0-point rating scale) including: seating capacity (EPA rates Accord as a Large Car, not a Mid-Size Car), driver’s seat comfort, vehicle and brand reputation, color, power and acceleration, braking, handling, reliable/dependable, forward visibility, safety features and durable/long lasting. Clearly, the Accord delivers its owners the promise of “Honda” – reputation, reliability, dependability and durability.