AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards:

2010 Ford Taurus Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Large Car

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Ford_10_TaurusSHO.jpgThe prior-generation Ford Taurus was no stranger to AutoPacific’s VSA due to its elevated seating position and cavernous interior. If there was any nit to pick, it was its milquetoast styling. Ford answered with the expressively styled 2010 Taurus, which may boast a bit less room but adds a big dose of appeal. Owners of the 2010 Taurus tell us that it was probably the right trade-off.
Big Victory in Segment. The new Taurus was rated highest in segment in an impressive 32 of 48 attributes, including driver’s seat comfort, cargo space, exterior and interior styling, handling and innovative technology. Clearly, Ford has another winner on its hands with the latest edition of this venerable nameplate.
For a complete list of winners and description of the Awards, click here.


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2010 Ford F-150 Wins AutoPacific's Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Light-Duty Pickup

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Ford_10_F150_HarleyDavid.jpgThe Ford F-150 came home with almost all the marbles with respect to Vehicle Satisfaction in the Large Pickup segment, including full-size and compact pickup trucks. Of the 48 attributes measured, the F-150 came in first in class (or tied for first) with respect to 45. Pretty impressive, particularly in a segment with some of the most demanding, and most loyal, owners.
It is no wonder that the Ford F-150 is a top seller. When it comes to full-size pickup trucks, clearly Ford knows how to satisfy the customer. The F-150 is perennially one of the best selling vehicles of any kind in the USA, and its top-rated satisfaction scores in so many categories validates Ford’s success in the pickup segment.
For a complete list of winners and description of the Awards, click here.


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2010 Hyundai Tucson Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Compact Crossover

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Hyu_10_Tucson.jpgThe freshly revised 2010 Hyundai Tucson is a dramatic departure from its predecessor, with expressive styling and the latest technology, while remaining true to Hyundai’s value proposition. Owners find this to be a very satisfying combination.
The Tucson is top rated (or tied for top rated) in a large number of attributes including: overall satisfaction, exterior size, exterior styling, power/acceleration, fuel economy, safety features and overall quality.
What a long way Hyundai has come! Well done.
For a complete list of winners and description of the Awards, click here.


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2010 Nissan Pathfinder Shares AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Premium Mid-Size SUV

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Nis_10_Pathfinder.jpgThe Nissan Pathfinder remains a compelling choice for those who need a real SUV. As a seven-seater with a rugged frame underneath, Pathfinder was rated highly by its owners for being reliable/dependable, providing a feeling of being safe while driving, exterior size and overall seating capacity.
Though today’s drivers continue migrating toward Crossover SUVs, Pathfinder still remains a very satisfying choice for those who need rugged capability.
For a complete list of winners and description of the Awards, click here.


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2010 Dodge Nitro Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Mid-Size SUV

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The Dodge Nitro is top rated by its owners in the Mid-Size Sport Utility segment. Characteristics that were particularly highly rated include overall seating capacity, rear seat comfort, interior storage compartments and audio system performance.
This personality-packed Dodge is a little larger than its Jeep Liberty counterpart and customers clearly appreciate the larger interior that results. Dodge has been applying lessons learned from the minivan business to all segments, with proof it matters here: Nitro’s clever storage options contributed to its win. The 2010 VSA win follows Nitro winning the 2009 Owner Recommendation Award.
For a complete list of winners and description of the Awards, click here.


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Autobytel – Editors' Choice Awards

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Autobytel, a lead-generating company for auto dealers has just released their “Editors’ Choice Awards”. This is another of those awards that you wonder what the validity is? First, it is for NEW Vehicles only – not all available vehicles. Unlike the AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards and Ideal Vehicle Awards released each summer, Autobytel’s award does not factor consumer input into the equation. In fact, AutoPacific’s awards are purely based on consumer ratings. Autobytel’s award is just their own opinion and internal calculations as near as we can tell. WITHOUT DATA, IT’S ONLY OPINION!
Here is their press release with some VehicleVoice commentary…
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AUTOBYTEL ANNOUNCES 2007 EDITORS’ CHOICE AWARDS

— Autobytel’s Editors Name the BMW 3 Series Coupe Car of the Year
— Toyota Tundra is Truck of the Year and Most Improved Vehicle

