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U.S. Auto Makers Score Most Wins in Meeting Consumer Expectations According to AutoPacific's 2009 Ideal Vehicle Awards

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Survey of 32,000 Consumers Reveals Vehicles that Meet or Exceed Expectations

TUSTIN, Calif., June 29 -- Porsche and Ford Motor Company earned top honors in the 2009 Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA), announced today by automotive research firm AutoPacific. The IVAs are based on owners' ratings of their new 2009 model year cars and trucks across 15 key vehicle attributes. The cars or trucks that owners would change the least are the most ideal.

"In today's economy, car buyers take many factors into consideration - styling, safety features, fuel economy and more," says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. "IVA winners deliver the most of what consumers are really looking for in their vehicles."

"While some measurements barely differentiate between the highest and lowest-ranked vehicles, the Ideal Vehicle Awards clearly show which carmakers are providing the attributes car buyers want," says Peterson. "Looking at segment wins and top overall honors, shoppers can use the IVAs as a benchmark for vehicles that are designed and built with customers just like them in mind. In fact, AutoPacific owner research also shows that IVA-winning vehicles achieve higher overall satisfaction from their owners."

For 2009, the top-rated premium brand is Porsche, outscoring Buick and Jaguar for the most ideal premium vehicle brand honors. The top-rated mainstream brand is Ford, outscoring Mercury for top mainstream brand results. Porsche and Ford were also the highest scoring premium and mainstream brands in the 2008 IVA rankings.

The top-rated vehicle overall is the Honda Odyssey minivan, which beat out the next-highest rated vehicle, the Toyota Venza, from the premium mid-size crossover SUV segment. Rounding out the top five were three Ford Motor Company products: the Ford F-150 large pickup, followed by the Ford Taurus and the Lincoln Town Car, both in the large car segment.

Ford Motor Company leads the industry with a total of five segment winners. Hyundai/Kia and Toyota/Lexus each had three segment winners, with Chrysler, General Motors and Honda bringing in two wins each.

Of the twenty-three Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) categories, American brands have nine segment winners, Japanese brands seven, European brands four, and Korean brands have three segment winners.

The top-rated product segment is Large Car, beating out last year's leading category, Large Crossover SUV. American buyers continue to value large, comfortable vehicles suitable for suburban driving and longer distance highway cruising.

  2009 Ideal Premium Brand:  Porsche
  2009 Ideal Mainstream Brand:  Ford
  2009 Ideal Product Segment: Large Car

  2009 Ideal Vehicle Award Winners:

  Passenger Cars:
  Premium Luxury Car                Lexus LS
  Aspirational Luxury Car           Hyundai Genesis
  Large Car                         Ford Taurus
  Luxury Mid-Size Car               Lexus ES350
  Premium Mid-Size Car              Saturn Aura
  Mid-Size Car                      Volkswagen Jetta
  Image Compact Car                 MINI Cooper
  Compact Car                       Hyundai Elantra
  Economy Car                       Honda Fit
  Sports Car                        Porsche 911
  Sporty Car                        Dodge Challenger

  Pickups, SUVs and Minivans
  Large Pickup                      Ford F-150
  Compact Pickup                    Ford Explorer Sport Trac
  Luxury Sport Utility              Lincoln Navigator
  Large Sport Utility               Nissan Armada
  Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility    Ford Explorer
  Mid-Size Sport Utility            Jeep Liberty
  Luxury Crossover SUV              BMW X5
  Large Crossover SUV               Chevrolet Traverse
  Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV    Toyota Venza
  Mid-Size Crossover SUV            Subaru Forester
  Compact Crossover SUV             Kia Sportage
  Minivan                           Honda Odyssey

In addition to identifying segment winners, IVA also establishes numerical ideal vehicle ratings for virtually every passenger car and light truck in the United States market. These results come from calculating owner input across 15 specific areas related to a vehicle's attributes, including: exterior styling, exterior size, passenger roominess, cargo space, driver's seat comfort, driver's seat visibility, interior technology, interior lighting, power and acceleration, ease of getting in and out, interior storage compartments, ride, handling, safety features and tires and wheels.

In 2009, AutoPacific has named its Vehicle Satisfaction Award winners, plus announced "Owner Recommendations," based on a survey of more than 25,000 new car owners. With today's announcement of the Ideal Vehicle Awards, only two vehicles have been top-ranked in their segment for all three honors: The Lexus LS in the Premium Luxury Car segment and the Honda Fit in the Economy Car segment. Will they hit an AutoPacific grand slam next month when the AutoPacific/ Motorist Choice Awards are announced? We will let you know in July!

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: and