There seem to be more and more automotive awards every year, and countless studies that try to rank the latest models according to some arcane quality algorithm. The Motorist Choice Awards aim to pull things together and let owners report on what are not only the highest-quality cars but the ones they’d actually like to own.
And what they told the researchers from IntelliChoice and AutoPacific – who cooperated on this year’s study, the sixth for the Motorists Choice Awards – is that domestic automakers are making steady progress, though imports still dominate.
Ford is, more than any of the Detroit makers, dominating the domestic revival, the number two U.S. manufacturer capturing four of the 15 popular lifestyle segment awards, more than any other brand. Its Lincoln brand adds a fifth and sixth trophy, its Navigator capturing the lead among premium-brand “people movers,” while the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid was chosen the most Eco Friendly luxury model.
But before Ford cracks open the champagne it might temper its enthusiasm by noting that one product, the big Expedition sport-utility vehicle, took honors in three of the four separate “Popular” categories it won, the Expedition EL named Motorist Choice as Cargo Hauler and Popular People Mover, the regular Expedition chosen in the Road Trip category. Ford’s Fusion Hybrid took a win as most Eco Friendly, according to the 72,000 vehicle buyers surveyed for the sixth annual Motorist Choice Awards.
Other multiple award winners included Toyota, whose Sienna minivan was named most Kid Friendly among popular, or mainstream, models, while its Scion xD was picked as most Cosmopolitan. The hip brand’s tC also was chosen most Youthful. On the Premium side, the Lexus HS was named best Value, and the marque’s IS was chosen most Youthful.
Chevrolet, Hyundai and Mini were the other multiple Motorist Choice Award winners among popular brands, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo each taking two premium awards.
Several models repeated by capturing segment awards they won last year, including the Dodge Ram HD in the Popular Active Lifestyle category, Hyundai Genesis in the Popular Luxury Lifestyle category, and the Lexus IS in the Premium Youthful category.
“The Motorist Choice Award methodology is designed to help consumers identify vehicles that speak to their hearts and their wallets,” explains Tyler Schulze, vice president and general manager of IntelliChoice. “The 2011 award winners all share a connection with buyers from both a satisfaction standpoint and overall value as compared to their peers.”
The complete list of 2011 Motorist Choice Award Winners:
|Active Lifestyle||Dodge Ram HD||Land Rover LR4|
|Cargo Hauler||Ford Expedition EL||Volvo XC70|
|Cosmopolitan||Scion xD||Audi A3|
|Eco Friendly||Ford Fusion Hybrid||Lincoln MKZ Hybrid|
|Fun to Drive||MINI Cooper||Volvo C30|
|Head Turner||Chevrolet Camaro||Porsche Panamera|
|High Tech||Volkswagen Touareg||Cadillac Escalade|
|Image||MINI Cooper||Mercedes-Benz GLK|
|Kid Friendly||Toyota Sienna||Volvo XC90|
|Luxury Lifestyle||Hyundai Genesis||Jaguar XJ|
|People Mover||Ford Expedition EL||Lincoln Navigator|
|Performance||Chevrolet Corvette||Cadillac Escalade|
|Road Trip||Ford Expedition||Mercedes-Benz GL|
|Value||Hyundai Elantra||Lexus HS|
|Youthful||Scion tC||Lexus IS|