2017 Lincoln Continental
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips

AutoPacific's Vehicle Satisfaction Award Recipients

Each year, AutoPacific surveys thousands of car owners to determine which vehicles and brands people were most pleased with. This year, the organization received responses from over 54,000 owners, and the results are rather interesting. Japanese and Korean cars tied for most awards with three apiece. European makes only took two, and just one American car appeared on the list.

The most satisfying car company may also come as a surprise. Lincoln came out on top. This is impressive for two reasons. One, it surpassed Tesla, last year's champ, a company known for having whiz-bang cars and doing house calls for service. Two, none of Lincoln's line-up took home one of the class awards. To see the recipients of the awards, click ahead.

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Nissan Versa
  • Image Credit: Nissan

Economy Car: Nissan Versa

Introducing the list is the economy car class, and our first big surprise from AutoPacific, the Nissan Versa. We're not entirely sure how this slow, ponderous, awkward-looking sedan managed to take home the economy car prize. After all, you could have a more enjoyable-to-drive Ford Fiesta or a more practical Honda Fit. But perhaps economy car buyers care more about passenger space and a comfortable ride, which the Versa does deliver.
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Honda Civic
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips

Compact Car: Honda Civic

The Honda Civic, on the other hand, is a car we understand people enjoying. The newest generation is stylish, spacious, and can be had with a frisky turbocharged four-cylinder. Our favorite of the conventional Civic line (i.e. not an Si or Type R), is the Civic Sport hatchback, which we've found to have a light, tossable chassis and a slick shifter.
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Mini Clubman
  • Image Credit: Brandon Turkus

Premium Compact Car: Mini Clubman

The Mini Clubman is perhaps an unusual car to find in the premium compact segment, but it's not undeserving of a satisfaction award. It's easily the most practical of the Mini line, and it still delivers on the company's renowned handling. We also found the Clubman to have some of the best ride quality on a Mini so far.
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Kia Optima
  • Image Credit: Michael Austin

Midsize Car: Kia Optima

The juggernauts that are the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord were unable to bring home AutoPacific's satisfaction award. Instead, the Kia Optima took the honors. We've long been fond of the Korean family sedan, thanks to its gorgeous interior, efficient powertrains, and good ride and handling balance.
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Kia Cadenza
  • Image Credit: Kia

Large Car: Kia Cadenza

It seems as though the large, not-quite-luxury segment continues to shrink each year. In fact, Hyundai just ditched the Azera for 2018. Still, veterans such as the Chevy Impala and Toyota Avalon remain. And the upstart Kia Cadenza beat them. When we drove the Cadenza, we weren't as enthused by it as its owners seem to be. It was "fine" but it didn't seem to move the bar for the segment.
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Nissan Maxima
  • Image Credit: Brandon Turkus

Luxury Midsize Car: Nissan Maxima

The Nissan Maxima scoring the satisfaction award for luxury sedan does surprise us a bit, since we don't instinctively pair the Nissan name with luxury. In our experience, however, we did feel that the Maxima is a rather plush machine. And while it may have lost a bit of its former sportiness, it still has an eager engine and will carve a corner pretty handily.
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Volvo S60
  • Image Credit: Seyth Miersma

Aspirational Luxury Car: Volvo S60/V60

We're not quite sure what the criteria was for the "Aspirational Luxury Car" category. Such a title seems very nebulous and subjective to us. Nevertheless, AutoPacific says the Volvo S60 sedan and the V60 wagon are the most satisfying in the category. We quite like the twin-charged four-cylinder found under the hood, and the car is very refined. There's also a ridiculously powerful, and sometimes ridiculously blue, Polestar version available.
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Genesis G90
  • Image Credit: Alex Kierstein

Luxury Car: Genesis G90

The luxury car category brings us back to more straightforward segments, but with a somewhat unconventional winner. The Genesis G90, only the second model for the fresh luxury brand, took home the highest satisfaction award. Not only that, but it had the highest satisfaction score of any car AutoPacific has examined, making it the latest recipient of the organization's President's Award. This of course means it was also the most satisfying car of any included in this year's survey. Though we didn't think it's yet comparable to the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series, we were impressed by its spacious interior, great engines, and value proposition.
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Dodge Challenger
  • Image Credit: Dodge

Sporty Car: Dodge Challenger

The list of sporty cars is long with some really impressive performers from hot hatches including the refined Volkswagen GTI and muscular Ford Focus ST, to sure-handling coupes such as the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang. But the car that apparently satisfied customers the most was the Dodge Challenger. The Challenger is heavy, soft, and getting old. But it still delivers tons (literally) of style, as well as obscenely powerful engines and an all-wheel-drive option. It's basically the only old-school muscle car around anymore, and if that's what its buyers were looking for, they won't have been disappointed.
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Porsche 911
  • Image Credit: Porsche

Sports Car: Porsche 911

No one should ever be surprised anymore if the Porsche 911 wins an award. The car has always delivered a spectacular driving experience with great handling and willing engines. Even the latest models turbocharged units are a joy to experience, and didn't detract from any of the fun we've had driving them. There's a reason it's still a benchmark, and why it still satisfies customers.
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