Issue: May 2009


AutoPacific’s Research Reveals the Most Highly Recommended Vehicles



by Tony Tickner

Who do you go to for advice when buying a new car? What about owners themselves? AutoPacific has just analyzed recommendation intentions from 25,000 new-car owners, and the results offer interesting insights.

AutoPacific, which has provided automotive analysis to carmakers since 1986, bases its findings on a just-completed comprehensive survey of more than 25,000 consumers who purchased or leased new cars or light trucks in the period from September to December 2008.

“Typically, car buyers are very pleased when they first drive their new car off the dealer lot. But just as a vehicle’s worth depreciates over time, some car owners’ level of confidence depreciates,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “We have quantified their level of confidence to see which new car owners will recommend their model most and this is information which will help new car shoppers make informed, confident buying decisions. While many owners can be happy with their new cars, it takes another level of confidence to recommend it.”

Porsche leads as the top brand in a close race, with the highest owner recommendation of 91%. “Porsche owners’ feelings for their cars run deep, some might call it devotion,” says Peterson. “Clearly that is still the case as the Porsche line-up all scored well in this survey.”

The vehicle - car or truck - registering highest overall satisfaction in 2009 is the Infiniti G37, which was recommended by 95% of new owners. The truck with the highest overall satisfaction score is the Ford F-150 recommended by 89% of its owners. In a tie, the SUVs with the highest overall satisfaction score are the GMC Yukon XL and Honda CR-V recommended by 93% of their owners.

At the manufacturer level, multiple top-ranked award winners include: Toyota with eight top rankings (Toyota 6, Lexus 2), Ford with six (Ford 5, Lincoln 1), Honda with three, General Motors with two (Chevy 1, GMC 1), and Chrysler with two (Jeep 1, Dodge 1).

AutoPacific’s research objectively measures owner recommendations with newly purchased or leased passenger cars or light trucks by ranking new owners’ responses to the question “Would you recommend your new vehicle to a friend or relative? Scores are based on the responses, ranging from “Yes, definitely,” “Yes, with reservations,” or “No.”

BRAND: Porsche

PASSENGER CARS:
Premium Luxury Car Lexus LS
Executive Luxury Car Jaguar XF
Aspirational Luxury Car Infiniti G37 (most recommended – 95%)
Large Car Toyota Avalon
Luxury Mid-Size Car Lexus ES
Premium Mid-Size Car Toyota Camry
Mid-Size Car Volkswagen Jetta
Image Compact Car Toyota Prius
Mainstream Compact Car Subaru Impreza
Economy Car Honda Fit
Premium Sports Car Chevrolet Corvette
Sports Car Nissan 350Z
Sporty Car Ford Mustang

LIGHT TRUCKS:
Large Light-Duty Pickup Ford F-150
Large Heavy-Duty Pickup Ford F-Super Duty
Compact Pickup Toyota Tacoma
Luxury Sport Utility Lincoln Navigator
Large Sport Utility GMC Yukon XL
Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility Toyota 4Runner
Mid-Size Sport Utility Dodge Nitro
Compact SUV/Off-Road Vehicle Jeep Wrangler
Luxury Crossover SUV Land Rover LR2
Large Crossover SUV Ford Flex
Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV Ford Edge
Mainstream Mid-Size Crossover SUV Honda CR-V
Compact Crossover SUV Honda Element
Minivan Toyota Sienna

Soon, AutoPacific will announce its 13th annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. The VSA establishes numerical satisfaction ratings for virtually every passenger car and light truck in the North American market. Owner satisfaction is measured across 48 specific areas related to a vehicle's operation, comfort, safety and the overall purchase/lease experience. The 2009 ratings reflect input from buyers and lessees of new vehicles acquired September through December 2008.

About AutoPacific
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 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: www.autopacific.com and news.vehiclevoice.com  


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