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2012 Nissan Versa Sedan Lowest Price New Car, or Is It?

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There are no bad cars.  It’s been years since I’ve seen a really bad car to be sold as new in the USA.  Maybe the not lamented Chrysler Sebring came close before it evolved into the Chrysler 200 for 2011.  So, as the new V-Platform Nissan Versa is poised to be launched for the 2012 model year as the lowest price new car available in the USA you wonder if a new car priced so low is a bad car?  The answer is a resounding no.  But with the Versa and new Hyundai Accent arriving almost concurrently on the market it begs brief comparison.

2012 Nissan Versa Sedan

2012 Hyundai Accent Sedan


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Hyundai Swings for the Fence with New Accent

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The all new Hyundai Accent has just been introduced and it may be the final part of Hyundai’s grand slam in sedans. First the Genesis, winner of AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award (VSA) in each of its three years on the market. Then the all new 2011 Sonata that won the only President’s Award (highest VSA score ever) given by AutoPacific and then won best in class for the model year. The all new Hyundai Elantra won best in class among compact cars for the 2011 model year. Three out of three isn’t bad. The new Accent is certainly a contender.


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2011 Hyundai Elantra: Breaking the Paradigm of Econoboxes

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First we had the Sonata and now we have the Elantra.  The Sonata was the direct hit to the gut but the Elantra is the uppercut that no one saw coming.  Gunning for the respect of Hyundai naysayers, the Elantra delivers the quality, fuel economy, and price tag that will change minds and make believers.

While other automakers have raised the price of their new c-segment vehicles to make them in America with a profit, Hyundai has changed the game again.  Hyundai seems to be bucking the trend these days of lofty price tags.  The Elantra is a stylish value package assembled in the good ol’ U.S. of A. that needs to be at the top of your test drive list.


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Hyundai Sonata Ad for AutoPacific President's Award

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If you have been watching sports on TV for the past couple of weeks you cannot have missed the Hyundai spot for Sonata winning AutoPacific’s first-ever President’s Award. Hyundai won the award going away with the highest score ever recorded.
Watch and enjoy…


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2010 Hyundai Tucson: The Urban Cruiser?

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I’m rarely one to toot my own horn, but I’ll go ahead and get this out of the way: there’s a bit of me in the brand-new 2010 Hyundai Tucson. Once upon a time, not that long ago, I was a product planner at Hyundai who was tasked with finding and developing a new concept direction for the second generation Tucson. The first Tucson, which debuted for the 2005 model year, was a decent if uninspiring small crossover SUV, and Hyundai really wanted to hit the second generation out of the park.


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Press Release: AUTOPACIFIC GIVES THE ALL-NEW SONATA A THOROUGH TEST AND FIRST-EVER PRESIDENT'S AWARD

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AutoPacific Presidents Award logo blog.jpg
Hyundai_2010_Sonata_PA.jpgTUSTIN, Calif. (June 10, 2010) – AutoPacific today announced its President’s Award for the 2011 Hyundai Sonata. This first-ever honor is the result of a special analysis of Hyundai’s all-new 2011 Sonata that adds consumer credibility to all of the positive accolades recently bestowed upon Hyundai’s most important vehicle to date.
“With all we have seen and read about the 2011 Sonata, AutoPacific felt that it was necessary to put this vehicle to a unique test,” said George Peterson, President of AutoPacific, which has researched driver satisfaction since 1997. “Over the years, we have seen several important vehicles come to market that have attempted to redefine their brands. They are often launched with a considerable amount of hype, but then fail to deliver a customer experience that truly satisfies.”
With the same methodology that AutoPacific has utilized since it began satisfaction research, 975 drivers of the all-new 2011 Sonata rated their cars in 48 separate categories ranging from the basics of comfort and convenience, to performance and environmental friendliness.
“Quite frankly, we were blown away by the results,” said Peterson. “The sheer magnitude of the 2011 Sonata’s score made recognition necessary. With a score 775 out of 1,000, the Sonata exceeded everyone’s expectations. The Sonata’s unique styling was rated almost perfect and was a key driver to its overall superior performance in this research. Clearly, 2011 Hyundai Sonata drivers are extremely satisfied with their purchase.”
But the story does not end there. According to Peterson, these results are extraordinary from an historical perspective as well. “No vehicle has achieved a score of 775 before in our satisfaction research. The Sonata’s top score surpasses anything we have ever seen, including vehicles costing twice as much.”
“Consumer response to the all-new 2011 Sonata shows the strong appeal of Hyundai’s recipe of bold design, great quality, a segment-best 35 miles per gallon, and outstanding residual values,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “This first-ever AutoPacific President’s Award, recognizing the highest score on this survey that AutoPacific has ever seen, is an apt tribute to our California design team, our global engineering team and the 2,700 team members at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama for their fresh thinking and dedication in breaking the mold of the staid and boring mid-size car.”
AutoPacific is a future-oriented automotive marketing and product-consulting firm. Every year AutoPacific publishes a wide variety of syndicated studies on the automotive industry. The firm also conducts extensive proprietary research and consulting for auto manufacturers, distributors, marketers and suppliers worldwide. Company headquarters are in Tustin, California, with an affiliate office in the Detroit area.
Additional information can be found on AutoPacific’s websites: www.autopacific.com and www.vehiclevoice.com.
CONTACTS:
Dan Hall dan.hall@autopacific.com 714.838.4234 or 800.576.AUTO
Deborah Grieb deborah.grieb@autopacfic.com 734.446.6940
AutoPacific Presidents Award logo blog.jpg


