Chevrolet Equinox and Hyundai Santa Fe Tie for AutoPacific 2005 Standard Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicle Satisfaction Award
“Owners of the all-new Equinox rate their vehicle at the top of its category. We knew Equinox was something special when it was first shown at the North American International Auto Show. These results confirm our initial impression. A truly international product, Equinox is assembled in Canada and uses a V6 engine made in China. Nothing wrong with that combination according to its owners.”
“The Hyundai Santa Fe continues its string of category-leading performances. Santa Fe has won or tied in its category for four of the five years it has been on the market. This is a testament to Santa Fe’s strong combination of product competence, value and warranty. Santa Fe satisfies its owners and continues to help Hyundai build its brand image in the United States.”
Nissan Murano Wins 2005 Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicle Satisfaction Award
“Murano is the most satisfying Premium Mid-Size SUV for 2005. Murano’s distinctive styling and standard CVT clearly differentiate it from other vehicles in its class. Many would call it a crossover vehicle. It is based on a front wheel drive car platform, but that does not detract from the satisfaction Murano provides its owners. In 2003, in its first year on the market, Murano won honorable mention in AutoPacific’s VSA research. No honorable mention in 2005, Murano wins hands down.”
Nissan Armada Wins AutoPacific 2005 Large Sport Utility Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Second Year in a Row
“Armada is a significant vehicle for a variety of reasons, the most notable of which that it comes from a Japanese brand but is completely tuned for American tastes and sensibilities. Brand aside, there is absolutely nothing traditionally or typically Japanese about it. Armada is full size, and when we say full-size, we mean it! It has a powerful and sophisticated V8 engine, but not one a half-size below the domestic competition. Instead Nissan offers one bigger and mightier than the domestic competition! Armada is unapologetically made for North America and North America alone, with no compromises or shortcomings.”
“Armada was right for the market right out of the box for the 2004 model year when it won Large SUV honors. As a repeat winner, Armada’s 2004 performance surely was not a fluke.”
Volvo XC90 Wins AutoPacific 2005 Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle Satisfaction Award
“The widely acclaimed Volvo XC90 car-based sport utility rates highest among Luxury Sport Utility Vehicles for 2005. XC90 owners rate their Luxury SUV strongly in the reputation of the Volvo brand, feeling safe while driving (no surprise there… it’s a Volvo!), front seat room, cargo capacity, interior materials, anticipated resale value, quietness and controls. These combine to deliver a very balanced product from a respected brand.”
The Infiniti QX56 was a close second to the Volvo. XC90 nosed out the QX56 due to its perceived superior safety attributes.
Pontiac GTO Wins AutoPacific 2005 Sporty Car Vehicle Satisfaction Award
“The owners of the Pontiac GTO rate their powerful coupe tops in the Sporty Car category. GTO owners are high in overall satisfaction and rate GTO’s vehicle dynamics very strongly. Where does GTO excel? GTO has strong scores in handling, braking, power/acceleration, ergonomics, and visibility. Owner ratings lead us to conclude that GTO is a very easy car to live with and to have loads of fun with.”
GTO was in close race with the all new Ford Mustang a popular favorite with car buffs and owners. Many folks thought that Mustang was the odds-on favorite to win the Sporty Car class. After all, it is the top selling Sporty Car and has been getting rave reviews by enthusiast magazines. GTO won primarily because it is so focused. Where Mustang has two engines – a V6 that satisfies but not to the extent of its V8 – and a very nice 300HP V8 – the GTO has only a very powerful V8. It was the singularity of purpose of the GTO with its powerful torquey engine that tipped the scales.
Porsche 911 Wins AutoPacific 2005 Sports Car Vehicle Satisfaction Award
“The owners of the Porsche 911 have among the strongest overall satisfaction ratings in the industry. Instantly identifiable as a Porsche, the 911 is first coveted because of its distinctive exterior styling and its brand image. But its quality and driving dynamics put the icing on the cake. The Porsche 911 is the embodiment of a traditional European sports car.”
The 911 was closely paced by the new C6 Chevrolet Corvette a relatively traditional American sports car. Both cars are excellent and provide their enthusiast owners a thrilling driving experience and satisfying ownership experience.
Scion xB Wins AutoPacific 2005 Compact Car Vehicle Satisfaction Award
“Young, hip owners of the Scion xB rate the xB highest in the Compact Car category. Sold to perhaps the most difficult people to satisfy (young males), xB owners rate overall satisfaction very high plus giving xB high marks for fuel economy, price, rear seat room… and lets not forget its funky styling.”
Mazda6 Wins AutoPacific 2005 Standard Mid-Size Car Vehicle Satisfaction Award for the Third Year in a Row
“Mazda’s style/sport/fun/value heritage pays off again in 2005 for the third year in a row with an entertaining vehicle focused on the driving enthusiast. Others may have size and bulk; 6 is lean and lithe. Others may have great automatics; 6 beckons with a manual. The Mazda 6 is not the typical mid-line, mid-size sedan. Instead, it is the exceptional one. Different to the core.”
Nissan Altima and Buick LaCrosse Tie for AutoPacific 2005 Premium Mid-Size Car Vehicle Satisfaction Award
“Altima achieves class-leading performance in 2005 with a substantial upgrade to its interior finally complementing its outstanding exterior styling and powertrains. Now built in two plants, Smyrna, Tennessee (alongside Maxima) and Canton, Mississippi, Altima provides its owners a combination of style, size and performance that others in its class do not match. Think of Altima as an American-designed, American-made, Japanese brand Premium Mid-Size Car. Altima caters to owners wanting distinctive styling and driving enthusiasm.”
“The all-new Buick LaCrosse has what it takes to satisfy Buick owners demanding efficiently sized, affordably priced transportation. LaCrosse has a combination of new styling, generous interior space, driving ease and brand image that Buick owners have come to expect. LaCrosse – clearly a Buick owners have embraced. LaCrosse is American through and through delivering size and comfort to discerning buyers of American Premium Mid-Size Cars.”
Lincoln Town Car Wins AutoPacific 2005 Luxury/Large Car Vehicle Satisfaction Award
“Owners of the Lincoln Town Car rate the large American Luxury Car tops in its category. Town Car owners are especially fond of exterior styling that communicates affluence without being ostentatious. The strongly rated Town Car interior coddles the driver and passengers in traditional American luxury. What they expect, they get.”
Town Car won its class over the perennial winner Cadillac DeVille – a winner of seven straight previous Vehicle Satisfaction Awards.