Category Archive:

Yikes! F-150 Outsold!

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May sales reports are coming in. Ford F-Series, for the first time since 1991 (according to Automotive News) has been outsold by a car. In fact, by four cars.
The world is coming to an end!
Numbers after the jump…


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Toyota Sienna Wins AutoPacific 2008 Vehicle Satisfaction Award in the Minivan segment

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There is still fierce competition in the Minivan Segment of the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards, but owners of the Toyota Sienna were more satisfied with their vehicle than owners of any other minivan in 2008. The Sienna scored strongly in both Reputation categories – the Toyota Brand and the reputation of the vehicle itself. Owners also gave the Sienna high marks for Overall Seating Capacity, Reliability and Overall Quality.

Posted in: Awards, Toyota

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Saturn Vue and Toyota RAV4 Win AutoPacific 2008 Vehicle Satisfaction Award in the Mid-Size Crossover SUV Segment

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The all-new Saturn Vue was in the top rank of the Mid-Size Crossover SUV Segment in the 2008 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. Owners strongly rated the Exterior Styling of the Vue and gave it high marks for Handing, Braking and Safety Features.
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The Toyota RAV4 beat out last year’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award winner, the Honda CR-V, achieving the top rank in the Mid-Size Crossover SUV Segment. Toyota’s Brand Reputation, RAV4’s perceived Reliability and its Overall Quality were strong contributors to RAV4’s victory.

Posted in: Awards, Saturn, Toyota

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Toyota FJ Cruiser and Suzuki Grand Vitara AutoPacific 2008 Vehicle Satisfaction Award in the Compact SUV/Off-Road Vehicle Segment

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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.
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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.

Posted in: Awards, Suzuki, Toyota

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Ford Explorer and Toyota 4Runner Win AutoPacific 2008 Vehicle Satisfaction Award in the Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicle Segment

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Explorer VSA

The Ford Explorer is top-ranked in the Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicle Segment in the 2008 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. Owners were very satisfied with the Explorer’s solid reputation and gave it excellent scores for Traction in All Weather Conditions, Safety Features and Overall Dealership Experience.
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Toyota 4Runner ranks at the top of Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicle category in the 2008 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. Owners gave the vehicle its very highest ranking in Reliability, followed by Vehicle reputation and Brand Reputation. The 4Runner’s Durability also received high marks.

Posted in: Awards, Ford, Toyota

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Toyota Sequoia Wins AutoPacific 2008 Vehicle Satisfaction Award in the Large Sport Utility Vehicle Segment

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The 2008 Toyota Sequoia has received the 2008 Vehicle Satisfaction Award in the Large Sport Utility Vehicle Segment. Not only did Sequoia win its product category, it also was the highest-rated vehicle overall in the 2008 survey. Owner satisfaction ratings for Seating Capacity, Ride, and Power and Acceleration were all very high, as were scores relating to Toyota’s reputation for building Reliable, Durable, Safe vehicles.

Posted in: Awards, Toyota

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Toyota Avalon and Ford Taurus Win Top Honors AutoPacific 2008 Vehicle Satisfaction Award in the Large Car Segment

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Toyota Avalon ranked at top of the Large Car Segment in the 2008 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. Owners touted their vehicles’ Overall Quality, Reliability and Dependability. Avalon received especially high marks for both Vehicle and Brand Reputation.
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The Ford Taurus, substantially upgraded for 2008 and shedding its former ‘Five Hundred’ nomenclature, moved to the top of the Large Car category in the 2008 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. The Taurus received a new front-end appearance, numerous functional and dynamic upgrades and a new 3.5L V6 engine. These changes, combined with the Taurus’ outstanding seating package, contributed to its top ranking

Posted in: Awards, Ford, Toyota

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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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2009 Toyota Venza: Launching a New Segment

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Toyota unveiled the latest entry to its lineup of family vehicles at the North American International Auto Show, the 2009 Venza. Calling it a “crossover sedan,” Toyota hopes to launch a new segment with this vehicle that has luxury sedan features and performance combined with the utility of an SUV. Toyota claims that the Venza has the comfort of a Camry, the functionality of a 4Runner, and the luxury of an Avalon. Toyota hasn’t released pricing for the Venza yet, but if the Venza lives up to that claim upon its release near the end of this year, I’ll buy it!
The Venza was developed in North America exclusively for the North American market. Designed at Toyota’s Calty design studios in California and engineered at Toyota Technical Center in Michigan, the Venza will be assembled in Kentucky and sold only in North America.


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The Greenest Detroit Auto Show Ever

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In some ways, the 2008 North American Automobile Show was like most other recent major auto shows. Once again, automakers went out of their way to show us how hard they are trying to protect the environment and reduce our dependent for foreign oil.
General Motors and Toyota lead the rhetoric. Each claims to have a broad spectrum of programs that range from alternate fuels for internal combustion engines to full electric vehicles. I have to weigh in on this issue, because I’m seeing two strategies that are very different and tell you a lot about the companies they come from.
General Motors spent a lot of time talking about Ethanol, and is clearly lobbying for greater distribution outlets for the fuel. Has GM chosen to expend their efforts in a political battle to increase the availability of Ethanol as their primary tool to solve this issue? Ethanol-capable vehicle conversion is inexpensive, but the end result may leave consumers unsatisfied. Surprisingly, Rick Wagoner, GM’s Chairman, advocated Federal regulations mandating ethanol distribution across the country (won’t Iowa be proud?).


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