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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Gas prices fuel drop in car owner satisfaction

From the DEtroit Insider:

Gas prices fuel drop in car owner satisfaction
Tom Krisher / Associated Press

DETROIT -- Drivers of new cars were less satisfied with their vehicles this year for the first time in at least five years due mainly to rising fuel prices, according to an annual survey released Thursday.

The survey, which measures owner delight with the design, layout and performance of new vehicles, saw the industry average drop by two points on a scale of 1,000, from 772 in 2007 to 770 this year.

It was the first drop in at least five years, said Neal Oddes, J.D. Power's director of product research and analysis. Gas prices rose 27 percent in the period between the 2007 and 2008 surveys, he said, but the survey found that fuel economy stayed the same at an average of 21 miles per gallon.
"The fuel economy hasn't improved from last year to this year," Oddes said. "You just haven't seen that movement."

The survey, conducted for the past 13 years, is based on responses from more than 81,500 people who bought or leased vehicles from November to January. They were surveyed between Feb. 4 and April 30, Oddes said. It has a margin of error of one point on the scale.

Foreign nameplates again dominated the survey, but U.S.-based automakers continued to show improvement.

Porsche led all brands, scoring 854 out of a possible 1,000 points, followed by Jaguar at 844. Cadillac was the highest-scoring U.S.-based brand at 827, the research company said.

It also found that models that were given mild updates scored higher on average than models that were entirely redesigned, a departure from previous years.

The Honda brand captured more model segment awards than any other automaker with three each. Its subcompact Fit, Odyssey minivan and Ridgeline midsize pickup scored highest in their segments.

Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen each took two segment awards. The Porsche Cayman won in compact premium sporty car, and its Cayenne took the midsize multi-activity vehicle honors. Volkswagen's GTI/R32 won for compact sporty car, while its Passat won for midsize car. Toyota's FJ Cruiser won in the compact multi-activity vehicle category, while its Sequoia large multi-activity vehicle won its segment.

Also winning segment awards were the BMW 5 Series midsize luxury sedan, Buick Enclave midsize multi-activity vehicle, Chevrolet Avalanche large pickup, Dodge Magnum large car, Land Rover's Range Rover large premium multi-activity vehicle, Lexus IS entry premium vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class large sedan and the Mini Cooper compact.

Of the eight most-improved nameplates, all were U.S. brands, according to the survey. Buick brand posted the largest improvement, followed by Chrysler, Ford, Mercury and Dodge.

The survey is designed to complement J.D. Power's annual initial quality rankings, which were released last month. Those rankings showed the quality of new cars improved across the industry this year, with Porsche, Honda, Toyota, General Motors and Ford among the automakers leading the pack.

J.D. Power owner satisfaction study results
Vehicles atop each segment in the J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study, released Thursday. The Multi-Activity Vehicle (MAV) segment includes vehicles such as sport utility vehicles and crossovers.
Subcompact car: Honda Fit
Compact car: Mini Cooper
Compact sporty car: Volkswagen GTI/R32
Compact premium sporty car: Porsche Cayman
Entry premium car: Lexus IS 250/IS 350/IS-F
Midsize premium car: BMW 5 Series
Large premium car: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Midsize car: Volkswagen Passat
Large car: Dodge Magnum
Compact MAV: Toyota FJ Cruiser
Midsize MAV: Buick Enclave
Large MAV: Toyota Sequoia
Midsize premium MAV: Porsche Cayenne
Large premium MAV: Land Rover Range Rover
Large pickup: Chevrolet Avalanche
Midsize pickup: Honda Ridgeline
Van: Honda Odyssey
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-26-2008, 09:39 PM
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.......and to think they discontinued the Magnum :(



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