AutoPacific named its 14th Annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSA), with Ford, Toyota, General Motors, Honda and Nissan each receiving multiple nods. Based on the research firm's national survey, Cadillac is the top premium brand, Buick is the top popular brand, Suzuki Kizashi is the top car and Lincoln MKT is the top truck.

"While the auto industry is showing signs of improvement, more than ever before, manufacturers need to be able to differentiate themselves. Proof of satisfied customers is as good as gold," said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. "We've found that more than 25 percent of new-car buyers are positively influenced by owner-based awards like the VSA when deciding on a new car or truck."

AutoPacific's VSA is an industry benchmark for measuring how satisfied an owner is with his/her new car or light truck. This study by the Southern California-based automotive research firm summarizes the results of over 42,000 new vehicle owners.

"Vehicles that score highest in the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are delivering value and satisfaction across a wide range of attributes," said Peterson. "The winners perform well in 48 separate categories that objectively measure the ownership experience."

The vehicle - car or truck - registering highest overall satisfaction in 2010 is the all new Suzuki Kizashi. The Kizashi scored 99 points above the industry average to place first among all 2010-model year vehicles in AutoPacific's survey. "This is an amazing win for Suzuki," said Peterson, "The Kizashi is Suzuki's most important vehicle, and this performance in our research is exceptional."

The truck or SUV with the highest overall satisfaction score is the Lincoln MKT, scoring 94 points above industry average.

At the manufacturer level, multiple top-ranked award winners are: Ford with seven wins, Toyota with four wins, General Motors, Honda, and Nissan with three wins each.

"As we cautiously emerge from this economic crisis, new vehicle buyers are being especially careful, and the data we've analyzed for the Vehicle Satisfaction Award will help this year's customers make wise purchase decisions," said Peterson.

Top 2010 model year performers are:

Highest Satisfaction Premium Brand:


Highest Satisfaction Popular Brand:


Passenger Cars:

Premium Luxury Car

Aspirational Luxury Car

Luxury Mid-Size Car

Large Car

Premium Mid-Size Car

Mid-Size Car

Premium Compact Car

Compact Car

Economy Car

Sports Car

Sporty Car

Hybrid Car

Lexus LS

Hyundai Genesis

Nissan Maxima

Ford Taurus

Honda Accord

Suzuki Kizashi

Volkswagen GTI

Nissan Cube

Honda Fit

Porsche 911

Chevrolet Camaro

Mercury Milan Hybrid

Light Trucks:

Heavy Duty Pickup

Large Light Duty Pickup

Compact Pickup

Luxury Sport Utility

Large Sport Utility

Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility

Mid-Size Sport Utility

Premium Luxury Crossover

Luxury Crossover SUV

Large Crossover SUV

Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV

Mid-Size Crossover SUV

Compact Crossover SUV


Hybrid Truck

Dodge Ram HD

Ford F-150

Honda Ridgeline

Cadillac Escalade

Ford Expedition

Nissan Pathfinder/Toyota 4Runner

Dodge Nitro

Lincoln MKT

Lexus RX

GMC Acadia

Ford Edge

Ford Escape

Hyundai Tucson

Honda Odyssey

Lexus RX400h Hybrid