Awards Show Consumers Enjoy Luxury and Size
(August 11, 2009) — Right brain, left brain; the practical versus the emotional — an age-old dilemma often at the center of decision making when buying a new car or truck. The 2009 Motorist Choice Awards recognize new cars and trucks that give their owners both economic and emotional satisfaction, helping new-car buyers find vehicles that best satisfy all of their personal-transportation needs. The fourth annual Motorist Choice Awards survey, announced today, scores 196 cars, trucks, crossovers and SUVs. With the top overall scores in both owner satisfaction and value, the Lexus LS placed highest of any 2009 model year vehicle.
Large and luxury vehicles dominated this year’s results. The top 34 ranked cars, and 106 of the top 107, are large cars, luxury cars, sport utility vehicles, crossover SUVs or minivans. Only one small car, the BMW 1-Series, scored in the top 100, landing in the 35th slot. Toyota Prius is the next-highest-scoring small car, coming in 107th.
Awards are given for top-scoring vehicles scoring in each of twenty-three segments, as well as for the top-scoring brand. 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.
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Diesels stink. They’re noisy, slow, smelly, and dirty. Right? Um, wrong. At least, not anymore. Chances are, you’ve never driven a modern diesel because you live in America. That means you’ve been missing out on some incredibly clean, green, and powerful engines that until now were only available on the other side of the Atlantic.
I recently got some seat time in the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI and came away more than impressed. Here’s a really nice compact sedan that got me 40mpg during my drive (which consisted of a lot of urban and mountain driving) and none of the compromises you would normally expect from a car that gets that kind of fuel economy. What kinds of compromises, you ask? Oh, things like tepid acceleration, no off-the-line oomph, and lack of a fun-to-drive factor.
“Volkswagen Jetta wins AutoPacific’s 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award, which demonstrates that Volkswagen has designed its Mid-Size Car to be ideal for its buyers. Volkswagen clearly understands what these buyers want and have delivered,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, Inc. “In a product segment where owners value an efficient size with good cargo space and good ride, Volkswagen understands the buyer and knows how to provide a car that fits the bill – the Jetta. Jetta owners are also most likely to recommend their car to a friend or relative than any other vehicle in its class.” Some of those leading characteristics include:
* Exterior Size
* Cargo Space
* Safety Features
Public Responds Positively to Ford’s Actions, but Some Still Have Reservations
TUSTIN, Calif. (June 17, 2009) — American consumers’ opinions about Ford Motor Company have been positively influenced by the company’s decision not to accept government bailout funds, and by the bankruptcy filings of rivals General Motors and Chrysler. Automotive research and analysis firm AutoPacfic conducted an online survey of more than 900 U.S. consumers regarding their purchase intent and opinions of individual car companies. Highlights include:
* Asian and European manufacturers scored highest when the survey asked “How concerned are you about buying/leasing a vehicle from” a particular maker, with an average of 61% “Not concerned at all.” Ford scored 48%, far ahead of GM’s 15% and Chrysler’s 14%.
Volkswagen seizes the lead in the Mid-Size Crossover SUV segment over strong competition including the well-regarded Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and major change Ford Escape. How did they do that? With great owner satisfaction ratings for overall satisfaction, and specifically with respect to:
• Fun-to-drive, power/acceleration, handling
• Exterior and interior styling including instrument layout, the feel of interior fabrics and materials, and the quality feel/operation of controls
• Durability/long lasting
The longest running and most-produced automobile of a single design on the planet was, and remains to this day, the original Volkswagen Beetle. A record even Henry Ford and his Model T would be jealous of. The Volkswagen Beetle, co-developed by Ferdinand Porsche and Zündapp back in 1931, has become a timeless classic and an industry icon.
AutoPacific: There was some strong competition in the image compact segment, but owners dubbed the Volkswagen GTI a 2008 Motorist Choice Award® winner. The GTI won with high marks for great interior fabrics and materials, along with driver’s-seat comfort and handling. The highest marks for overall satisfaction in the segment helped seal the deal.
IntelliChoice: In a class that features a wide range of vehicles — from hybrids to convertibles and wagons — the Volkswagen GTI is competing against some tough competition. While the GTI has average ownership costs in retained value, fuel and repairs, what makes the GTI a 2008 Motorist Choice Award® winner is its stellar performance within the AutoPacific survey.
Green technology at the Woodward Dream Cruise? Hmmm. You could fit a whole Prius under this baby’s hood, I guess.
So, first Volkswagen announces that they’re building their new plant in Tennessee, and then like two hours later, General Motors comes out with another little ray of sunshine: No more health care for salaried retirees, bonuses for nobody, and they’re closing the hell out of a bunch of plants.
You know, times have been tough, but even taking that into account, we’ve had better Tuesdays, you know?
The manufacturing economy. (Artist’s rendering)
Package considerations placed the Volkswagen Rabbit at the top of the Compact Car segment. Winning the 2008 Ideal Vehicle award for its exterior size, passenger room and interior lighting, it also garnered top marks for seat firmness and ride.