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Driving the 2011 Hyundai Sonata – AutoPacific President's Award Winner

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Does the 2011 Sonata Deserve the AutoPacific President’s Award – Yes
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Driving the Sonata We just finished a week driving a 2011 Sonata Limited priced at about $28,500 fully loaded. Is the car as perfect as its early owners indicate? Yes, and no. The car looks great, but styling is very subjective. It looks different from other cars on the road. It turns heads. It is distinctive. While styling is rated almost perfect by its early buyers we wonder how it will resonate with more conservative buyers who are not risk taking early adopters.
The interior is very nicely appointed. The Sonata we drove has the wine colored interior package. It feels very upscale. Tasteful. Hyundai has done a excellent job on ergonomics. The controls fall easily to hand and are easy to understand. The fonts are mostly big enough. At night the controls and instrumentation are tastefully lit by ice blue lighting. Very nice.
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4-Door Coupe Styling Doesn’t Hurt Practicality One of the things we value most highly when living with a car is how easy it is to get into and out of. We were concerned that the swoopy styling of the Sonata would hurt ingress/egress. It doesn’t. The car is easy to get into and out of. The cabin is very spacious and the rear seat is comfortable even with its fast sloping roof.


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2011 Hyundai Sonata Wins AutoPacific President's Award

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We knew the 2011 Hyundai Sonata is a good new car, but we did not know how good. Luckily, the 2011 Sonata was launched early in 2010 during the time period AutoPacific‘s 2010 New Vehicle Satisfaction Survey was in the field. We were able to add the new Sonata to the 2010 survey to see how this newcomer would compare with 2010 model year competition. Nine-hundred seventy-five owners of the new Sonata responded to AutoPacific’s survey on our VehicleVoice survey site.
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The results were astonishing. The Sonata scored the highest ratings ever in the 14 year history of AutoPacific’s vehicle satisfaction research. As a 2011 model year car, the Sonata was not eligible for AutoPacific’s 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction Award, but we felt it was only right to recognize the Sonata in some way. Hence, AutoPacific is awarding the 2011 Hyundai Sonata with its first-ever President’s Award.

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Press Release: AUTOPACIFIC GIVES THE ALL-NEW SONATA A THOROUGH TEST AND FIRST-EVER PRESIDENT'S AWARD

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Hyundai_2010_Sonata_PA.jpgTUSTIN, Calif. (June 10, 2010) – AutoPacific today announced its President’s Award for the 2011 Hyundai Sonata. This first-ever honor is the result of a special analysis of Hyundai’s all-new 2011 Sonata that adds consumer credibility to all of the positive accolades recently bestowed upon Hyundai’s most important vehicle to date.
“With all we have seen and read about the 2011 Sonata, AutoPacific felt that it was necessary to put this vehicle to a unique test,” said George Peterson, President of AutoPacific, which has researched driver satisfaction since 1997. “Over the years, we have seen several important vehicles come to market that have attempted to redefine their brands. They are often launched with a considerable amount of hype, but then fail to deliver a customer experience that truly satisfies.”
With the same methodology that AutoPacific has utilized since it began satisfaction research, 975 drivers of the all-new 2011 Sonata rated their cars in 48 separate categories ranging from the basics of comfort and convenience, to performance and environmental friendliness.
“Quite frankly, we were blown away by the results,” said Peterson. “The sheer magnitude of the 2011 Sonata’s score made recognition necessary. With a score 775 out of 1,000, the Sonata exceeded everyone’s expectations. The Sonata’s unique styling was rated almost perfect and was a key driver to its overall superior performance in this research. Clearly, 2011 Hyundai Sonata drivers are extremely satisfied with their purchase.”
But the story does not end there. According to Peterson, these results are extraordinary from an historical perspective as well. “No vehicle has achieved a score of 775 before in our satisfaction research. The Sonata’s top score surpasses anything we have ever seen, including vehicles costing twice as much.”
“Consumer response to the all-new 2011 Sonata shows the strong appeal of Hyundai’s recipe of bold design, great quality, a segment-best 35 miles per gallon, and outstanding residual values,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “This first-ever AutoPacific President’s Award, recognizing the highest score on this survey that AutoPacific has ever seen, is an apt tribute to our California design team, our global engineering team and the 2,700 team members at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama for their fresh thinking and dedication in breaking the mold of the staid and boring mid-size car.”
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 can be found on AutoPacific’s websites: www.autopacific.com and www.vehiclevoice.com.
CONTACTS:
Dan Hall dan.hall@autopacific.com 714.838.4234 or 800.576.AUTO
Deborah Grieb deborah.grieb@autopacfic.com 734.446.6940
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Our Sonata Test Car Gets Mistaken For a Mercedes-Benz

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Hyundai_2011_Sonata_flyer.jpgHyundai delivered a pearl white 2011 Sonata Limited to our office today for evaluation purposes. By now, you’ve seen the car’s standout styling and maybe even asked yourself if YOU could see yourself driving a Hyundai. One thing’s for sure, they have come a long, long way and their hits just seem to keep coming.
In any case, I took the car at lunch to run an errand at the store. Ten minutes later, I returned to the strikingly styled Hyundai to find this under the windshield wiper. Yes, you are reading that right: it’s a flyer for a local Mercedes-Benz service and repair shop. I looked around for any Mercedes-Benz vehicles nearby, and there was only one – a black GL450 SUV. Indeed, that was the only other car in sight that also had that flyer on its windshield.
In other words, the new Hyundai Sonata got mistaken for a Mercedes-Benz (probably the CLS)…by a representative of a Mercedes-Benz repair shop! If that isn’t ringing endorsement of the Sonata’s new duds, I don’t know what is.
One big difference between the Sonata and the CLS (other than many tens of thousands of dollars)…the Sonata actually has a big and spacious interior that you can easily get in and out of!


