TUSTIN, Calif., May 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A study released today by noted
automotive consulting firm AutoPacific, Inc. summarizes the results of its
2006 model year owner satisfaction research. AutoPacific's VSA (Vehicle
Satisfaction Award) study is an industry benchmark for objectively
measuring how satisfied an owner is with their new car or light truck.
The vehicle registering highest overall satisfaction in 2006 is the
Lincoln Navigator Luxury SUV. The highest rated car is the new-for-2006
Hyundai flagship -- Hyundai Azera.
Unlike 2005, when Nissan North America had seven winners, the 2006
results are distributed across the industry. There are eighteen Vehicle
Satisfaction Award categories. Honda won four categories, General Motors
won three categories, Ford won three categories, Nissan won two categories,
Hyundai won two categories, Mitsubishi won two categories.
Top 2006 model year performers are:
Premium Luxury Car Lexus LS
Entry Luxury Car Cadillac CTS
Luxury/Large Car Hyundai Azera
Premium Mid-Size Car Volkswagen Passat
Mid-Size Car Mercury Milan
Image Compact Car MINI Cooper
Compact Car Honda Civic
Sports Car Chevrolet Corvette
Sporty Car Acura RSX
Large Light-Duty Pickup Nissan Titan
Large Heavy-Duty Pickup Chevrolet Silverado HD
Sport Utility Truck Honda Ridgeline
Compact Pickup Mitsubishi Raider
Luxury Sport Utility Lincoln Navigator
Large Sport Utility Nissan Armada
Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility Mitsubishi Endeavor
Mid-Size Sport Utility Hyundai Santa Fe
Compact Sport Utility Suzuki Grand Vitara
Minivan Honda Odyssey
In addition to identifying segment winners, VSA also establishes
numerical satisfaction ratings for virtually every passenger car and light
truck in the North American market. This results from calculating owner
satisfaction across 44 specific areas related to a vehicle's operation,
comfort, safety and the overall purchase/lease experience. The 2006 ratings
reflect input from buyers and lessees of new vehicles acquired September
2005 through January 2006.
AutoPacific releases VSA results yearly as a consumer and industry
service. AutoPacific also offers a Satisfaction Benchmark Study (SBS) that
analyzes, on a feature-by-feature basis, cars and trucks in the North
American market. This study allows manufacturers and key suppliers to
assess and compare their vehicles on a feature level with the best in the
business. "We feel SBS is the best and most economical way for
manufacturers and suppliers to rate their own performance, and find out who
is setting the standard for satisfaction. It then takes the analysis to the
discrete level, from cupholders to the dealership experience," says
AutoPacific is a future-oriented automotive marketing and
product-consulting firm. Every year it 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 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://blog.vehiclevoice.com. To weigh in
with comments concerning these results, you can comment on the VehicleVoice
Note: Rankings for brands and segments will be released at a later date.
Additional George Peterson comments regarding individual winners:
Lexus Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Top Brand:
"Lexus' win comes from an especially strong showing by its LS430 Premium
Luxury Car and solid results from the rest of its lineup. Strong vehicle
scores combined with real luxury-level customer handling at Lexus
dealerships edges Lexus ahead of other luxury brands like Cadillac,
Infiniti, Land Rover, and Lincoln. European luxury brands other than Land
Rover are down on the list this year."
Lexus LS430 Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for
Premium Luxury Cars: "Owners of the Lexus LS return the Lexus flagship to
its accustomed place at the top of the Premium Luxury Car rankings. With a
combination of extremely luxurious ride and driving dynamics, top notch
materials, bulletproof quality and overachieving dealers, the Lexus LS
provides its owners with an extremely satisfying experience."
Cadillac CTS Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Entry
Luxury Cars: "Cadillac CTS moves to the top of the Entry Luxury Car
category in 2006. The European ambience of the CTS makes it a clear
alternative to the Japanese and European brand entries in this segment. The
fact CTS comes from an American brand is a testament to Cadillac
understanding what buyers in this product category really want."
Hyundai Azera Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for
Large Cars -- Also Top-Ranked Car: "The satisfaction results for the
all-new Hyundai Azera prove that Hyundai is serious about selling top class
products. In its first year on the market, Azera achieves not only a class
win, but is the highest scoring passenger car ahead of vaunted Premium
Luxury Cars like the Lexus LS, Jaguar XJ and Mercedes S-Class. The fact
that these cars are twice the price of an Azera is just icing on the cake."
Volkswagen Passat Wins AutoPacific 2006 Premium Mid-Size Car Vehicle
Satisfaction Award: "In its first year out, the all-new Volkswagen Passat
has established itself as an extremely satisfying Premium Mid-Size sedan.
Passat handily beat segment volume leaders Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and
Hyundai Sonata. Passat wins by virtue of its outstanding interior design,
use of high touch materials and European driving dynamics."
Mercury Milan Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for
Mid-Size Cars: "The all-new Mercury Milan is a clear winner among Mid-Size
competition. Combining excellent style, good size and roominess, sporty
ride and handling, the Milan provides its owners with a very satisfying
MINI Cooper Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Image
Compact Cars: "Car makers continuously strive to produce a small car that
people actually want to buy -- an Image Compact Car -- a car people aspire
to. MINI has certainly achieved that goal. A car coveted by young and old
drivers alike, the MINI has an attitude unmatched in today's car market.
