Porsche, GMC – and the Chevrolet Corvette – Top 2014 Ideal Vehicle List

GM and Ford score most segment wins.

by on Aug.21, 2014

The new Chevrolet Corvette was the single most "Ideal Vehicle" according to owners.

For the second consecutive year, Porsche has been named the “Ideal Vehicle” brand by American consumers, though the individual vehicle that tops the list is the all-new Chevrolet Corvette.

General Motors, in fact, had more top-ranked models in the 2014 Ideal Vehicle Awards, or IVA, than any other manufacturer but Ford Motor Co. this year. And despite the Detroit maker’s ongoing recall issues, its GMC truck marque was named the “Most Ideal Popular Brand” in a survey conducted by California consulting firm AutoPacific, Inc.

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Significantly, a quarter of the top-ranked models in the 2014 IVA are all-new or, like the ‘Vette, have been completely redesigned for 2014.

“Winning an IVA in their first year of release shows that these newly redesigned vehicles have hit the mark with their owners, but it also shows that the designers did their research to know how to best meet the needs and expectations of their core group of buyers,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific.

Unlike many studies that focus on quality and reliability, the Ideal Vehicle Awards are intended to highlight vehicles that meet owners’ expectations and desires. In some instances, vehicles that are only mid-pack in terms of quality can score  well in the IVA because of a distinctive design, incredible performance, great mileage, or a well-appointed and roomy interior.

(Car sales soar – but so does auto loan debt. Click Here for that breaking story.)

Porsche was the Most Ideal brand overall.

But the study also found there are some things consumers still don’t feel they are getting. More than a quarter of the 92,000 owners surveyed said they want more interior storage, better visibility and easier ingress and egress. Nearly one in five complained about the difficult of using the technologies becoming commonplace in today’s vehicles – a figure that has been rising by the year.

And that’s one instance where traditional quality-based studies and “things-gone-right” surveys like the IVA line up. In the recently released J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, issues with technology made up the single most frequent consumer complaint, far more than problems with traditional mechanical systems such as engines and transmissions.

(Auto quality dips dip to tech issues, reveals new Power IQS. Click Here for that report.)

“The vehicle buying and owning experience is often a love-hate relationship,” said Peterson. “Buyers purchase their vehicle for many reasons, including price, style, and lifestyle fit, but it’s often not until the vehicle is driven for a while that the little annoyances start to show themselves and people wish things were a bit different.”

The IVA survey asked motorists to rate their vehicles – after 90 days of ownership – based on 15 different attributes. The winners were vehicles whose owners would make the fewest changes.

The all-new or completely redesigned models to win this year included the 2014 Corvette, the overall winner in the 2014 IVA, the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Acura’s RLX, the BMW 3-Series GT and X5, Chevrolet’s Impala, and Ford’s Fusion HEV-PHEV models.

GMC - its Sierra Denali shown here - was the Most Ideal Popular Brand, according to the study.

GM and Ford had five segment winners each, while Honda and Volkswagen each win in three of the 24 categories. Mini and BMW led in two, while Land Rover, Mercedes, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler topped one segment each.

(Buyers questioning the benefits of new high-tech features. Click Here for more.)

Here’s the complete winners list:

2014 Overall Winner: Chevrolet Corvette
2014 Most Ideal Premium Brand: Porsche
2014 Most Ideal Popular Brand: GMC

Passenger Cars
Premium Luxury Car Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Executive Luxury Car Acura RLX
Aspirational Luxury Car BMW 3-Series GT
Large Car Chevrolet Impala
Luxury Mid-Size Car Lexus ES
Mid-Size Car Volkswagen Passat
Premium Compact Car Buick Verano
Compact Car Volkswagen Golf
Economy Car Ford Fiesta
Sports Car Chevrolet Corvette
Sporty Car Ford Mustang
Hybrid/EV Car Ford Fusion HEV-PHEV
Light Trucks
Light Duty Pickup GMC Sierra 1500
Heavy Duty Pickup Ford F-Series SD
Luxury SUV Land Rover LR4
Large SUV Ford Expedition EL
Mid-Size SUV Jeep Grand Cherokee
Premium Luxury Crossover SUV BMW X5
Luxury Crossover SUV Volkswagen Touareg
Large Crossover SUV GMC Acadia
Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV Ford Edge
Mid-Size Crossover SUV Honda CR-V
Compact Crossover SUV MINI Countryman
Minivan Honda Odyssey

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