— Shhh … The Best-Kept Secret for ’07 is the Suzuki SX4
Autobytel Inc. which provides millions of car shoppers with expert vehicle information on its popular auto research and buying sites, today announced its 4th annual Editors’ Choice Awards, a listing of the best new 2007 vehicles on the market according to Autobytel’s team of veteran automotive editors. Some of this year’s big winners include the Toyota Tundra (Truck of the Year and Most Improved Vehicle), the Toyota Camry Hybrid (Hybrid of the Year), and the BMW 3 Series Coupe – Autobytel Editors’ Choice for Car of the Year.
In addition to selecting their top choices in specific vehicle categories, Autobytel’s editors also provide their top recommendations for buyers with specific vehicle priorities – including fuel-efficiency, family/teen driving, affordability, style, and just plain fun. In keeping with the buyer-focused, “real world” spirit of the Awards, consideration was limited to vehicles with base prices lower than $75,000.
“Over the past several months, we’ve evaluated and reported on a wide range of vehicles – from Korean economy cars to high-dollar European sedans and everything in between,” noted Autobytel.com Managing Editor Brian Chee. “After all that ‘seat time,’ we’ve come to at least two solid conclusions: 1) buyers have an amazing array of choices in an increasing number of categories; and 2) despite improvements across the board, certain 2007 vehicles definitely outshine the competition in terms of comfort, design, quality, performance, or overall value. These are the cars, trucks, and SUVs we deem most worthy of car shoppers’ consideration, and hence, earn their spot among Autobytel’s 2007 Editors’ Choice Awards winners.”

And the Winners Are …

2007 Car of the Year – BMW 3 Series Coupe – An emotional choice, the stunning BMW 3 Series Coupe is utterly composed at any velocity, possesses a svelte arc of a body that’s the best example yet of BMW’s modern design language, and contains space for four in a cabin equal parts luxury and business. Regardless of engine choice, the 3 Coupe is fun to drive, and is an outright blast equipped with the 335i’s turbocharged engine. No car outclasses its competition like this one, making it our choice for Car of the Year.
2007 Truck of the Year and Most Improved Vehicle – Toyota Tundra – Toyota takes aim at the full size truck market with the big new Tundra, thanks to its functional and innovative interior, powertrain choices and more. The Tundra simply out-muscles and outthinks the competition when it comes to what truck buyers want most.
SUV of the Year – Hyundai Santa Fe – Our unanimous choice for midsize SUV was also our run-away winner for SUV of the Year, and it makes clear sense: It’s not often when a vehicle comes around that’s virtually flawless. From the grown-up new design to the near-luxury interior with room for seven – and the cool blue-lit cupholders – the Santa Fe is an excellent purchase.
Best Family Car – Honda Odyssey – After reviewing the list of sedans, SUVs, and minivans with top-notch safety scores and a base price under $30,000, selecting the Honda Odyssey as the best family car for 2007 was easy. Safe, comfortable, thoughtfully designed, and available with a range of impressive features, there’s an Odyssey to fit the needs of almost any family.
Best Car for Teen Drivers – Honda Civic – Teens want to drive something sporty that won’t embarrass them, and parents want teenagers to drive something safe and inexpensive. The Honda Civic meets all those criteria better than anything on the market today. Fun to drive, a performance tuner favorite, loaded with safety equipment, and boasting excellent crash-test scores, the Honda Civic is also known for near-bulletproof reliability.
Most Stylish New Car for 2007 – Saturn Sky – Proof positive that GM’s Saturn division is undergoing a renaissance of sorts, exemplified by the Aura sedan, the new Outlook SUV, and the Pontiac Solstice-based Sky roadster. By sculpting this Most Stylish New Car for 2007, Saturn designers chiseled away the old stereotype that domestics can’t do style.
Best Kept Secret for 2007 – Suzuki SX4 – Suzuki, maker of last year’s “Best Kept Secret” (the Grand Vitara) is at it again with the new SX4 hatchback. It’s the least expensive car on the market that comes with standard all-wheel drive, but chances are you haven’t heard about it. That’s too bad, because this frisky little five-door is a nice piece of work and a compelling alternative to the status quo – especially in northern climates. Small car shoppers who battle bad weather would be wise to drop by the local Suzuki dealer for a test drive in the impressive SX4.


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Let's Talk Cars: What Trucks and SUVs won the 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards, and will GM's Lastest Incentive Fall Flat?

