Mid-Size Car: The all-new Suzuki Kizashi has been burning up the AutoPacific charts since it’s launch. It won the 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction Award and now collects a 2010 Ideal Vehicle Award. Owners are elated with this vehicle! Some of the top rated attributes include: safety features, handling, exterior size, exterior styling, cargo space and interior lighting.
The 2010 Suzuki Kizashi was the overall winner in this year’s AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award rankings among 2010MY vehicles, meaning that it not only was best in its mid-size car segment, but was more satisfying to its owners than any other 2010 model year vehicle on the market. Yes, more satisfying than Camry, Accord, or Altima. Heck, it was rated as more satisfying by its owners than Lexus LS460, for crying out loud!
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.
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.
Who Says You Can’t Get Standard Navigation for $18,500? Not Suzuki
We called up the kind folks over at Suzuki this winter and asked if we could check out one of their latest additions, the 2010 SX4 Sportback. Specifically, we wanted to check out the standard integrated Garmin navigation system. Having spent a reasonable amount of time with systems that range from $1500 to $2500, the idea of a cheap but functional system appeals. The expensive systems generally have great graphics, bigger screens, and are nicely integrated into the car’s center stack. But are they worth it?
Suzuki is also making some noise with what is now the second-oldest vehicle in its range, the five-door SX4, for 2010MY. Launched for the 2007MY, this five-door hatchback was introduced as an AWD model, causing some to initially confuse it with a small SUV. The range was expanded to include a sedan with the 2008MY, and a front-drive version of the hatchback became available for 2009MY. With 2010MY, these cars take a new engine that boosts power to 150HP and also comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission.
Suzuki Kizashi arrives in showrooms in December 2009. When the car was revealed this summer, we talked about how its size fits into the market (click here), but Suzuki recently invited us to spend an afternoon flogging the car around rural roads in North Carolina and at the Virginia International Raceway. We happily obliged.
Should Americans recent appreciation for cheap chic develop into a sustained shift, Suzuki is ready. Kizashi is a sporting, stylish sedan with premium features and finish at a mainstream price–a mainstream price, not a value price. For Suzuki, if keeping up with the Joneses now means how little did you spend to get fancy tricks of premium cars, Kizashi represents well. Comparing Kizashi against its development targets (Alfa Romeo 159, Acura TSX, and Volkswagen Passat CC), and you find a responsive drive, lots of features, and generic uplevel cues. Suzuki’s target was good for the consumer: It resulted in a better car.
Kizashi is smaller than Mazda6, larger than compact Chevrolet Cobalt; smaller than Ford Fusion and larger than Volkswagen Jetta. Kizashi is ahead of the segment offering AWD; sure, Ford Fusion does, but only with more expensive V6 models. Speaking of V6, Kizashi launches without one. AutoPacific’s research shows most buyers would put a six-cylinder in their next ideal vehicle–even if they often end up buying a four–and Suzuki has one we wouldn’t be surprised to see later.
Suzuki unveiled the company’s very first mid-size sedan this week, and VehicleVoice staff were on hand to witness the car’s global debut. The importance of the car to Suzuki cannot be overstated. The company has long been known for small vehicles, specifically compact cars and SUVs. But, buyers of small vehicles tend to want to move up to larger vehicles next time around and by and large, Suzuki has not had larger vehicles to move owners up into (we’ll ignore the forgettable Verona, a rebadged Daewoo sedan). Thus, the company has not been able to retain its customers as they progress through their lifestages.
Owners in the Compact SUV/Off-Road Vehicle segment place the Suzuki Grand Vitara into the winner circle, giving it the 2008 Ideal Vehicle Award. With highly rated visibility, interior lighting, technology, wheels and tires, safety features and great ingress/egress the Grand Vitara, with its off-road capabilities and on-road comfort, comes out ahead.
Tustin, California, June 30, 2008 –
An “ideal” is defined as an excellent or perfect example. In the annual Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA), announced today by automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific, owners rate their new 2008 model year cars and trucks by how close they come to their ideal, as measured by 15 key vehicle attributes. The cars or trucks that owners would change the least are the most ideal.
was in the top rank among the 2008 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards in what has become one of the most competitive SUV segments — the Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV Segment. Owners’ satisfaction with Power and Acceleration, Braking, Handling, Traction in All Weather Conditions and Safety Features were among the highest scores for the XL-7. Owners also gave the vehicle top marks for being Fun to Drive.
For the second year in a row, the Ford
Edge has ranked at the top of the Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV Segment in the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. Considered by some to be Ford’s crossover ‘halo vehicle’, the Ford Edge has very satisfied customers. Exterior Styling, Driver’s Seat Comfort and a sense of owners Feeling Safe While Driving helped the Edge receive top honors again this year.
For the second year in a row, the Toyota
FJ Cruiser is in the top rank of Vehicle Satisfaction Awards in the Compact SUV/Off-Road Vehicle segment. Owners rated the FJ Cruiser highly for Toyota’s Reputation for Reliability and Overall Quality. Traction and the Fun to Drive factor also helped the FJ Cruiser garner this year’s VSA award, overcoming shortcomings in Driver’s Seat Visibility and Rear Seat Comfort to rise to the top of the segment.
Owners of the Suzuki
Grand Vitara rated the vehicle best in the Compact SUV/Off-Road Vehicle Segment of the 2008 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. Offering seating for five, V6 power and a long list of standard features, the Grand Vitara garnered high markes in the Warranty, Safety, and Handling categories.