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2010 Hyundai Tucson Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Compact Crossover

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Hyu_10_Tucson.jpgThe freshly revised 2010 Hyundai Tucson is a dramatic departure from its predecessor, with expressive styling and the latest technology, while remaining true to Hyundai’s value proposition. Owners find this to be a very satisfying combination.
The Tucson is top rated (or tied for top rated) in a large number of attributes including: overall satisfaction, exterior size, exterior styling, power/acceleration, fuel economy, safety features and overall quality.
What a long way Hyundai has come! Well done.
For a complete list of winners and description of the Awards, click here.


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Autopacific Announces 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

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AutoPacVSAlogo10.jpgNational Survey Reveals Cadillac as Top Premium Brand, Buick as Top Popular Brand, Ford Motor Company Has Most Awards with Seven, Suzuki Kizashi as Top Car and Lincoln MKT as Top Truck
TUSTIN, Calif. (May 20, 2010) — AutoPacific today announced its 14th Annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSA) to help consumers make informed vehicle purchase decisions.
“While the auto industry is showing signs of improvement, more than ever before, manufacturers need to be able to differentiate themselves. Proof of satisfied customers is as good as gold,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “We’ve found that more than 25% of new car buyers are positively influenced by owner-based awards like the VSA when deciding on a new car or truck.”
AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award is an industry benchmark for measuring how satisfied an owner is with his/her new car or light truck. This study by the Southern California-based automotive research firm summarizes the results of over 42,000 new vehicle owners.
“Vehicles that score highest in the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are delivering value and satisfaction across a wide range of attributes,” says Peterson. “The winners perform well in 48 separate categories that objectively measure the ownership experience.”


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First Drive: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Delivers

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Sexy and Strong. And a Hyundai.
Hyundai has is developing its sense of style, seen in Genesis and followed up with the 2011 Sonata. This Sonata offers style inside and out, interior space and functionality, and entertaining driving dynamics. Easy on the pocketbook and easy on the eyes should be a killer combination.
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Hyundai calls this design philosophy fluidic sculpture. Aside from sounding a bit like a physics experiment, the result is an expressive sedan in a sea of sameness. Though the grille could be called over-complicated, the sculpture in bodysides and hood is refreshing, one of the youngest of automakers. The chrome strip that runs below the window line, over the front quarter panels, and all the way down to heavily detailed headlights is a particularly attractive–and difficult to manufacture–element. This Sonata looks more expensive than it is. Even better, this exterior is matched with an equally good-looking, feature-laden interior.
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The Sonata will offer four-cylinder power only, a brave choice. The 2.4L example we drove will be followed up by a turbo 2.0L and a hybrid by the end of the year. Details will be revealed at the 2010 New York auto show, but Hyundai has promised “substantially” more than 250HP from the turbo 2.0L.


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Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia

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It’s not everyday you have the chance to visit a brand spanking new automotive assembly plant, but the new Kia plant in western Georgia (USA, not Eastern Europe) makes Kia latest “transplant” to build new vehicles in the States. Kia began producing the all-new 2011 Kia Sorento in small volumes in fall 2009, right on schedule. Full production begins in mid-November.
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Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) is a 300,000 unit capacity assembly plant situated along Interstate 85 in western Georgia adjacent to the Alabama border. Its location is about 85-miles east up the 85 from the Hyundai assembly plant in Montgomery, Alabama. Surrounding and between the plants are suppliers providing components not only to the Kia and Hyundai plants in the area but some also produce components for Honda, Mercedes, and Nissan plants in Alabama and Mississippi.


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2009 Hyundai Tucson: Motorist Choice Award Winner

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Hyu_06_Tucson_2 copy.jpg“Hyundai’s Tucson wins a Motorist Choice Award as a top Compact Crossover SUV. Hyundai has done well lately, in vehicle awards and, even more important, in vehicle sales. The award-winning Tucson gains points for product content in a very competitive segment and for financial responsibility in a tough financial environment.” – AutoPacific
“The Tucson has low insurance and repair costs and was ranked first in the AutoPacific survey.” – IntelliChoice
Owner Satisfaction Highlights
• Ease of Ingress/Egress
• Reliable/Dependable
• Driver’s Seat Forward Visibility
• Feeling Safe While Driving
• Safety Features
Cost-of-Ownership Strengths
• Low Insurance Costs
• Low Repair costs


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Motorist Choice Awards Reveal Vehicles That Please Both Hearts And Minds

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(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.)


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