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Welcome to “Let’s Talk Cars”

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This week on Let’s Talk Cars, another in our series on AutoPacific‘s 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. This time we tackle the popular category of trucks and SUVs, a category that makes up 50% of all vehicle sales in this country. VehicleVoice contributor David Barrett sits down with AutoPacific president and founder George Peterson, who reveals the winners and tells us why owners in each subcategory are so very satisfied.
Also this week, General Motors latest bid to attract new customers. GM is offering subsidized gas (only a $1.99 a gallon!) to customers in California and Florida who buy certain large trucks and SUVs like the Tahoe and the H2. Cameron Barrett and AutoPacific Vice President and Senior Consultant Jim Hossack discuss the odds GM might be on to something here. Hossack also gives a download on the latest information from the VehicleVoice Fuel Price Impact Survey.
Show Rundown
01:35 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards – Trucks and SUVs – VehicleVoice contributor David Barrett and AutoPacific president and founder, George Peterson introduce award winners
13:31 GM’s new Gas Deal for Gas-guzzling Purchases – VehicleVoice host Cameron Barrett engages AutoPacific Vice President and Senior Consultant Jim Hossack


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Let's Talk Cars: AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards, and a Fuel Price Discussion

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Welcome to “Let’s Talk Cars”

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This week on Let’s Talk Cars, the results are in! One of the autmotive industry’s most coveted awards, the AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards, have been announced. So VehicleVoice contributor David Barrett sits down with AutoPacific president and founder Geroge Peterson, for the first in a series of conversations about the comprehensive consumer survey that led to the awards. You’ll not only find out the winners of each vehicle class, but you’ll also find out what was so completely surprising about this year’s results. The first podcast concerns overall winners of the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards and award-winning cars. In future installments we will discuss award-winning trucks, brand winners and which product segments yield the most satisfying vehicles.
Also this week, a conversation about fuel prices and why Americans should stop their whining. Well, not really. We are whiners, but Barrett and Peterson are joined by AutoPacific Vice President and Senior Consultant Jim Hossack for a lively discussion about why fuel price relief is not around the corner.
Show Rundown
01:24 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards – The Winners Are! – VehicleVoice contributor David Barrett and AutoPacific president and founder, George Peterson introduce award winners
13:36 Americans’ Reaction to Fuel Prices – VehicleVoice contributor David Barrett engages AutoPacific Vice President and Senior Consultant Jim Hossack and AutoPacific president and founder, George Peterson about rising fuel costs


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Consumer Reports Top Ten Picks of the Year

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Every April, Consumer Reports publishes its Annual Auto Issue. This is the most widely read issue of Consumer Reports by far. There is information not only on new cars and trucks, but also on cars that have been in operation for years. VehicleVoice survey research and AutoPacific survey and focus group research concludes that Consumer Reports can have a significant impact on what cars and trucks an American driver may select. When asked what information sources a person uses when deciding what car to look at, Consumer Reports is often the first source mentioned.

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Consumer Reports has gone beyond simply reporting the results of the surveys of its subscribers. Now they weigh in editorially and even select a Top Ten. But those vehicles are those discussed in Consumer Reports’ press releases. When you delve deeper into the April 2006 issue itself, there are many more vehicles worthy of attention. But, first for the Top Ten, as determined by Consumer Reports:

Best Sedan Less Than $20,000: Honda Civic

Best Sedan $20,000 to $30,000: Honda Accord

Best Sedan $30,000 to $40,000: Acura TL

Best Luxury Sedan: Infiniti M35

Best SUV Less Than $30,000: Subaru Forester

Best SUV More Than $30,000: Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Best Pickup Truck: Honda Ridgeline

Best Minivan: Honda Odyssey

Best Green Car: Toyota Prius

Most Fun to Drive: Subaru Impreza WRX-STi

Yes, you are right. There are no American cars or trucks in the list. There are no European cars in the list. There are no Korean cars in the list. Japanese brands swept the 2006 Consumer Reports Top Ten. And of those Japanese brands, Honda (including Acura) got five of the Top Ten positions. This is the first time that Japanese brand vehicles have swept these awards.

There is consolation, of course, that the Hondas are at least assembled in the USA.

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Hyundai Santa Fe All New for 2007

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Believe it or not, one of the most anticipated new vehicles introduced at the 2006 North American Auto Show in Detroit is the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe mid-size SUV. VehicleVoice (http://www.vehiclevoice.com) and AutoPacific (http://www.autopacific.com) are watching this introduction very, very closely because it will demonstrate the strength of Hyundai’s research and development process and ability to produce quality products at its new assembly plant in Alabama.
This it the second generation Santa Fe. The first Santa Fe surprised pundits when it turned out to be a darn good vehicle and actually won four of the five AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards during its five years in production. The Santa Fe turned out to be a good value, good quality, highly warranted, if quirkily styled sport utlity vehicle what out-pointed products like the Ford Escape and Toyota Highlander in owner satisfaction.
Hyundai has high expectations for the new Santa Fe and hopes to fill half of its Montgomery, Alabama plant with Santa Fe volume. The other half of the capacity is devoted to the new Sonata sedan. Assuming quality is top-notch and Hyundai can maintain its value proposition and strong warranty coverage, the Santa Fe promises to be a winner.
The Hyundai press release for the Santa Fe is shown below.


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