Few industries see the disparity between the best quality vehicles and the brands most favored by consumers like the automotive industry does.
That difference came to the fore again as AutoPacific announced its 2019 Vehicle Satisfaction Award winners: Lincoln, Ram and Nissan all took top honors.
The Lincoln Navigator was the top overall vehicle in the awards while the Lincoln brand moved up from fifth place last year to take top honors for Highest Satisfaction Premium Brand. Ram took the title of Highest Satisfaction Popular Brand.
“For 23 years, AutoPacific has been providing true unbiased insight into which vehicles are giving their owners the most satisfying experience,” said AutoPacific president George Peterson in a statement.
AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Awards objectively measure owner satisfaction with 32 separate attributes ranging from driving performance to seating comfort and interior design. Ratings are based solely on owner input. Designed to give a complete view of respondent’s feelings about their vehicles, the VSAs include importance ratings in the VSA score calculation.
Nissan nabbed the most wins in individual categories with six. The Japanese automaker took three wins in the passenger vehicle and three in the light truck segments. It was the third year in a row that Nissan led the study in overall wins.
The six winners included: Maxima, Altima, Armada, Murano and Rogue for Nissan and Q60 for Infiniti. The Murano (5th year in a row) and Maxima (4th year in a row) continue to be unbeatable since their redesigns entered the market in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
“Even with new competition this year in the all-new Subaru Ascent, Volkswagen Atlas and Lexus ES, the Murano and Maxima came out on top,” said Peterson.
Here are winners in the passenger car category:
- Luxury Car: Lincoln Continental
- Aspirational Luxury Car: Infiniti Q60
- Luxury Midsize Car: Nissan Maxima
- Large Car: Kia Cadenza
- Midsize Car: Nissan Altima
- Premium Compact Car: Acura ILX
- Compact Car: Kia Forte
- Economy Car: Hyundai Accent
- Sports Car: Chevrolet Corvette
- Sporty Car: Dodge Challenger
- Luxury EV Car: Tesla Model 3
- Mainstream EV Car: Honda Clarity
The all-new Ram 1500 posted a strong performance with top satisfaction scores in 22 out of 32 attributes, including interior quietness, driver’s seat movement, interior styling and power and acceleration.
“The Ram 1500 is a truly exceptional pickup,” he said, “but what carries Ram to the top as a brand is high satisfaction in areas that can be problems for other brands, particularly 2nd row seat comfort, interior storage, passenger roominess and user-friendly gauges and controls.”
As noted earlier, Lincoln ranked fifth last year behind Genesis, Lexus, Infiniti and Tesla. The all-new Navigator and updated and renamed Nautilus are top in their segments and the Navigator is the top overall vehicle.
Adding to Lincoln’s wins in the SUV and Crossover SUV categories, the Lincoln Continental was the top car.
“In addition to the exceptionally crafted Navigator, Lincoln has made a strong push for customer treatment. It’s a hands-on experience that appears to be working,” Peterson noted.
Here are the individual truck winners:
- Light Duty Pickup: Ram 1500
- Midsize Pickup: Ford Ranger
- Luxury SUV: Lincoln Navigator
- Large SUV: Nissan Armada
- Midsize SUV: Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Premium Luxury Crossover SUV: Mercedes-Benz GLE
- Luxury Crossover SUV: Lincoln Nautilus
- Premium Midsize Crossover SUV: Chevy Traverse
- Midsize Crossover SUV: Nissan Murano
- Compact Crossover SUV: Nissan Rogue
- Minivan: Chrysler Pacifica
- Luxury EV Truck: Tesla Model X
Now in its 23rd year, the VSAs identify the most satisfying vehicles in the market based on responses from over 50,000 new car and light truck owners.