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AutoPacific Announces 2008 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

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Cadillac Top Brand, Mercedes-Benz S-Class Top Car, Toyota Sequoia Top Truck and Top Vehicle

Tustin, California, May 29, 2008 – A study released today by noted automotive consulting firm AutoPacific, Inc. summarizes the results of its 2008 model year vehicle satisfaction research. AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award (VSA) is an industry benchmark for objectively measuring how satisfied an owner is with their new passenger car or light truck.
In a year that promises to be the toughest in a decade, owner-based awards like AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award will help customers make their purchase decisions.
The brand with the highest satisfaction rating is Cadillac. The vehicle – car or truck – registering highest overall satisfaction in 2008 is the new-for-2008 Toyota Sequoia Large Sport Utility Vehicle. The passenger car with the highest overall satisfaction score is the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
There are twenty-eight Vehicle Satisfaction Award categories. At the manufacturer level, multiple top ranked award winners include: General Motors (eleven categories), Toyota (nine categories), Ford (six categories), Volkswagen (four categories), Honda (three categories) and Hyundai (two categories).
“Cadillac wins the Vehicle Satisfaction Award as the top brand in a close race. Strong satisfaction performance by Cadillac cars and trucks has Cadillac winning over other leading luxury marques including Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW says AutoPacific president George Peterson. “Top ranked finishes by Cadillac’s Escalade, CTS and DTS helped cement their industry topping position.”
Peterson continues, “Vehicles that are all new received top rankings in several categories: Cadillac CTS, Honda Accord, Mitsubishi Lancer, Scion xD, Toyota Sequoia, Audi Q7, Buick Enclave, Hyundai Veracruz, GMC Acadia, Saturn Vue and Nissan Rogue. These new-for-2008 vehicles were strongly rated by their owners showing that the industry continues to improve as new vehicles are added to the hotly contested American car and light truck markets.”
From a vehicle type perspective, Traditional Sport Utility Vehicles received the highest ratings as a class closely followed by Crossover Sport Utility Vehicles. Peterson says, “Clearly, SUVs continue to be one of the most popular and satisfying vehicle types available in the USA today. Even with skyrocketing gas prices, SUVs are attractive and Crossover SUVs fill the bill for most SUV buyers with better fuel economy.” Cars scored slightly below industry average followed by minivans and pickup trucks.


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What Are The Top Vehicles Purchased by Tech Savvy Buyers?

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According to AutoPacific’s annual survey of new car and light truck acquirers, the BMW 3-Series, Acura MDX, Lexus RX, Honda Accord, and Infiniti QX56 attract the most tech savvy buyers. Tech savvy consumers made up approximately 5% of the new car buying population in 2007, up from just 2% in 2006. As Gen Y matures and enters the new vehicle market in greater numbers, AutoPacific expects these numbers to continue their growth. Tech savvy car buyers were defined utilizing a collection of data filters from AutoPacific’s Research Suite® database.

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2009 Lexus LX570 – Luxurious Anonymity

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The reigning king of the Luxury SUV hill is probably the Range Rover. High priced at $77,175. Features most couldn’t conceive of in an off-road environment. Extremely competent off road. The top of the Land Rover line has established a tremendous reputation and following as THE aspirational Luxury SUV. Range Rover is not the best selling Luxury SUV, but it casts a wide shadow. And has since the early 1970s. VehicleVoice was on hand at The Grand Del Mar Hotel for the media preview of the Lexus LX570. Priced at $73,800, LX570 undercuts the Rangie, but is no less competent.

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LX570 – 3rd Generation Lexus LX
Lexus entered the upper end of the Luxury SUV market in 1996 with a facelifted and upgraded Toyota Land Cruiser – the Lexus LX450. The 1st Gen LX was replaced in 1999 by the LX470 which was freshened in 2002 and 2005. So, after a ten year run, it is time for Lexus to bring its latest LX to the market – the LX570.
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The first two LX generations did not set the world on fire from a sales standpoint. They were functional-looking SUVs loaded with features. Not head-turners. Not something to make your blood rush. They did, however, bring a very interesting clientele to Lexus. Younger, highly affluent, not wanting to make a strong statement with their vehicle. Confident, not having to show off their wealth. The 3rd Gen LX follows the same formula and hopes to attract the same type of buyer for slightly under 10,000 units per year or 3.5 LX570s per month for each of Lexus’ 223 dealers.


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2007 Motorist Choice Awards Announced

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The Motorist Choice Award is in its second year and is a collaboration between AutoPacific and IntelliChoice.com. AutoPacific, widely known for its industry expertise and research, and IntelliChoice, known for its comprehensive cost of ownership information, designed the Motorist Choice Award to help consumers identify the most satisfying cars and trucks that are also the least expensive to own.
Using data from AutoPacific’s national Vehicle Satisfaction research and the IntelliChoice Best Overall Value information, AutoPacific and IntelliChoice have developed a unique tool that can be used by consumers to help them sort through the myriad of choices in today’s automotive marketplace.
Here are the 2007 Winners of the 25 individual segment awards:
SEGMENT – Winner
Aspirational Luxury Car – Lexus IS
Compact Car – Mazda3
Compact Crossover SUV – Chevrolet HHR
Compact Pickup – Toyota Tacoma
Compact Sport Utility/ORV – Toyota Tacoma
Economy Car – Honda Fit
Image Compact Car – Volkswagen GTi
Large Car – Toyota Avalon
Large Heavy Duty Pickup – Chevrolet Silverado HD
Large Light Duty Pickup – Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Large Luxury Car – Cadillac DTS
Large Sport Utility – GMC Yukon XL
Luxury Crossover SUV – Acura MDX
Luxury Mid-Size Car – Nissan Maxima
Luxury Sport Utility – Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Mid-Size Car – Volkswagen Jetta
Mid-Size Crossover SUV – Honda CR-V
Mid-Size Sport Utility – Toyota 4Runner
Minivan – Honda Odyssey
Premium Luxury Car – Lexus LS
Premium Mid-Size Car – Nissan Altima
Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV – Nissan Murano
Premium Sports Car – Lexus SC
Sports Car – Porsche Boxster
Sporty Car – Scion tC
The press release can be found below the fold.
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Lexus SC430 – Wins AutoPacific 2007 Motorist Choice Premium Sports Car

