Ideal Vehicle Awards:
AutoPacific surveys new car and light truck buyers annually to determine how satisfied they are with their vehicle and what changes they want made. Based on this owner research, AutoPacific calculates the vehicles that owners want changed the least. The people who have purchased the vehicle are the people it was designed for. The data result in the AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Award. Every year there are some results that stand out. The 2016 awards are no different. Here are some highlights:
• The top brand overall is Tesla – a one car brand at the time of the research, but that one car is on target with its buyers. The Tesla Model S is the top ranked Luxury Car.
• The top popular brand is GMC – for the third year in a row.
• The most ideal vehicle, overall, is the Volvo XC70.
• Subaru swept the crossover SUV categories in which it competes with the Outback winning the Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV category, the Forester winning the Mid-Size SUV category and the Crosstrek winning the Compact Crossover SUV category. That is a very impressive sweep.
Multiple year winners include:
• Jeep Grand Cherokee – winning the last six years in a row
• Volkswagen Golf – winning the last three years in a row and six of the last ten years
• Chevrolet Colorado – for the second year in a row
• Subaru Outback – for the second year in a row
• Subaru Forester – for the second year in a row
That Tesla has won so early in its lifetime is a testament to its planning, design and engineering teams. Maybe Tesla does not have the bureaucracy that bogs down bigger companies and allows it to effectively target the affluent buyers of its first vehicle.
Jeep has been fine-tuning the Grand Cherokee since the early 1990s. The fact that it has won the Ideal Vehicle Award for six years in a row shows that Jeep really does know what Grand Cherokee owners want.
The string of Ideal Vehicle Awards won by the Volkswagen Golf over the past ten years is impressive.
Finally, Subaru has solved the equation of successful small and mid-size crossover SUVs. Subaru sales have been steadily increasing and the Ideal Vehicle Award wins show the company understands crossover SUVs. Of course their “LOVE” advertising and dog-centric messages don’t hurt either.
TUSTIN, Calif. (August 18, 2015) – Automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific, Inc. today announced the 2015 Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA). AutoPacific’s IVAs recognize vehicles that best meet their owner’s expectations and desires, helping consumers make informed vehicle purchase decisions with “owners talking” feedback.
The 2015 awards are based on responses from over 66,000 new vehicle owners across all major manufacturers. Surveyed after 90 days of ownership, respondents were asked what changes they would make to their car or truck in 15 key categories, including ride and handling, driver’s seat comfort, interior storage, safety features, interior lighting, power and acceleration and technology. “While no vehicle has a zero percent desire for change in all areas, IVAs recognize vehicles where owners want the least amount of change across the 15 surveyed attributes,” explains George Peterson, president of AutoPacific.inflatable water slide hire
Porsche and GMC Most Ideal Brands in 2015 – Again
Porsche ranks as the top luxury brand for the third year in a row. GMC receives top popular brand honors for the second year in a row, while also carrying the top popular brand award in AutoPacific’s 2015 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards for the second year in a row.
Porsche leads with four wins, including Most Ideal Premium Brand; Chevrolet, Ford and Subaru racked up three wins apiece. Remaining awards go to Honda, Lincoln, MINI, and GMC with two wins, and Jeep, Kia, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen, each with one win.
Redesigned Vehicles Gain the Advantage
“Each time a manufacturer redesigns a vehicle, they have the opportunity to fix past issues, respond to owner wants and needs, and challenge the competition with a superior product,” says Peterson. This year’s winner’s list contains seven completely redesigned vehicles: Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet Suburban, Ford F-150, Honda Fit, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback and Volkswagen Golf; one major change: Ford Mustang; two new entries: Lexus RC and Porsche Macan; and two vehicles that were redesigned in 2014 and have won two years in a row: Chevrolet Impala and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
2015 Overall Winner: Ford F-150
2015 Most Ideal Premium Brand: Porsche
2015 Most Ideal Popular Brand: GMC
|Aspirational Luxury Car
||Kia Cadenza (tie)
Chevrolet Impala (tie)
|Luxury Mid-Size Car
|Premium Mid-Size Car
|Premium Compact Car
|Light Duty Pickup
|Heavy Duty Pickup
||GMC Sierra HD
||Jeep Grand Cherokee
|Premium Luxury Crossover SUV
|Luxury Crossover SUV
|Large Crossover SUV
|Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV
|Mid-Size Crossover SUV
|Compact Crossover SUV
AutoPacific is a future-oriented automotive marketing research and product-consulting firm. Every year AutoPacific publishes a wide variety of syndicated studies on the automotive industry. The firm, founded in 1986, also conducts extensive proprietary research, forecasting, and consulting for auto manufacturers, distributors, marketers and suppliers worldwide. Company headquarters and its state-of-the-art automotive research facility are in Tustin, California, with an affiliate office in the Detroit area. Additional information can be found on AutoPacific’s websites: http://www.autopacific.com and http://vehiclevoice.com/
Dan Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org, 714.838.4234
General Motors is turning out some darn good cars these days and the 2014 Chevrolet Impala is a good example. The 2014 Chevrolet Impala is the highest scoring Large Car in AutoPacific’s 2014 Ideal Vehicle Award research. The Impala designers, planners and engineers understood who the target buyer is and developed a vehicle that meets their requirements. The 2014 Impala beat out some very impressive competitors in the Large Car category, such as the Hyundai Azera, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Ford Taurus, Buick LaCrosse, and the Toyota Avalon. George Peterson, President of AutoPacific, says, “When we first saw the new Impala we were impressed with the car’s presence and top-notch execution. Clearly, Impala owners agree and give it AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award for 2014.”
