U.S. Auto makers score most wins in meeting consumer expectations, according to AutoPacific's 2009 Ideal Vehicle Awards
Written by Johnathan Bodily
“In today’s economy, car buyers take many factors into consideration – styling, safety features, fuel economy and more,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “IVA winners deliver the most of what consumers are really looking for in their vehicles.”
“While some measurements barely differentiate between the highest and lowest-ranked vehicles, the Ideal Vehicle Awards clearly show which carmakers are providing the attributes car buyers want,” says Peterson. “Looking at segment wins and top overall honors, shoppers can use the IVAs as a benchmark for vehicles that are designed and built with customers just like them in mind. In fact, AutoPacific owner research also shows that IVA-winning vehicles achieve higher overall satisfaction from their owners.”
For 2009, the top-rated premium brand is Porsche, outscoring Buick and Jaguar for the most ideal premium vehicle brand honors. The top-rated mainstream brand is Ford, outscoring Mercury for top mainstream brand results. Porsche and Ford were also the highest scoring premium and mainstream brands in the 2008 IVA rankings.
The top-rated vehicle overall is the Honda Odyssey minivan, which beat out the next-highest rated vehicle, the Toyota Venza, from the premium mid-size crossover SUV segment. Rounding out the top five were three Ford Motor Company products: the Ford F-150 large pickup, followed by the Ford Taurus and the Lincoln Town Car, both in the large car segment.
Ford Motor Company leads the industry with a total of five segment winners. Hyundai/Kia and Toyota/Lexus each had three segment winners, with Chrysler, General Motors and Honda bringing in two wins each.
Of the twenty-three Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) categories, American brands have nine segment winners, Japanese brands seven, European brands four, and Korean brands have three segment winners.
The top-rated product segment is Large Car, beating out last year’s leading category, Large Crossover SUV. American buyers continue to value large, comfortable vehicles suitable for suburban driving and longer distance highway cruising.
2009 Ideal Premium Brand: Porsche
2009 Ideal Mainstream Brand: Ford
2009 Ideal Product Segment: Large Car
2009 Ideal Vehicle Award Winners
Premium Luxury Car - Lexus LS
Aspirational Luxury Car - Hyundai Genesis
Large Car - Ford Taurus
Luxury Mid-Size Car - Lexus ES350
Premium Mid-Size Car - Saturn Aura
Mid-Size Car - Volkswagen Jetta
Image Compact Car - MINI Cooper
Compact Car - Hyundai Elantra
Economy Car - Honda Fit
Sports Car - Porsche 911
Sporty Car - Dodge Challenger
Pickups, SUVs and Minivans
Large Pickup - Ford F-150
Compact Pickup - Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Luxury Sport Utility - Lincoln Navigator
Large Sport Utility - Nissan Armada
Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility - Ford Explorer
Mid-Size Sport Utility - Jeep Liberty
Luxury Crossover SUV - BMW X5
Large Crossover SUV - Chevrolet Traverse
Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV - Toyota Venza
Mid-Size Crossover SUV - Subaru Forester
Compact Crossover SUV - Kia Sportage
Minivan - Honda Odyssey
In addition to identifying segment winners, IVA also establishes numerical ideal vehicle ratings for virtually every passenger car and light truck in the United States market. These results come from calculating owner input across 15 specific areas related to a vehicle's attributes, including: exterior styling, exterior size, passenger roominess, cargo space, driver's seat comfort, driver’s seat visibility, interior technology, interior lighting, power and acceleration, ease of getting in and out, interior storage compartments, ride, handling, safety features and tires and wheels.
In 2009, AutoPacific has named its Vehicle Satisfaction Award winners, plus announced “Owner Recommendations,” based on a survey of more than 25,000 new car owners. With today’s announcement of the Ideal Vehicle Awards, only two vehicles have been top-ranked in their segment for all three honors: The Lexus LS in the Premium Luxury Car segment and the Honda Fit in the Economy Car segment. Will they hit an AutoPacific grand slam next month when the AutoPacific/Intellichoice.com Motorist Choice Awards are announced? We will let you know in July!