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AutoPacific Take on Lexus SC Win – For the second consecutive year the Lexus SC wins the Premium Sports Car class, bringing home yet another Motorist Choice Award®. Owners still rate the interior and exterior styling as strongly satisfying. Its comfortable exterior size, easy ingress/egress and driver’s seat comfort make it easy for owners to put the SC430 on top. Owners rate the brand’s reputation, vehicle’s reputation and overall quality as best in class. With a smooth retractable hardtop, great audio system, and superior overall quality, SC owners have chosen the Lexus SC as the benchmark.
IntelliChoice take on Lexus SC win – The Lexus SC performs well in this class by having best in class maintenance costs and repair costs along with low insurance costs.

Posted in: Awards, Lexus, Toyota

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Lexus LS – Wins 2007 AutoPacific Motorist Choice Premium Luxury Car

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AutoPacific Take on Lexus LS Win – Owners didn’t exactly surprise us when they earmarked the Lexus flagship as a winner in the Premium Luxury Car category. Leading the class in the 2007 Motorist Choice Awards® owner’s rate the vehicle’s reputation and the quality of the Lexus dealership experience as significant contributors to its win. In addition, the LS owners rated the interior materials as top-notch, with a quiet interior and innovative technology. Owners also reported feeling very safe while driving and applauded the overall quality of their vehicle.
IntelliChoice take on Lexus LS win – In a class where retained value is king, the Lexus LS beats out the competition. The LS also performs well in fuel, maintenance, and repairs.

Posted in: Awards, Lexus, Toyota

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Lexus IS – Wins 2007 AutoPacific Motorist Choice Aspirational Luxury Car

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AutoPacific Take on Lexus IS Win – In an extremely competitive class where enthusiast buyers dominate, it’s tough to be king of the hill. The all-new 2007 Lexus IS sport sedan decisively wins the Motorist Choice Award® for Aspirational Luxury Cars. Owners rate the Lexus brand reputation and the overall quality as significant contributors to its win. Lexus IS owners also find its anti-theft features and reliable/dependable reputation very appealing.
IntelliChoice take on Lexus IS win – The Lexus IS is an IntelliChoice 2007 BOVY winner. The IS has a retained value and repair costs near the top of the segment.

Posted in: Awards, Lexus, Toyota

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2007 Lexus LS 460L: As Always, More Refinement and More Technology

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Luxury and Refinement, But Some Quibbles
For the 2007 model year, Lexus redesigned its flagship. There are now short and long-wheelbase versions, new bells and whistles, and more refinement than ever. Buttery smooth is a term long associated with the LS, and it still applies. The latest LS is quieter and smoother on the road, with enough stiffness in the suspension and chassis not to give the wallowing boat feel that some luxury cars were known for in days of old. Lexus offers a hybrid model for 2008MY, but it was the 2007 4.6L V8-equipped model delivered to AutoPacific‘s Michigan office this summer.

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Among our quibbles were the complexity of the parking assist, the oversight of a couple of convenience features, and its not particularly attractive face. Though the car looks great from the side, front view isn’t as pleasant. At each approach, I cringed a little at the overdone fascia and headlight shape. But then I got behind the wheel. Once there, all you know is luxury, comfort, and subtle grace. Behind the wheel, you know you’re in something special.
The 380HP 4.6L V8 is mated to an eight-speed transmission, with EPA ratings of 18 city and 27 highway. Despite having so many gears to cycle through, the transmission is not a hunter or reluctant to kick down when you want it to. But the car is about graceful power and style, and the behavior of the powertrain supports it well. With 380HP moving 4244 pounds, putting your foot into it doesn’t leave you breathless. It leaves you confident and sure, and generally ahead of whatever it was next to you.


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Lexus SC Wins AutoPacific 2007 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Premium Sports Car

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Lexus SC Wins AutoPacific 2007 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Premium Sports Car:
“”The retractable hardtop Lexus SC won its category by a wide margin. Maybe it’s because the SC430 is more of a boulevard cruiser than a true sports car,” says AutoPacific president George Peterson. “Buyers are particularly pleased with the SC’s Interior Appearance including Quality of Fabrics and Materials, Quality, Quietness, and Reliability/Dependability”.


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Lexus LS / BMW 7-Series Win AutoPacific 2007 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Premium Luxury Car

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Lexus LS and BMW 7-Series Tied for AutoPacific 2007 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Premium Luxury Car:
“Owners of the all-new Lexus LS460 return the Lexus flagship to its accustomed place at the top of the Premium Luxury Car rankings. The new LS460 received especially high ratings from owners with respect to Quality, Reliability, Durability, Quietness, Innovative Technology and the Dealership Experience. Tied for first place was the BMW 7-Series, which received high ratings for being Fun-to-Drive, Handling, Braking, and Driver’s Seat Comfort, but was marked down for Controls Easy to Understand and Use – a reference to BMW’s iDrive system,” said AutoPacific president George Peterson


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