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AutoPacific Releases 2003 Vehicle Satisfaction Scores
Cadillac Top Brand, LS430 Top Car, Escalade EXT Top Truck

Results of a study released today by noted automotive consulting firm AutoPacific, Inc. reveal high owner satisfaction with new 2003 model year cars and light trucks. AutoPacific’s VSS (Vehicle Satisfaction Score) study is an industry benchmark for objective measure of new vehicle owner satisfaction.

Cadillac is highest-rated brand for 2003. Being at the top is familiar territory for Cadillac, as it shared top honors with Lexus in 2002 and won outright in 2001.

The individual vehicle registering highest overall satisfaction for a fourth consecutive year is Lexus' LS sedan, represented for 2003 by the LS 430 model. The highest-rated truck is Cadillac’s new Avalanche-based Escalade EXT, which brings high-level luxury to the basic GM midgate concept.

"By corporation, Ford and Honda earn most awards with five segment winners each”, notes AutoPacific founder and president George Peterson. "Toyota follows with four segment winners and General Motors three, although Cadillac’s brand victory raises GM’s award count to four.” The Hyundai-Kia group continues its recent success with two segment victories, while Volkswagen receives one.

A special-achievement award is also given to Nissan for its new Murano. In spite of Murano having been on the market for a limited period of time and resultant smaller survey sample size, it still generates an astounding 755 points on AutoPacific’s 1000-point scale. This score makes Murano third most-satisfying vehicle in the North American market. “It’s great to add an extra award this year recognizing Nissan”, says Peterson, “as they are not only exploring new design concepts but appear to have developed some exceptional vehicles in the process. Among several great new Nissans, Murano in particular is a real home-run.”

Top performers by segment are:

BRAND: Cadillac

Premium Luxury Car Lexus LS 430 (4-peat winner)
Contemporary Luxury Car Acura TL
American Luxury Car Cadillac DeVille (repeat winner)
Premium Mid-Size Car Honda Accord (sedan and coupe)
Standard Mid-Size Car Mazda6
Compact Car Hyundai Elantra (tied)
Volkswagen New Beetle (tied) (repeat winner)
Sports Car Lexus SC430 (repeat winner)
Sporty Car Acura RSX

Large Light-Duty Pickup Toyota Tundra
Large Heavy-Duty Pickup Ford F-Series Super Duty
Large 4-Dooor Pickup/SUT Cadillac Escalade EXT
Compact Pickup Toyota Tacoma
Compact 4-Door Pickup/SUT Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Luxury Sport Utility Lincoln Navigator
Large Sport Utility Ford Excursion (repeat winner)
Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility GMC Envoy
Standard Mid-Size Sport Utility Kia Sorento
Compact Sport Utility Honda CR-V (repeat winner)
Minivan Honda Odyssey


2001 CL Type S
2001 Lexus RX300 Silversport
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