AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award:

2014 Hyundai Tucson Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award



The all new 2014 Hyundai Tucson is the highest scoring Compact Crossover SUV in AutoPacific’s 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Award. Coming in behind the Tucson is the MINI Countryman and the Kia Sportage, followed by the Buick Encore, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, and the Subaru XV Crosstrek.  The Tucson last won the VSA in the 2010 model year.

The 2014 Hyundai Tucson demonstrates its excellence in the Compact Crossover SUV class by winning or tying in fourteen of fifty satisfaction attributes. The Tucson is within one tenth of a satisfaction point in fourteen other attributes, putting it at the top for Compact Crossover SUVs.

The top ten highest ratings by Tucson owners are: vehicle and brand reputation, the perception of reliability and dependability, overall quality and braking, exterior size and styling, the warranty, the exterior color, and feeling safe while driving.

The expressive styling of the new Tucson continues Hyundai’s move towards more expressive styling making the Compact X-SUV a head-turner in a rapidly growing category.

AutoPacific VSA Logo Feature

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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award



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.

AutoPacific VSA Logo Feature

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Lincoln Wins VSA – Most Satisfying Brand in AutoPacific 2014 Research


Lincoln Motor Company Logo BigLincoln Wins VSA – The Lincoln Motor Company won AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award for top brand of the 2014 model year.  Lincoln has previously won in 2004 and 2011.  Based on queries from the press, many are surprised at the success of Lincoln in AutoPacific’s research.  After all, Lincoln is portrayed as being a brand struggling to survive in the hotly contested luxury vehicle market in the USA.

Solid Performance Accross the Range Lincoln is battling to rebuild itself.  Winning AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award shows that Lincoln is beginning to sell products worthy of winning their respective product categories.  The MKS Executive Car won its class.  The MKZ was the top Luxury Mid-Size Car and the MKZ Hybrid was the top Hybrid/EV Car.  The MKT Luxury Crossover SUV was a close second in its class.  Also, Lincolns are sold to buyers with a median age of 68-years, 11-years older than the typical new vehicle buyer.  It is an adage of automotive research that to achieve great satisfaction scores sell your products to your grandmother – older females being less critical.  Never sell to a young guy (much more critical – a proof of why Scion is the bottom ranked brand for 2014).  Winning AutoPacific’s VSA will help Lincoln re-build its image once word gets out to dealers, owners and prospective buyers, but it is not until new Lincoln products get launched that Lincoln resumes its place as a fully fleshed-out luxury brand in the USA.  We’ll watch to see if Lincoln can repeat its VSA win in 2015 after the new MKC small crossover SUV has been on the market for awhile.

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2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Upgraded… Great Gets Greater


Award Winner Gets Major Changes After Only Three Years The 2012 Grand Cherokee has been arguably the best affordable “real” SUV on the market since the latest generation was launched for the 2011 model year.  The Grand Cherokee was so good that its owners rated it higher enough against its competition to win AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award in 2011 and 2012 AND AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award in 2011 and 2012!  This sweep in these tough-to-win owner awards is testament to the excellence of the Grand Cherokee.

Developed in Time of Hardship The 2011 Grand Cherokee was developed during the dark days of the reign of Cerberus Capital Management.   Their ownership of Chrysler steered the firm to the bankruptcy courts and a bailout by the U.S. and Canadian government, UAW and CAW.  Ultimately, Fiat took control of Chrysler and Jeep and the firm is now prospering.  It is surprising that under the eyes of Cerberus, the 2011 Grand Cherokee turned out to be such a good vehicle.

Best Gets Better Like other Chrysler products (Chrysler 300, Chrysler 200, Dodge Charger, Ram 1500), Jeep’s product team has reinvigorated the vehicle but mostly under the skin.  The front fascia is new.  Taillamps are new.  A couple of wheel designs are new.  And the interiors are new and much more upscale.  Grand Cherokee gets Chrysler’s latest iteration of its excellent and easy to use UConnect system.  Gone is the 5-speed automatic transmission replaced by a silky smooth 8-speed unit.  A 240HP 3.0L V6 diesel is available for the first time.  So, the Grand Cherokee is a substantially upgraded version of the 2011 vehicle.  And it works!

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2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Most Satisfying Aspirational Luxury Car


Best in Class 2012 Aspirational Luxury Car:  Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

The top satisfying car in the Aspirational Luxury Car Class for 2012 is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.  The C-Class wins not by achieving top scores in many categories in AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award research, but by having a solid performance in most.  It is top rated in only one category, Cupholder Design and Size.  While this may seem very minor, it is rare for a German vehicle to even think of having a good cupholder.  With a possible high score of 5.0 on each of 48 characteristics, owners of the C-Class rated the car 4.7 or higher on several, including:  Overall Satisfaction, Vehicle’s Reputation, Brand’s Reputation,  Exterior Color, Exterior Styling, Fun to Drive, Reliable/Dependable, Feeling Safe While Driving, Safety Features, and Overall Quality.  The lowest satisfaction from owners of the C-Class were in fuel economy, rear seat comfort, cargo capacity and flexible seating.

