Most Ideal Vehicles Chevy Suburban, Tesla & Ford

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

Passenger Cars

Luxury Car

BMW 5-Series

Aspirational Luxury Car

Audi A5

Large Car

Chrysler 300

Luxury Mid-Size Car

Lincoln MKZ

Mid-Size Car

Honda Accord

Premium Compact Car

MINI Hardtop/Convertible

Compact Car


Economy Car

Chevrolet Sonic

Sports Car

Porsche 911

Sporty Car

Dodge Challenger

Mainstream EV Car

Chevrolet Bolt EV (tie)

Nissan LEAF EV (tie)

Light Trucks

Light Duty Pickup

Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Heavy Duty Pickup

Chevrolet Silverado HD

Compact Pickup

Honda Ridgeline (tie)

Chevrolet Colorado (tie)

Luxury SUV

Cadillac Escalade

Large SUV

Chevrolet Suburban

Mid-Size SUV

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Premium Luxury Crossover SUV

Mercedes-Benz GLS

Luxury Crossover SUV


Entry Luxury Crossover SUV

Audi Q3

Large Crossover SUV

Mazda CX-9

Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV

Ford Edge

Mid-Size Crossover SUV

Ford Escape

Compact Crossover SUV

MINI Countryman


Honda Odyssey

AutoPacific is a future-oriented automotive marketing research and product-consulting firm