The Hyundai Santa Fe (@hyundaisantafe) was the first Korean brand vehicle to win AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award. That was in 2001. There have been four generations of the Hyundai Santa Fe selling 1.6 million units in the USA. All have been successively better than its predecessor. The 5th Generation Hyundai Santa Fe, the 2019 model, has just been released and all Hyundai dealers should have them in their showrooms by the end of August 2018.
2019 Santa Fe – a REAL SUV
Hyundai Motor America product planners rightly concluded that the previous generation had gotten too soft and sporty. The stylists of that fourth generation sacrificed utility for style making the windshield faster and making the side [...]
2019 Honda Pilot with Dealer Installed Accessory Decal Kit – Say it isn’t so!
Honda is a car company, right? Their premium mid-size truck offerings – Honda Pilot, Honda Odyssey, Honda Ridgeline – are all doing very well thank you.
Honda’s Accord and Civic sedans have been among the best selling vehicles for years. Honda usually counts retail sales when they are quoting sales figures because their sales to fleets is virtually non-existent. But their best selling vehicle is the Honda CR-V – a mid-size crossover SUV (XSUV). It seems like every other woman in Orange County is driving one. Year to date, “truck sales” have accounted for 52% of Honda’s sales in the USA. (AutoPacific’s forecast is that truck sales will be over 70% of the industry within the next five years).
The results of AutoPacific's 22nd annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSAs) identify the most satisfying vehicles in the market. An industry benchmark for measuring how satisfied an owner is with his/her new vehicle, VSAs are based on survey responses from over 58,000 owners of new 2017 and 2018 cars and light trucks.
The all new 2018 Hyundai Kona small crossover SUV (XSUV) has just been shown to the press in an event held, wait for it, on the Kona Coast of The Big Island of Hawaii. There were 23 or 24 Konas on hand for the journalists to drive around the island. So, this was a pretty big event for Hyundai Motor America (HMA).
In AutoPacific’s 2017 Small XSUV Consultancy, 38 XSUVs with a wheelbase of 110-inches or less are included. There were enough data to do complete analyses on that many individual vehicles. There are an additional seven all new small XSUVs on sale now but too new to have been included in the AutoPacific database. That makes 45 entries in the small XSUV category. Now comes the 2018 Hyundai Kona wading into the fray.
The 2018 Hyundai Accent looks good and doesn't look particularly downscale. Accent now has the signature Hyundai grille. Its profile is semi-fastback like the Sonata. The ride is good. Handling is better than many small cars. Ergonomics are excellent.
One of the major challenges for Jeep in the major re-design of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler - the 4th Gen Wrangler - was how to maintain its ultimate off-road capability while making it easier to live with day-to-day. Jeep says "we are maintaining and enhancing tradition." The 2018 Jeep Wrangler is new from the ground up and, while keeping the character of its predecessors, fixes the issues the may have prevented someone from keeping theirs for a long time. The new Wrangler is a vehicle you can drive day-to-day in comfort for years.
The Kia Stinger is a 5-door hatchback sport sedan that ventures into an area Kia has not gone before. Kia describes the Stinger as “an inflection point that takes Kia to a different level”. Stinger is a rear wheel (or AWD) mid-size car with a long wheelbase, a large interior package and outstanding driving dynamics. Using worldwide design resources, the Stinger provides Kia with a world-class challenger to German sport sedans. The vehicle closest in concept is the Audi A7 hatchback.
Whizzing around tight corners, while rapidly shifting the gears of a manual transmission is exhilarating! However, reality dictates that I spend most of my driving time mindlessly crawling through rush-hour traffic, so the thought of constantly burying my leg into a clutch while shifting from 2nd to 3rd back to 2nd every five seconds has made me think twice about buying a car with a manual transmission. Driving an automatic now-a-days just seems more convenient for day-to-day driving. And apparently I am not alone here.
VehicleVoice recently surveyed its panel to find out how much of the vehicle-driving population still drives a manual transmission. Looking specifically at enthusiasts (after all, aren’t they primarily the ones driving a stick shift?), the data reveals that, despite a significant portion of our sample claiming stick-shift know-how (89%), only a fraction of them [...]
AUTOPACIFIC ANNOUNCES 2017 IDEAL VEHICLE AWARDS – PORSCHE TOP BRAND AND TOP OVERALL VEHICLE; FORD MOTOR HAS MOST SEGMENT WINNERS
TUSTIN, Calif. (August 22, 2017) – Automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific, Inc. today announced the 2017 Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA), recognizing vehicles that best meet their owner’s expectations and desires.
The 2017 awards are based on responses from more than 54,000 owners of new model year 2016 and 2017 vehicles across all major manufacturers. Respondents were asked what changes they would make to their car or truck in 15 key categories, including ride and handling, interior storage, safety features, power and acceleration and technology. “Even the most satisfied owner would change something about their vehicle if given the opportunity,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “AutoPacific’s IVAs identify vehicles whose owners want the least amount of change – those that are truly hitting the mark with owners.”
Atomization Continues Unabated The American car and light truck market is undergoing atomization. There are 313 car and truck nameplates on sale today in the United States. By 2022 – just five years in the future – there are going to be 377. A nameplate is a vehicle name like Ford Explorer, Renge Rover Evoque or Toyota Camry.
Car to Truck Shift Permanent Manufacturers are adding new products to more tightly appeal to customers with more diverse tastes. Buyers have shifted to crossover sport utility vehicles (XSUVs) in droves. Automakers are adding more XSUVs to satisfy every whim. Trucks began outselling cars in 2001, but since 2012 when cars last had 50% of the market truck sales have [...]