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2012 Lincoln MKZ Most Satisfying Luxury Mid-Size Car


Best In Class 2012 Luxury Mid-Size Car:  Lincoln MKZ

2012 Lincoln MKZ Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

The top satisfying Luxury Mid-Size Car is the Lincoln MKZ for the second year in a row.  The owners of the MKZ gave the car top scores in 11 of 48 attributes contributing to AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award research.  The Lincoln MKZ is the top satisfying car in its class in Rear Seat Comfort, Exterior Color, Braking, Ride, Quietness, Interior Lighting, Infotainment Technology (MyLincoln Touch), Dealership Experience, Use of Recyclable Materials (using soy-based seat foam),  Collision Avoidance Technology and Warranty.  With a possible high rating of 5.0 on each of 48 characteristics, owners of the MKZ rated the car at 4.6 or higher on several, including:  Overall Satisfaction, Exterior Size, Vehicle’s Reputation, Brand’s Reputation, Exterior Color, Handling, Ride, Feeling Safe While Driving, and Overall Quality.   Owners were least satisfied with Fuel Economy and Driving Range.

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2010 Suzuki Kizashi: Yes, It's a Winner


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!

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2009 Ford Fusion Wins AutoPacific's Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Mid-Size Car


2009_FordFusion.jpgFending off import competition from Volkswagen and Mitsubishi and domestic competition from Chrysler and GM, the Ford Fusion pulled through a win in the Mid-Size Car segment. The Fusion took top marks for its combination of size, safety, and comfort. Leading characteristics include:
• Safety features, which give Ford Fusion owners a strong feeling of safety while driving
• Interior package was applauded for driver’s seat comfort, storage/compartments, quietness inside the vehicle, instrument layout and audio system performance
• Exterior size
• Braking

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AutoPacific Announces 2007 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards


VSA Logo 2007 Blog.jpg

AutoPacific has announced the results of its 2007 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 car or light truck.
The top ranked brand this year is Infiniti, winner of a close shoot-out between Infiniti, Lincoln, Cadillac and Lexus. The top ranked vehicle and top ranked car is the Cadillac DTS. The top ranked truck is the all-new Lincoln MKX. The Ford Edge also won its category giving Ford’s new Crossover SUVs an impressive outing.
Of twenty-eight vehicles receiving awards (there were three ties among our twenty-five categories), twelve were new this year. Of thirteen car winners three were from Detroit Three brands, seven were Japanese or Korean, three were European. Of the fifteen truck winners, seven were from the Detroit Three and the remaining eight were from Japanese or Korean marques.
GM and Toyota won six awards apiece. Ford Motor Company won five. Hyundai and Nissan won three apiece and Honda won two. No vehicle from DaimlerChrysler (Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler Group) was ranked at the top of a category.
AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction measurement is more valid than counting things gone wrong. How well a buyer is satisfied with the vehicle is the true test of how the product has been designed, engineered and manufactured. Often times, the most satisfying vehicle is the one with the most personality, not the one that is screwed together the best.
“Infiniti wins the Vehicle Satisfaction Award as the top brand in the closest race in years. Strong satisfaction performance by Infiniti cars and trucks has Infiniti winning over strong performances by Lincoln, Cadillac, Lexus and other luxury marques,” says AutoPacific president George Peterson. “The dual wins by Ford Motor Company’s new Crossover SUVs – the Lincoln MKX and Ford Edge – shows Ford was on target when developing these important new vehicles.”
Peterson continues, “The Cadillac DTS is the highest rated car and vehicle overall. The Hyundai Santa Fe was the first Korean vehicle to win AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award – in 2001 – and continues its strong performance for the sixth year in a row. Winning an AutoPacific VSA is testament for any vehicle that their owners are confident they have made the right choice.”

2007 Vehicle Satisfaction Award Winners

BRAND: Infiniti
Premium Luxury Car: Lexus LS/BMW 7-Series
Aspirational Luxury Car: Jaguar X-Type
Large Luxury Car: Cadillac DTS
Large Car: Hyundai Azera/Toyota Avalon
Luxury Mid-Size Car: Nissan Maxima
Premium Mid-Size Car: Nissan Altima
Mid-Size Car: Saturn Aura
Image Compact Car: Audi A3
Compact Car: Pontiac G5
Economy Car: Honda Fit
Premium Sports Car: Lexus SC
Sports Car: Porsche Boxster
Sporty Car: Scion tC
Large Light-Duty Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado
Large Heavy-Duty Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado HD
Compact Pickup: Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Luxury Sport Utility: Lincoln Navigator
Large Sport Utility: GMC Yukon XL
Mid-Size Sport Utility: Toyota 4Runner
Compact SUV/Off-Road Vehicle: Toyota FJ Cruiser
Luxury Crossover SUV: Lincoln MKX
Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV: Ford Edge/Hyundai Santa Fe
Mid-Size Crossover SUV: Honda CR-V
Compact Crossover SUV: Hyundai Tucson
Minivan : Nissan Quest
In addition to identifying category winners, VSA also establishes numerical satisfaction ratings for virtually every passenger car and light truck in the North American market. Owner satisfaction is measured across 46 specific areas related to a vehicle’s operation, comfort, safety and the overall purchase/lease experience. The 2007 ratings reflect input from buyers and lessees of new vehicles acquired September through December 2006.

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Volkswagen Passat Wins AutoPacific 2006 Premium Mid-Size Car Vehicle Satisfaction Award


Volkswagen Passat.jpg

In its first year out, the all-new Volkswagen Passat has established itself as an extremely satisfying Premium Mid-Size sedan winning the AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award. Passat handily beat segment volume leaders Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Hyundai Sonata. Passat wins by virtue of its outstanding interior design, use of high touch materials and European driving dynamics.

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