24th Annual AutoPacific New Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

2020 BMW X6 M. Credit: BMW.
This is one of my favorite annual lists, and deservedly, Hyundai and Kia scored extremely well with their owners. It’s the annual AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award (VSA) study. This year, Hyundai Motor Company leads with nine wins - with Hyundai and Kia each with four winning vehicles. The BMW X6 leads the way as the most satisfying vehicle overall.

This is the 24th year for AutoPacific’s VSAs that measure owner satisfaction in 27 individual attributes. This year’s study included the responses of 73,000 new car and light truck owners to identify the most satisfying vehicles in the market. Scoring attributes range from driving performance to seating comfort and interior design.

“AutoPacific VSAs give consumers true, unbiased insight into which vehicles are providing their owners with the most satisfying experience,” says AutoPacific president George Peterson.

Scores are based solely on owner input and are unique in the industry for their use of both importance and satisfaction ratings to represent a comprehensive view of the ownership experience.

This year’s winners are spread across 12 manufacturers and 17 brands. Hyundai Motor Group, which includes the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands, leads with nine wins, followed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with six wins, Nissan Motor Company with three wins and Mercedes-Benz and Ford Motor Company each with two wins. The remaining manufacturers, Volkswagen, BMW, General Motors, Honda Motor Company, Subaru, Tesla, Inc. and Toyota Motor Corporation receive one win each.

Hyundai and Kia Brands Tie for Most Wins

Hyundai Motor Group has the most wins this year, nine, when you count Hyundai, Kia and Genesis. Hyundai and Kia each have four winning vehicles, doubling their number of wins from last year. They also dominate the crossover SUV category, winning four of the five non-luxury crossover SUV segments. Three of Hyundai’s four winning vehicles are new for 2020: Sonata, Santa Fe and Palisade, while Kia has two all-new winners: Soul and Telluride. Both the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride are new entries in the large crossover SUV market and received top scores resulting in a tie.

“The Telluride, assembled in Georgia in the USA, and the Palisade, assembled in South Korea, share their basic underpinnings. Clearly Hyundai and Kia designers and engineers solved the equation for satisfying their buyers, with both vehicles having equal scores from their customers,” says Peterson.

The Genesis G90 wins the Premium Luxury Car segment and scored the highest of any passenger car.

Alfa Romeo Gains Against Established Luxury Competition

Two wins go to Alfa Romeo - for the Giulia and Stelvio. Alfa Romeo, under parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, entered both the luxury car and luxury XSUV market in recent years and satisfies owners in the areas of handling and fun to drive. AutoPacific says owners also appreciate Giulia’s front seat comfort and Stelvio’s driver’s seat ingress and egress.

“Entering the US market alone has its challenges, but Alfa Romeo has the added challenge of taking on established luxury brands, which it has done exceptionally well through performance and styling. Updates to the Alfas’ infotainment system for 2020 was especially instrumental in their wins.” Says Peterson.

FCA brands Chrysler, Dodge and Ram have one win each, while Ram also gains honors as the most satisfying popular brand, bringing FCA’s total to six wins.

All-New Nissan Versa Debuts on Top in Subcompact Car Category

Three wins go to Nissan, including to the Armada for the second year in a row. The Rogue and the all-new Versa also top their categories.

“Versa’s redesign includes a competitive collection of standard safety equipment, a strategy that has clearly paid off as the Versa gains top ratings in its segment for safety features,” says Peterson. Versa owners also give the vehicle top satisfaction ratings within its segment ratings for passenger roominess, cargo space and driver’s seatGene comfort.

Here’s a list of all the winners.


Most Satisfying Vehicle Overall and Top Scoring Truck BMW X6
Most Satisfying Passenger Car Genesis G90
Highest Satisfaction Premium Brand Lincoln
Highest Satisfaction Popular Brand Ram


Premium Luxury Car Genesis G90
Executive Luxury Car Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Standard Luxury Car Alfa Romeo Guilia
Compact Luxury Car Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Large Car Chrysler 300
Premium Mid-Size Car Hyundai Sonata
Compact Car Kia Soul
Subcompact Car Nissan Versa
Sports/Sporty Car Dodge Challenger


Full-Size Pickup Ram 1500
Compact Pickup Honda Ridgeline
Luxury SUV Lincoln Navigator
Large SUV Nissan Armada
Mid-Size SUV Toyota 4Runner
Premium Luxury Crossover SUV Tesla Model X
Executive Luxury Crossover SUV BMW X6
Standard Luxury Crossover SUV Alfa Romeo Stelvio/Cadillac XT5 (tie)
Compact Luxury Crossover SUV Audi Q3
Large Crossover SUV (tie) Kia Telluride/Hyundai Palisade
Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV Hyundai Santa Fe
Mid-Size Crossover SUV (tie) Subaru Forester/Nissan Rogue
Compact Crossover SUV Kia Sportage
Subcompact Crossover SUV Hyundai Kona
Minivan Kia Sedona

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