Automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific, of which I am usually a fan, is handing out its 2018 Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA).
2018 AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Awards
Based solely on owner input, the AutoPacific IVAs measure the fusion between owner expectations and reality. They’re based on the responses of 58,000 new vehicle owners.
“IVA’s speak to a vehicles layout and design,” says AutoPacific president George Peterson. “Giving owners a chance to tell us what they would change and how they would change it reveals which vehicles are designed to meet their needs and expectations. In other words, having owners who are happy with things the way they are, says the manufacturer did its upfront research and designed the vehicle with their target buyer in mind.”
U.S. Brands Win Most Awards
U.S. brands receive fourteen IVA vehicle wins, up from eleven last year, plus the top overall vehicle and top popular and premium brands. European brands receive eight vehicle wins, up from six in 2017. Asian brands receive five wins, down from six in 2017.
Consistent with past years, IVAs reveal that info/entertainment technology, interior quietness, power and acceleration, safety features and interior storage are the areas consumers are most likely to want to change.
“Overall, the percentage of consumers who want better performance in these areas is about the same today as it was three years ago, and this presents major opportunities for automakers,” says Peterson.
SUVs, Pickups Outperform Cars
While there is still room for improvement, trucks (SUVs and pickups) outperform cars in all IVA attributes, notably visibility, technology, interior quietness and safety features.
“SUVs continue to grow in popularity by giving consumers car-like fuel economy and better overall design, including technology and visibility. We will most certainly see continued growth in SUV sales, coupled with a decline in car sales,” says Peterson.
GM Leads In Total Wins
General Motors leads in total IVA wins with seven winning vehicles, six from the Chevrolet brand, including the top scoring vehicle overall, Chevrolet Suburban, and one from Cadillac.
“The Suburban nailed most of the problem categories. Its packaging is just what their target consumer wants,” says Peterson. Additionally, Chevrolet wins all three pickup segments with the Silverado 1500, Silverado HD and Colorado, which tied with the Honda Ridgeline.
Electric vehicles (EV) have several advantages over internal combustion vehicles (ICE) – quietness, interior spaciousness and acceleration to name a few – and IVA results begin to expose these benefits. Returning as the top overall brand after falling short of Porsche last year, Tesla receives the high score by providing owners with optimal acceleration, industry-leading passenger and cargo space and a center screen that is deemed perfect by 100% of Tesla owners.
“EVs designed from the ground up, like Tesla models, Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf have the ability to achieve higher scores than ICE vehicles in several attributes. We expect to see a rise in IVA scores as EVs continue to grow in number and popularity,” says Peterson.
- 2018 Overall Winner: Chevrolet Suburban
- 2018 Most Ideal Brand Overall: Tesla
- 2018 Most Ideal Popular Brand: Ford
- Luxury Car: BMW 5-Series
- Aspirational Luxury Car: Audi A5
- Large Car: Chrysler 500
- Luxury Mid-Size Car: Lincoln MKZ
- Mid-Size Car: Honda Accord
- Premium Compact Car: MINI Hardtop Convertible
- Compact Car: Fiat 500L
- Economy Car: Chevrolet Sonic
- Sports Car: Porsche 911
- Sporty Car: Dodge Challenger
- Mainstream EV Car: (tie)
- Chevrolet Bolt
- Nissan Leaf
- Light Duty Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado 1500
- Heavy Duty Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado HD
- Compact Pickup: (tie)
- Honda Ridgeline
- Chevrolet Colorado
- Luxury SUV: Cadillac SUV
- Large SUV: Chevrolet Suburban
- Mid-Size SUV: Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Premium Luxury Crossover: Mercedes-Benz GLS
- Luxury Crossover SUV: BMW X3
- Entry Luxury Crossover: Audi Q3
- Large Crossover SUV: Mazda CX-9
- Premium Mid-Size Crossover: Ford Edge
- Mid-Size Crossover SUV: Ford Escape
- Compact Crossover SUV: MINI Countryman
- Minivan: Honda Odyssey
Photo Credit: Chevrolet