Best Ideal Cars/Trucks from Tesla, Volvo, Ram, Nissan, FCA, Ford, Subaru & Hyundai

AutoPacific’s annual Ideal Vehicle Awards recognize vehicles that best meet owners’ expectations for the product. When asked what they would change about their new vehicle, buyers who want the least change are driving their ideal vehicle. The 2019 awards are based on responses from more than 50,000 owners of new vehicles across all major manufacturers.

Automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific, Inc.  announced the 2019 Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA), recognizing vehicles that best meet owners’ expectations for the product. The 2019 awards are based on responses from more than 50,000 owners of new vehicles across all major manufacturers. Based solely on owner input, AutoPacific IVAs measure the fusion between owner expectations and reality. “IVAs 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 best designed to meet their needs and expectations.”

Volvo Top Premium Brand: Ram top Popular Brand
The all new Ram 1500 propels Ram to the top of the Popular Brand rankings and also top brand overall. Volvo, riding on excellent results for its crossover SUVs (XSUV) is top Premium Brand. The Volvo XC60 is the top ranked vehicle overall.

U.S. brands receive eight IVA vehicle wins, down from fourteen last year, plus the top popular brand. European brands receive three vehicle wins, down from eight in 2018. Volvo is the top brand overall the top premium brand. Asian brands receive thirteen wins, up from five in 2018.

Winners Distributed Among 11 Manufacturers
Nissan, Honda and FCA are tops with four category wins each. Ford, Volvo, Subaru, Hyundai and Tesla each have two wins. The remaining wins go to GM, BMW and Toyota. “While no single brand or manufacturer is taking all the glory, several brands have exceptional designs,” says Peterson. Nissan is strong in the mid-size car and large SUV segments; Honda took the economy/compact car segments; and Subaru swept the mid-size XSUV segments.

Trucks Outperform Cars
While there is still room for improvement, trucks (SUVs and pickups) outperform cars in most 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.

IVAs Reveal Industry Shortcomings
Consistent with past years, IVAs reveal that info/entertainment technology, interior quietness, power and acceleration, safety features and interior storage are the areas where consumers 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 these represent major opportunities for automakers to improve,” says Peterson.

2019 Ideal Vehicle Award Summary

2019 Overall Winner: Volvo XC60
2019 Most Ideal Brand Overall and Most Ideal Popular Brand: Ram
2018 Most Ideal Premium Brand: Volvo

Passenger Cars

Luxury Car

Lincoln Continental

Luxury EV Car

Tesla Model 3

Aspirational Luxury Car

Genesis G70

Large Car

Chrysler 300

Luxury Mid-Size Car

Nissan Maxima

Mid-Size Car

Nissan Altima

Premium Compact Car

BMW 2-Series

Compact Car

Honda Insight

Economy Car

Honda Fit

Sports Car

Chevrolet Corvette

Sporty Car

Dodge Challenger

Popular EV Car

Honda Clarity


Full Size Pickup

Ram 1500

Mid-Size Pickup

Honda Ridgeline

Luxury SUV

Infiniti QX80

Large SUV

Nissan Armada

Mid-Size SUV

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Executive Luxury Crossover SUV

Lincoln Nautilus

Aspirational Luxury Crossover SUV

Volvo XC60

Premium Compact Crossover SUV

Volvo XC40

Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV

Subaru Ascent

Mid-Size Crossover SUV

Subaru Forester

Compact Crossover SUV

Hyundai Kona


Toyota Sienna

Luxury EV Crossover SUV

Tesla Model X