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Korean Newcomer Genesis Tops Vehicle Satisfaction List

Nissan, GMC, Hyundai and Ram also score well in annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards.

by on Jun.19, 2018

Genesis was the top brand overall in the 2018 VSA, while the G90 sedan was top Luxury Car.

Reflecting the massive shift from sedans and coupes to SUVs, CUVs and pickups, light trucks are doing a better job of pleasing buyers, at least if the 2018 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are any indication. And SUVs are the most satisfying products of all, reports consulting and research firm AutoPacific, Inc.

But that isn’t a hard and fast rule. Genesis, the new Korean luxury brand that has yet to introduce its first utility vehicle, was the number one brand in the 2018 VSA, edging out more established competitors, such as Lexus, and achieving the highest score ever in the annual satisfaction study.

Best of the Best!

“In just two years, Genesis has reached a level of owner satisfaction unattained by more established luxury brands,” said AutoPacific President George Peterson, adding that the Genesis G90 sedan also won the VSA for Luxury Car for the second year in a row.

(Genesis continues to evolve as a luxury brand. Click Here for more.)

Among mainstream brands, there was a three-way tie between GMC, Ram and Hyundai, the latter the Korean carmaker that spun off Genesis two years ago.

Nissan had five segment wins with models like the Titan, more than any other brand.

There seems to be something for almost every brand in the new study, however. Nissan had more individual segment wins of any marque, a total of five, including the Titan, the top-ranked Light Duty Pickup, and Maxima, the top Luxury Midsize Car.

“Not only does Nissan have the most brand wins for the second year in a row, the Maxima and Murano (ranked the top Premium Midsize Crossover) have been unbeatable since their redesigns were introduced to the market,” said Peterson.

But Chevrolet landed the most satisfying vehicle overall, according to AutoPacific, in the form of the recently redesigned Traverse SUV.

(Buick, Infiniti top latest JD Power Customer Satisfaction Index. Click Here for more.)

This year’s Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are based on responses from 58,000 owners of 2017 and 2018 model-year vehicles. The study differs from traditional quality and reliability reports in that it is designed to measure how pleased owners are with their vehicles by focusing on 40 different vehicle attributes, ranging from seating to driving performance.

“Not only do we measure owner satisfaction, but we also measure how important each attribute was to owners in their shopping process, resulting in a satisfaction score representative of demanding owners,” Peterson explained.

The new Chevy Traverse was the highest-rated vehicle overall in the 2018 VSA.

The results often stand in sharp contrast to classic things-gone-wrong-type studies, such as the well-known J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey due out this week. While Korean manufacturers have fared well in recent years on the IQS, American manufacturers typically are a more mixed bag. Fiat Chrysler brands, such as Ram, have fared rather poorly on quality surveys in recent years, but often fare better on satisfaction studies that factor in surprise-and-delight features.

(Lexus, Buick lead in long-term dependability, according to JD Power. Click Here for more.)

Here’s the full list of this year’s winners on the 2018 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards:

Most Satisfying Vehicle Overall: Chevrolet Traverse

Highest Satisfaction Premium Brand: Genesis

Highest Satisfaction Popular Brand: 3-way tie: GMC, Hyundai, Ram


Luxury Car: Genesis G90 (2nd year)

Aspirational Luxury Car: Lexus IS

Luxury Mid-Size Car: Nissan Maxima (3rd year)

Large Car: Dodge Charger

Mid-Size Car: Hyundai Sonata

Premium Compact Car: Audi A3

Compact Car: Hyundai Elantra

Mainstream EV Car: Nissan Leaf

Economy Car: Hyundai Accent

Sports Car: Nissan 370Z

Sporty Car: Dodge Challenger (2nd year)


Light Duty Pickup: Nissan Titan (2nd year)

Heavy Duty Pickup: GMC Sierra HD

Mid-Size Pickup: Honda Ridgeline (2nd year)

Luxury SUV: Infiniti QX80

Large SUV: Toyota Sequoia

Mid-Size SUV: (tie) Toyota 4Runner, Jeep Grand Cherokee (4th year)

Premium Luxury Crossover SUV: Mercedes-Benz GLS

Luxury Crossover SUV: Infiniti QX60

Large Crossover SUV: Chevrolet Traverse

Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV: Nissan Murano (4th year)

Mid-Size Crossover SUV: Honda CR-V

Compact Crossover SUV: Toyota C-HR

Minivan: (tie)Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna

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3 Responses to “Korean Newcomer Genesis Tops Vehicle Satisfaction List”

  1. Dick says:

    Not mentioned was Ford’s win for the largest train station.

  2. Jim Mbongo says:

    where is Ford?

    • Paul A. Eisenstein says:

      Fifth on the brand list. Click on the brand list image to see it more clearly,