Of the fifteen categories in the Ideal Vehicle questionnaire, the Chevrolet Impala led in five satisfaction categories and was within three percentage points of another three.
The top five highest ratings by 2014 Impala owners are: same exterior styling, same cargo space, same interior lighting, same passenger room, and the same wheels as now.
No vehicle is perfect. Impala owners would like to see better driver seat visibility, more power and acceleration, and simpler technology that is easier to use.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the highest scoring Premium Luxury Car in AutoPacific’s 2014 Ideal Vehicle Award research. The S-Class designers really hit the nail on head. Clearly, they understood who the target buyer is and developed a vehicle that met their requirements. The S-Class beats out a very impressive group of premium luxury cars such as the BMW 7-Series, Porsche Panamera, Lexus LS, and the Hyundai Equus. Not only does the S-Class win its IVA class, it also was the highest scoring car EVER in AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award Research for 2014. This gets it AutoPacific’s President’s Award that has only been awarded one time previously. George Peterson, President of AutoPacific says “The S-Class is hitting on all cylinders. Not only did it score the highest satisfaction rating AutoPacific has EVER recorded, the product itself has hit its target market in terms of what they want in styling, packaging and engineering.”
S-Class owners truly do not want their vehicle changed. Of the fifteen categories in the Ideal Vehicle question battery, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class led in six satisfaction categories and was within three percentage points of another three.
The top five highest ratings by S-Class owners are: Same interior lighting, same ride and handling, same safety features, same seat fit, and same ease of getting in and out.
No vehicle is perfect. S-Class owners would like to see more cargo space and a simpler information and entertainment system.
The 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid is the highest scoring Hybrid/EV Car in AutoPacific’s 2014 Ideal Vehicle Award research. Ford’s product development team knew exactly what their target buyers want and designed the Fusion to meet those needs. The Fusion Hybrid is at the top of the list against a remarkable group of Hybrid/EV cars such as the Lincoln MKZ HEV, Honda Accord HEV-PHEV, Infiniti Q50 HEV, Volkswagen Jetta HEV, and the Lexus ES 300h.
Ford Fusion hybrid owners are satisfied with their vehicle and do not want it to be changed. Of the fifteen categories in the Ideal Vehicle question battery, the 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid led or tied in four categories and was within three percentage points of another two.
The top five highest ratings by Fusion HEV-PHEV owners are: same exterior styling, same tires, same riding/handling, same wheels, and the same seat fit as now.
Every vehicle has it flaws. Sixty percent of Ford Fusion HEV-PHEV owners would like more cargo space than they currently have. This is due to the hybrid battery pack taking precious trunk room. There is also a split in the information and entertainment technology – MyFordTouch, 16 percent want more advanced technology while 19 percent want simpler technology.
The sixth generation of the venerable Volkswagen Golf goes out with a bang. With the seventh gen Golf coming for the 2015 model year, the 2014 Volkswagen Golf is the highest scoring Compact Car in AutoPacific’s 2014 Ideal Vehicle Award research. The Golf designers listened to what buyers wanted and gave them just that. The VW Golf beat out a very impressive group of compact cars such as the Volkswagen Jetta, Subaru Impreza, Fiat 500L, Kia Soul, and the Hyundai Elantra.
For over 85% of 2014 Golf owners the following characteristics are ideal: exterior size, interior lighting, passenger roominess, ride and handling, tires and wheels, exterior styling, and driver’s seat comfort.
There are several things Beetles owners would like changed. Over 21% of 2014 Volkswagen Golf owners want more advanced infotainment and entertainment systems. This is offset by 15% who want the systems to be simpler and easier to use. About 18% of the owners want more cargo room. 25% of Golf owners want the car to be easier to get into and out of.
The 2014 BMW 3-Series GT is the highest scoring Aspirational Luxury Car in AutoPacific’s 2014 Ideal Vehicle Award research. The planners at BMW have decided that a sub-niche strategy is good and have developed the “Gran Turismo” version of their venerable 3-Series. The designers and engineers have developed a product that provides owners with 3-Series goodness combined with wagon utility. The 3-Series GT is at the top against some very impressive aspirational luxury cars such as the Audi A5, Audi A4, Volvo XC70, BMW 1-Series, and the Hyundai Genesis. The 2014 3-Series GT also won AutoPacific’s 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Award. Winning both awards in one confirms that the 3-Series Gran Turismo is a very special car. George Peterson, President of AutoPacific, concludes: “BMW is sub-niching the market with different bodystyles to appeal to a narrower and narrower group of buyers. With the 3-Series Gran Turismo they have provided a very satisfying product that hits the target buyers’ requirements precisely.”
