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2014 Kia Optima Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

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The 2014 Kia Optima is the highest scoring Mid-Size Car in AutoPacific’s 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research. Coming in behind the Optima are the Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Altima, and the Toyota Camry.  The Optima also won the VSA for its class in 2013 giving it two years as the top satisfying Mid-Size Car.

The 2014 Kia Optima leads its category with eighteen wins and ties out of fifty attributes. The Optima also comes within one tenth of a satisfaction point in fourteen other categories. For over sixty percent of the satisfaction measurements the Optima is on top.

The top ten highest ratings by Kia Optima owners are: the exterior styling and color, image, warranty, the perception of reliability and dependability, overall quality and image, exterior size, safety rating, and feeling safe while driving.

Subjectively, even as it ages, the Optima remains one of the best styled mid-size cars of recent years.

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2014 Chevrolet Camaro Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

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The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro is the highest scoring Sporty Car in AutoPacific’s 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research. Coming in just behind the Camaro are the Hyundai Veloster, Scion tC, Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang, and the Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro led its category with twenty-nine of fifty wins or ties in satisfaction. The Camaro also was within one tenth of a point with six more attributes. This puts the Camaro leading in seventy percent of the satisfaction categories.

The top ten highest ratings by Chevrolet Camaro owners are: exterior color and styling, brand and vehicle reputation, handling and braking, image, perception of reliability and durability, perception of feeling safe when driving, and it is fun to drive.

Competition for the Camaro gets stiffer for the 2015 model year with the all new 2015 Ford Mustang being introduced and the facelifted 2015 Dodge Challenger entering the fray.  The Hyundai Genesis coupe also is due for a update and reportedly gets a V8 engine for the first time.  Camaro also is getting a facelift about now, so the playing field will be mostly all new for 2015.  It will be interesting to see how the Sporty Car dynamics play out.

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2014 Ford F-Series Super Duty Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

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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.

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2014 Chevrolet Sonic Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

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The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic is the highest scoring Economy Car in AutoPacific’s 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research. The Sonic edged out some impressive competitors such as the Nissan Versa, Ford Fiesta, Fiat 500, Hyundai Accent, and the Kia Rio.

The 2014 Chevrolet Sonic ties in one out of fifty categories and was within one tenth of a rating point with eight other attributes. The Sonic is a leader in eighteen percent of the satisfaction categories.  While Sonic does not win by an overwhelming margin, it is close in so many categories that it edged into the lead to win its class.

The top ten highest ratings by Sonic owners are: the perception of reliability and dependability, exterior color and styling, the safety rating and perception of feeling safe while driving, exterior size, safety features, overall quality, fun to drive, and the brand reputation.

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2014 GMC Sierra 1500 Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

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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.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

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The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA is the highest scoring Premium Compact Car in AutoPacific’s 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research.  Coming in behind the CLA is the Buick Verano, MINI 2-Dr, Acura ILX, Volkswagen GTI, Subaru Impreza WRX and the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO.

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA wins or ties in five of fifty satisfaction categories. The CLA is within one tenth of a rating point in eleven categories. For over thirty percent of the satisfaction measurements the CLA is on top.

The top ten highest ratings by CLA owners are: brand and vehicle reputation, the exterior styling and color, the overall quality and handling, the enjoyment of driving the vehicle, the image the vehicle puts off, the braking, and interior styling.

Mercedes-Benz wins in its first foray into the front wheel drive premium small car market.  While the CLA begins around $30,000, it can quickly get into the mid-thirties and, with the AMG model, move into the $50,000 range.  This year, the Audi A3 was not yet on the market to challenge the CLA.  It will be interesting to see if Mercedes can keep its top spot when Audi owners weigh in about their new A3 for 2015.

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2014 Kia Soul Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

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The all new 2014 Kia Soul is the highest scoring Compact Car in AutoPacific’s 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research. The Soul beat out some very impressive competitors such as the Volkswagen Golf, Chevrolet Cruze, Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, and the Honda Civic.

The 2014 Kia Soul wins or ties in seven of fifty satisfaction categories. The Soul also was within one tenth of a rating point in thirteen other categories. The 2014 Kia Soul is at the top of a total of twenty categories.

The top ten highest ratings by Kia Soul drivers are: the warranty, the perception of reliability and dependability, overall quality and handling, vehicle and brand reputation, feeling safe while driving and the safety rating, the exterior color, and it is fun to drive.

As Kia’s top selling nameplate, Kia played it safe with the 2014 re-do.  Still one of the most pleasant small cars to drive, it excels with its quirky styling, easy entry and exit, good visibility.  Simply, the Soul is very easy to live with on a day to day basis.

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2014 BMW 3-Series GT Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

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The 2014 BMW 3-Series GT is the highest scoring Aspirational Luxury Car in AutoPacific’s 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research.  Coming in behind the 3-Series GT are some very impressive competitors; the Hyundai Genesis, BMW 4-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Volvo XC70, and the Audi A4.

The 2014 BMW 3-Series GT demonstrated  its excellence in luxury by winning or tying in twenty-one of fifty attributes.  The 3-Series GT also came within one tenth of a rating point with eleven other attributes.  For over sixty percent of the satisfaction measurements, the 3-Series GT is at the top.

The top ten highest ratings by 3-Series GT owners are: the reputation of the BMW brand and the 3-Series, the perception of reliability and durability, enjoyment of driving the vehicle, the image the vehicle puts off, ease of loading and unloading cargo, overall quality and handling, exterior size, and interior styling.

While the 3-Series GT may look ungainly to some, it leads the pack for its functionality and rear seat spaciousness.  This “almost” crossover scores in areas where other Aspirational Luxury Cars simply cannot.

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2014 Lincoln MKZ Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

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The 2014 Lincoln MKZ is the top scoring Luxury Mid-Size Car in AutoPacific’s 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research. Coming in a close second was the Lexus ES followed by the Nissan Maxima, Volkswagen CC, and the Acura TSX.

The 2014 Lincoln MKZ led its category with twenty-two wins and thirteen ties out of fifty satisfaction attributes. This puts the 2014 Lincoln MKZ hitting the top of the mark in seventy percent of the categories.

The top ten highest rankings by MKZ owners are: the exterior styling and color, the braking, the perception of reliability and dependability, feeling safe when driving, interior styling, the reputation of the Lincoln brand, overall quality and handling, and enjoyment of driving.  The MKZ had a difficult launch in early 2013, but clearly the teething problems of the early production run have been corrected and owners acquiring the cars during Fall, 2013 are very pleased with their vehicle.

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2014 Chevrolet Impala Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

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The 2014 Chevrolet Impala is the leader in scoring for the Large Car category in AutoPacific’s 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research. Coming in behind the Impala are some impressive competitors: the Hyundai Azera, Chrysler 300, Toyota Avalon, Buick LaCrosse, Dodge Charger, and the Ford Taurus.

In achieving this level of satisfaction, the 2014 Chevrolet Impala wins in twelve categories and ties in fourteen. This puts the Impala as a leader in twenty-six out of fifty satisfaction categories. At over fifty percent for satisfaction measurements the Impala is at the top.

The top ten highest ratings by Impala owners are: the perception of reliability and durability, the exterior size, color and styling, braking and handling, feeling safe while driving and the safety rating, the overall quality, and the interior styling.  Clearly the all new Impala with its new, more expressive styling sets the standard in today’s Large Car segment.

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