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Our Sonata Test Car Gets Mistaken For a Mercedes-Benz

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Hyundai_2011_Sonata_flyer.jpgHyundai delivered a pearl white 2011 Sonata Limited to our office today for evaluation purposes. By now, you’ve seen the car’s standout styling and maybe even asked yourself if YOU could see yourself driving a Hyundai. One thing’s for sure, they have come a long, long way and their hits just seem to keep coming.
In any case, I took the car at lunch to run an errand at the store. Ten minutes later, I returned to the strikingly styled Hyundai to find this under the windshield wiper. Yes, you are reading that right: it’s a flyer for a local Mercedes-Benz service and repair shop. I looked around for any Mercedes-Benz vehicles nearby, and there was only one – a black GL450 SUV. Indeed, that was the only other car in sight that also had that flyer on its windshield.
In other words, the new Hyundai Sonata got mistaken for a Mercedes-Benz (probably the CLS)…by a representative of a Mercedes-Benz repair shop! If that isn’t ringing endorsement of the Sonata’s new duds, I don’t know what is.
One big difference between the Sonata and the CLS (other than many tens of thousands of dollars)…the Sonata actually has a big and spacious interior that you can easily get in and out of!


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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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Autopacific Announces 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

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AutoPacVSAlogo10.jpgNational Survey Reveals Cadillac as Top Premium Brand, Buick as Top Popular Brand, Ford Motor Company Has Most Awards with Seven, Suzuki Kizashi as Top Car and Lincoln MKT as Top Truck
TUSTIN, Calif. (May 20, 2010) — AutoPacific today announced its 14th Annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSA) to help consumers make informed vehicle purchase decisions.
“While the auto industry is showing signs of improvement, more than ever before, manufacturers need to be able to differentiate themselves. Proof of satisfied customers is as good as gold,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “We’ve found that more than 25% of new car buyers are positively influenced by owner-based awards like the VSA when deciding on a new car or truck.”
AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award is an industry benchmark for measuring how satisfied an owner is with his/her new car or light truck. This study by the Southern California-based automotive research firm summarizes the results of over 42,000 new vehicle owners.
“Vehicles that score highest in the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are delivering value and satisfaction across a wide range of attributes,” says Peterson. “The winners perform well in 48 separate categories that objectively measure the ownership experience.”


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First Drive: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Delivers

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Sexy and Strong. And a Hyundai.
Hyundai has is developing its sense of style, seen in Genesis and followed up with the 2011 Sonata. This Sonata offers style inside and out, interior space and functionality, and entertaining driving dynamics. Easy on the pocketbook and easy on the eyes should be a killer combination.
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Hyundai calls this design philosophy fluidic sculpture. Aside from sounding a bit like a physics experiment, the result is an expressive sedan in a sea of sameness. Though the grille could be called over-complicated, the sculpture in bodysides and hood is refreshing, one of the youngest of automakers. The chrome strip that runs below the window line, over the front quarter panels, and all the way down to heavily detailed headlights is a particularly attractive–and difficult to manufacture–element. This Sonata looks more expensive than it is. Even better, this exterior is matched with an equally good-looking, feature-laden interior.
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The Sonata will offer four-cylinder power only, a brave choice. The 2.4L example we drove will be followed up by a turbo 2.0L and a hybrid by the end of the year. Details will be revealed at the 2010 New York auto show, but Hyundai has promised “substantially” more than 250HP from the turbo 2.0L.


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