TUSTIN, Calif., June 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — AutoPacific today announced its 20th annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSAs), identifying 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 65,000 owners of new 2015 and 2016 model year cars and light trucks.
“This year marks the 20th anniversary of AutoPacific recognizing the most satisfying vehicles and providing consumers a way to streamline their search for the perfect vehicle,” says AutoPacific president George Peterson. AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Awards objectively measure owner satisfaction with 50 separate attributes ranging from interior comfort and styling to fuel economy and performance. “VSAs look at the big picture, which includes owners’ experiences with their vehicle’s quality and safety, but also goes deeper into the heart of the ownership experience.”
A Year of Shake Ups
After years of American brands taking the top spot for most satisfying popular, non-luxury, brand, Korean manufacturer Kia has taken over. “Kia has been coming on strong for years and has won many individual vehicle awards,” says Peterson, “but this year they dominated among popular, non-luxury, brands, with a total brand score that is 16 points higher than the nearest competitor, GMC.”
Tesla is the most satisfying premium brand for the second year in a row. “Tesla was new to the survey results in 2015 and won the top premium brand award by a considerable margin (23 points). They hold the top spot this year, though Cadillac has closed the gap considerably with the highly satisfying Escalade and increases in owner satisfaction across their lineup,” explains Peterson.
This year also marks the first year that neither Ford Motor Company nor Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has a winning vehicle. “Over the years, Ford has consistently had high-scoring trucks and SUVs while Lincoln has had several luxury car winners,” says Peterson. “Historically, FCA has not been as strong; however, the Jeep Grand Cherokee was on a 5 year winning streak and had that taken away by the Toyota 4Runner this year.”
Overall for 2016, General Motors receives the most wins with 7, followed by Kia and Nissan each with 4, Mercedes-Benz with 3, and Hyundai and Toyota each with 2 wins. Volvo, Honda and Tesla each take home 1 win.
In a market where vehicles continue to raise the bar for owner satisfaction, AutoPacific recognizes another President’s Award winner this year: the 2016 Cadillac Escalade. This award is given only when the overall score tops the previous high score. The previous President’s Award winners were the 2015 Kia K900, 2014 Mercedes S-Class and the 2010 Hyundai Sonata.
Six All-New or Redesigned Vehicles Top Their Segment
Of the twenty-three winning vehicles, six of them had been redesigned for the 2016 model year, including the Kia Optima, Nissan Maxima, Chevrolet Camaro, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Lexus RX, and Hyundai Tucson. “Product planners hold their breath after the release of a new, or redesigned, vehicle, hoping that all their research, designing and planning has successful results,” says Peterson who worked as a product planner prior to founding AutoPacific thirty years ago. “While six of the winning vehicles were redesigned for the 2016 model year, the Kia Optima and Chevrolet Camaro have greatly exceeded the scores of their nearest segment competitors.”
2016 VEHICLE SATISFACTION AWARD WINNERS
President’s Award (Highest VSA Score to Date): Cadillac Escalade
Most Satisfying Vehicle Overall: Cadillac Escalade
Highest Satisfaction Premium Brand: Tesla
Highest Satisfaction Popular Brand: Kia
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 about AutoPacific and the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards can be found on AutoPacific’s websites: www.autopacific.com and www.vehiclevoice.com.