Distinctive, cute, fun to drive, MINI is a delight that clearly satisfies
Chevrolet Corvette Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for
Sports Cars: "Owners of the new C6 Chevrolet Corvette return the car to the
top of the Sports Car category with a decisive class-winning performance
for 2006. The new Corvette is perhaps the best value in the entire Sports
Car arena. The C6 Corvette is a more satisfying car than any previous
Corvette -- great styling, more finesse, super performance, great handling
and a more supple ride. Still immediately identifiable as a Corvette, the
C6 is clearly new across the board."
Acura RSX Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Sporty
Cars: "Acura RSX is a small sporty coupe priced substantially below other
Acura entries. This value, combined with a great powertrain and sporty
handling provide RSX owners with class-topping satisfaction."
Nissan Titan Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Large
Light-Duty Pickups: "Owners of the 2006 Nissan Titan rate the pickup at the
top of the Large Light-Duty Pickup category. The 2006 model year is the
third year in a row Titan has topped its segment. This is an outstanding
accomplishment and testament to the satisfaction Titan is giving its
"Titan's achievement is truly remarkable and demonstrates the inherent
differences in AutoPacific's way of measuring satisfaction compared with
others. Titan is immensely satisfying, but owner surveys conducted by
others show Titan has a fair share of niggling problems. But, if you are
not counting things gone wrong and looking at what really matters -- how
well buyers are satisfied -- Titan shines. Its big, powerful V8 engine
combined with outstanding styling and features provide the top-satisfying
product package for 2006."
"We cannot ignore that two large trucks produced at Nissan's Canton
Mississippi assembly plant won top place in their categories for both the
2004, 2005 and 2006 -- Nissan Titan and Nissan Armada. This is a sweep any
company can be envious of."
Chevrolet Silverado Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award
for Large Heavy-Duty Pickup Trucks: "The Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty
wins among Heavy Duty Large Pickups. A workhorse near the end of its run,
the Silverado HD nosed out Dodge Ram Heavy Duty and Ford F-Series Super
Duty entries. Much of its win has to be credited to its up-graded Duramax
diesel for the 2006 model year."
Honda Ridgeline Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for
Sport Utility Trucks: "Complementing the numerous awards the Honda
Ridgeline has received since its introduction, Ridgeline customers weigh in
by rating it as the most satisfying pickup on the market. Scoring higher
than all Full Size, Heavy Duty and Compact pickups, Ridgeline proves that a
softer pickup doing car and truck duty can provide great satisfaction for
its owners. Heaped with innovations, including the first-ever trunk in a
pickup, Ridgeline breaks the pickup mold."
Mitsubishi Raider Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for
Compact Pickup Trucks: "Tough styling communicates the capability of the
top ranking Compact Pickup Truck -- the Mitsubishi Raider. The only
Japanese-brand Compact Pickup available with a V8 engine, the Raider
achieves class-leading satisfaction. Raider's win demonstrates the value of
good power and performance even in the Compact Pickup class."
Lincoln Navigator Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for
Luxury Sport Utility Vehicles -- Also Top Ranked Truck and TOP RANKED
VEHICLE Overall: "The Lincoln Navigator is the top ranked vehicle for
satisfaction in AutoPacific's 2006 research. Not only did the Lincoln
flagship beat its Luxury SUV competition, but it was ahead of all other
trucks and cars as well. While Cadillac's Escalade may be the new King of
Bling, Navigator achieves its class leading status with an industry
benchmark interior, full fold flat rear seating, tasteful styling and a
great performing V8."
Nissan Armada Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award Large
Sport Utility for Third Year in a Row: "Armada is a significant vehicle for
a variety of reasons, the most notable of which is that it comes from a
Japanese brand but is completely tuned for American tastes and
sensibilities. Brand aside, there is absolutely nothing traditionally or
typically Japanese about it. Armada is full size, and when we say
full-size, we mean it! It has a powerful and sophisticated V8 engine bigger
and mightier than the domestic competition! Armada is unapologetically made
for North America and North America alone, with no compromises or
"Armada was right for the market right out of the box for the 2004
model year when it won Large SUV honors. As a repeat winner, Armada's 2004
and 2005 performances surely were not flukes."
Mitsubishi Endeavor Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award
for Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicles: "Mitsubishi Endeavor won its
first VSA when it was launched in 2004 and repeats in 2006. Endeavor's
5-passenger interior package gives good spaciousness to front and rear
passengers without the compromises often made by SUVs trying to shoehorn
7-people into the space designed for five. Endeavor has good performance
and driving dynamics. While Endeavor's somewhat controversial styling may
limit its sales, clearly, once a person has made the commitment, the
Endeavor provides what they want."
Hyundai Santa Fe Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for
Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicles: "In its last year before being replaced,
the Hyundai Santa Fe continues its string of category-leading performances.
Santa Fe has won or tied in its category for five of the six years it has
been on the market. This is a testament to Santa Fe's strong combination of
product competence, value and warranty. Santa Fe satisfies its owners and
continues to help Hyundai build its brand image in the United States."
Suzuki Grand Vitara Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award
for Compact Sport Utility Vehicles: "In Suzuki's first win ever, owners of
the all-new Grand Vitara rate it best in the Compact SUV class. New
styling, larger, up-graded interior, up-graded powertrain, affordable
pricing and a more-than-competitive warranty, make Grand Vitara a
satisfying value proposition."
Honda Odyssey Wins AutoPacific 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for
Minivans: "The Honda Odyssey Minivan wins top satisfying Minivan honors for
2006. The Odyssey, in a three-way tie with other Japanese brand Minivans in
2005, moves into the lead for 2006. Odyssey's relatively sporty
performance, ride and handling combined with traditional Minivan styling
and innovative interior features nudge Odyssey ahead of the Nissan Quest
for 2006. Honda's perceived product quality was the deciding factor."
SOURCE AutoPacific, Inc.