Automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific, Inc. today announced the 2018 Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA), recognizing vehicles that best meet owners’ expectations for the product. The 2018 awards are based on responses from more than 58,000 owners of new vehicles across all major manufacturers.
Based solely on owner input, AutoPacific IVAs measure the fusion between owner expectations and reality. “IVA’s speak to a vehicle’s 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 their upfront research and designed the vehicle with their target buyer in mind.”
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.
IVA’s Reveal Industry Shortcomings
Consistent with past years, IVA’s 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.
Trucks 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.
Chevrolet Leads with Six Wins; Sweeps Pickup Segments
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.
Tesla Wins Top Brand; EVs Primed for Top Scores
EVs have several advantages over ICEs – 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
Aspirational Luxury Car
Luxury Mid-Size Car
Premium Compact Car
Mainstream EV Car
Chevrolet Bolt EV (tie)
Nissan LEAF EV (tie)
Light Duty Pickup
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Heavy Duty Pickup
Chevrolet Silverado HD
Honda Ridgeline (tie)
Chevrolet Colorado (tie)
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Premium Luxury Crossover SUV
Luxury Crossover SUV
Entry Luxury Crossover SUV
Large Crossover SUV
Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV
Mid-Size Crossover SUV
Compact Crossover SUV
AutoPacific is a future-oriented automotive marketing research and product-consulting firm