Of the fifteen categories in the Ideal Vehicle survey, the 2014 BMW 3-Series GT leads or ties in four satisfaction categories and was within three percentage points of another three.
The top five highest ratings by 3-Series GT owners are: same exterior size, same passenger room, same tires, same wheels, and the same cargo space. These results confirm that the Gran Turismo buyers, specifically, appreciate the spaciousness and utility the GT bodystyle gives them.
Although the 3-Series GT is at the top there are several things owners would change. Owners would like different interior lighting, have better visibility, a more snug driver seat, more or better interior storage compartments and a different information and technology center.
There is a story to be told with the information and entertainment system. BMW was one of the first to implement the Human Machine Interface (HMI) – or iDrive system. They have continually struggled with their HMI system. While iDrive has improved substantially over the years, for this year seventeen percent of 3-Series GT owners want a more advanced system while twenty-two percent want a simpler one. BMW still has a way to go with their HMI system.
In the last year of this generation, the 2014 Ford Mustang is the highest scoring Sporty Car in AutoPacific’s 2014 Ideal Vehicle Award research. For a car getting long in the tooth, the fact that its owners rate the car so strongly is a testament that the product development team at Ford listened to their consumers and have satisfied their needs for the past five years. The Mustang is at the top against some very iconic muscle cars such as the Dodge Challenger, Chevrolet Camaro, and the import brand sporty cars Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Scion tC, and the Hyundai Veloster. For the past five years the sporty car IVA has changed hands between the Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro. It is very interesting that, in the last year of its generation, the Mustang wins for 2014. George Peterson, President of AutoPacific notes, “That Mustang is able to pull off an Ideal Vehicle Award win in the last year of this generation is impressive. The breadth of the Mustang lineup and the design execution has led its owners to vote it the most Ideal Sporty Car.”
2014 Ford Mustang owners are satisfied with their vehicle and do not want a great deal of change. Of the fifteen categories in the Ideal Vehicle questionnaire, the 2014 Mustang led in one satisfaction category and was within three percentage points of four more. This shows how close the scores were.
The top five highest ratings by Mustang owners are: same exterior size, same exterior styling, same tires, same safety features, and same cargo space as now.
No vehicle is perfect and Mustang owners did want several things changed. Mustang owners want a more advanced information and entertainment system, want it easier to get in and out of, and want more power and acceleration.
There is no doubt the all new C7 Corvette has recast America’s sports car in ways that ring the buyers’ bells. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is the highest scoring Sports Car in AutoPacific’s 2014 Ideal Vehicle Award research. The designers, planners and engineers at Chevrolet did an outstanding job listening to what their customers wanted. The Corvette was at the top of its category against some impressive competitors such as the Porsche Cayman, Porsche Boxster, MINI Coupe, Mazda MX-5, Nissan 370Z, and the Mercedes-Benz SLK. The C6 Corvette previously won the Ideal Vehicle Award for the 2012 model year. The Corvette has won AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award for the last three years in a row. George Peterson, President of AutoPacific, says, “Chevrolet has improved the Corvette in all ways. They have achieved a rare one-two win of AutoPacific’s annual owner-based awards. Not only is the Corvette satisfying its buyers, but it is also an ideal interpretation of the iconic American sports car.”
The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette owners are satisfied with their vehicle and do not want much change. Of the fifteen categories in the Idea Vehicle survey battery, the 2014 Corvette leads or ties in four satisfaction categories and was within three percentage points or another five.
The top five highest ratings by Corvette are: same exterior styling, same exterior size, same ride/handling, same interior lighting, and same seat fit as now.
Although the Corvette led in its category there are several things owners would change. Owners would like it to be easier to get in and out of the vehicle (they don’t want to crawl out of the driver’s seat with their hands on the ground?), want simpler information and entertainment system, better driver visibility (it’s a sports car, already!), and more power and acceleration (owners of high-powered sports cars always want MORE).
The 2014 Volkswagen Passat is the highest scoring Mid-Size Car in AutoPacific’s 2014 Ideal Vehicle Award research. The Passat designers, planners and engineers knew exactly what their customers want and provided it. The 2014 Volkswagen Passat is at the top of the list against an enormous group of very competitive mid-size cars such as the Buick Regal, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Chevrolet Malibu, Mazda6, and Subaru Legacy.
Of the fifteen categories in the Ideal Vehicle survey, the 2014 Volkswagen Passat leads or ties in four satisfaction categories and was within three percentage points of three more.
The top five highest ratings by 2014 Passat owners are: the same cargo space, same passenger room, same exterior size, same wheels, and the same interior storage as now.
2014 Volkswagen Passat owners would like more power and acceleration, a more advanced information and entertainment system, more distinctive exterior styling, and better visibility from the drivers seat.