Tesla, GMC top brands in Auto Pacific's 2016 Ideal Vehicle Awards

(July 21, 2016) TUSTIN, Calif. — Tesla was named the most ideal brand overall and GMC won the Most Ideal Popular Brand in the 2016 Ideal Vehicle Awards conducted by automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific.

The 2016 awards are based on responses from over 65,000 owners of new model year 2015 and 2016 vehicles across all major manufacturers. Surveyed after 90 days of ownership, respondents were asked what changes they would make to their car or truck in 15 key categories, including ride and handling, interior storage, safety features, power and acceleration and technology.

“By asking vehicle owners if they would change various aspects of their vehicle if given the opportunity, we not only identify problem areas and opportunities for improvement, but we also find out which manufacturers are truly hitting the mark with owners,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific.

“Tesla is hitting the mark in areas that tend to be problem areas for most manufacturers: technology, power and acceleration and safety features,” says Peterson.

Survey data reveal that 17% of all vehicle owners want simpler, easier to use technology than they currently have. For Tesla, that number is 4%. Additionally, only 9% of Tesla owners want more power and acceleration, compared to 23% of the total industry. The Tesla Model S is the top scoring Premium Luxury Car.

The Volvo XC70, an IVA winner in 20
11 and 2012, returned this year as winner in the Aspirational Luxury Car segment and the highest scoring vehicle overall. “The XC70 performed very strongly in several of the 15 areas surveyed, including seat fit, power and acceleration, safety features, interior lighting and visibility,” said Peterson. “With improved technology options and a turbocharged I5 taking the place of the previous V6, it looks like Volvo knew what its consumers wanted.”

The Subaru Outback, Forester and Crosstrek won their segments giving Subaru a sweep of Premium Mid-Size, Mid-Size and Small Crossover SUV categories. These wins indicate that Subaru has closely targeted their crossover vehicles to match buyers’ needs and wants.

Over one-fourth of new vehicle owners have wanted to change their vehicle’s storage and technology for years. Six years ago, 27% of new vehicle owners said they wanted more or better storage; today that number is 29%. 29% said they wanted more or better technology; today that number is 27% and another 17% want the technology to be easier to use.

“With different demographics, vehicle uses and technology familiarity, there will always be hits and misses that keep these numbers consistent, but knowing the target buyer will help,” said Peterson.

Additionally, the number of safety features now available on the market is exposing a new area: 26% of consumers want more safety features, compared to 17% six years ago. “These data give manufacturers some key areas on which to focus. Manufacturers who know their target consumer and design a vehicle that meets or exceeds those consumers’ expectations can come out on top.”