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AutoPacific Releases 2001 Vehicle Satisfaction Scores

FOR RELEASE: May 3, 2001

AutoPacific Releases 2001 Vehicle Satisfaction Scores; Cadillac Top Brand, Lexus Highest-Rated Car, Lincoln Highest-Rated Truck

TUSTIN, Calif. -- Results of a study released today by noted automotive consulting firm AutoPacific, Inc. reveal owner satisfaction levels with new 2001 model year cars and light trucks. The VSS (Vehicle Satisfaction Score) study is an industry benchmark for objective new vehicle buyer and lessee satisfaction.

The top-rated brand for 2001 is Cadillac, taking the crown from last year's winner Lexus.

The individual vehicle model registering highest overall satisfaction for a second consecutive year is Lexus' LS sedan, represented for 2001 by an all-new LS430 model. The highest-rated truck is Lincoln's Navigator, which rose from 5th place in the 2000 study to claim top honors this year in a more competitive product segment.

"The corporate combination of Toyota and Lexus once again demonstrates significant strength in the new vehicle arena with five segment winners," notes AutoPacific founder and president George Peterson. "Ford also shines with four class winners, while General Motors and Nissan each have three, and Daimler-Chrysler and Honda each have two." Joining the winner's circle for the first time is Hyundai with its all-new Santa Fe sport utility.

Top performers by segment are:

PASSENGER CARS:

Premium Luxury High CarLexus LS430 (repeat winner)
Contemporary Luxury CarAcura RL (tied)
Infiniti I30 (tied)
Luxury Car  Cadillac DeVille (repeat winner)
Premium Mid-Size CarToyota Avalon
Mid-Size Car Toyota Camry
Compact CarHonda Civic
Sports Car  Mercedes-Benz SLK (repeat winner)
Sporty Car Ford Mustang
Alternate Fuel VehicleToyota Prius

LIGHT TRUCKS:

Large PickupTruck Toyota Tundra (repeat winner)
Compact PickupTruck Nissan Frontier
4-Door Pickup TruckFord F-150 Super Crew
Luxury Sport Utility Lincoln Navigator
Large Sport Utility Ford Excursion
Mid-Size Sport Utility  Jeep Grand Cherokee
Compact Sport Utility Hyundai Santa Fe
Full-Size Van  GMC Savana (tied)
Chevrolet Express (tied)
Minivan Nissan Quest

Commemorating the 2001 study is a newly commissioned award that will be given to manufacturers of the top-ranking vehicles in each segment. The award underscores AutoPacific's role as an auto industry specialist, featuring a stylized and evocative vehicle shape mounted on a dramatic brushed aluminum base.

In addition to establishing segment winners, VSS also establishes numerical ratings for virtually every passenger car and light truck in the North American market. Among passenger cars, following LS430 as top scorer is Cadillac DeVille in second place, BMW 7-Series third, Toyota Avalon fourth and Mercedes-Benz S-class fifth. Among light trucks, ranking second behind Lincoln Navigator is Ford Excursion, followed by Lexus RX300 in third, GMC Yukon fourth and Acura's new MDX sport utility fifth.