The 2009 Motorist Choice Award winners have been announced. Congratulations to all! 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.
Wanna know why the Elantra Touring looks absolutely nothing like the sedan that it shares its name with? This wagon addition to the Elantra lineup was really sort of a last minute add to Hyundai’s US product portfolio. You might recall that the previous Elantra was available as a SAAB-esque hatchback, and the one before that was available as a station wagon. However, because Hyundai’s Korean management knew that Americans seemed to overwhelmingly prefer sedans over hatchbacks or wagons, they made the decision pretty early on to offer the current Elantra as a sedan only.
I approached the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe with great interest. Yeah, sure, it’s got all the things to make a car enthusiast swoon: great styling, rear wheel drive, and lots of power. But what made the car of particular interest to me was the fact that I had a small hand in the development of the car. I wanted to see how the finished product had turned out. Yup, not that long ago I used to work for Hyundai as a product planning manager, and I watched the car’s development as it progressed from simple sketches to computer generated 3D images to full-size clay models. I even got to drive early prototypes of the car over two years ago on Hyundai’s test track in Namyang, Korea.
AutoPacific has a new category in its Vehicle Satisfaction Awards - the Rising Star. This is the brand that has moved upwards the most in its rankings in the VSA results. Hyundai climbed eleven positions to win the award in this new category.