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If you thought consumer sentiment for Toyota and Lexus might be wavering, think again. Toyota is top of the class based on results from the 2010 Motorist Choice Awards, a consumer-driven study developed by Intellichoice and AutoPacific. Offerings from Toyota and Lexus were named winners in nine out of the 30 available award categories.

The Motorist Choice Awards has now entered its fifth year and the categories are more refined and easier to understand than in years past. Instead of having consumers select makes and models simply based on size and price, award categories were transformed into lifestyle concepts such as High Tech, Fun to Drive and Value Car. Each category was further broken down into Popular Brand and Premium Brand.

Toyota received awards for Eco Friendly (Toyota Prius and Lexus RX Hybrid), High Tech (Lexus RX Hybrid), Youthful (Lexus IS), Kid Friendly (Toyota Sequoia), Road Trip (Toyota Sienna), City Car (Toyota Yaris and Lexus LS) and Value Car (Lexus RX Hybrid).

The winners were selected by pooling data from over 42,000 consumer surveys. "From an emotional standpoint these awards are a reflection of how cars fit into people's daily lives, the tasks they fulfill on a day-to-day basis and the image people have of their vehicles," says Charlie Vogelheim, Executive Editor of IntelliChoice. The full list of winners is available in the press release, waiting for you after the jump.

2011 Toyota Sienna
  • 2011 Toyota Sienna
  • front 3/4 view

Photos copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / AOL
[Source: Intellichoice]

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And The 2010 Motorist Choice Award Winners Are...
IntelliChoice and AutoPacific Announce Motorist's Top Picks in both Popular and Premium Categories

Irvine, Calif. (September 21, 2010) - There is only one annual automotive award handpicked by active consumers in the marketplace that goes beyond the editorial and performance test data and provides a window into the wants and needs of motorists. This year's Motorist Choice Awards highlight a collection of 15 unique buyer categories covering both market segments - Popular and Premium. Both reflect the purpose and perception of the consumer and illustrate the results of practical analysis, like total cost of ownership, fuel economy and resale value.

The fifth annual awards, announced today, are the result of exhaustive national value data and consumer lifestyle studies performed by the consumer-driven automotive analysis of IntelliChoice and automotive market research firm, AutoPacific. A first for this year, the awards were broken up into popular lifestyle categories that shoppers easily identify with, rather than the alternatives based on vehicle size, price and other such factors.

"From an emotional standpoint these awards are a reflection of how cars fit into people's daily lives, the tasks they fulfill on a day-to-day basis and the image people have of their vehicles," says Charlie Vogelheim, Executive Editor of IntelliChoice. "The cars in these categories not only represent tremendous value, they are also about the image you want to portray to other motorists as well."

This year's Motorist Choice Awards include 15 new areas buyers might categorize their potential purchases into including, Best Active Lifestyle vehicle, Best Cargo Hauler and Best Value Car. Each of the 15 categories is sub-divided, honoring automakers from both popular and premium brands. A complete list of winners follows:

Country Club Hyundai Genesis Audi A6
Cute Volkswagen Beetle Volvo C30
Eco Friendly Toyota Prius Lexus RX Hybrid
Sexy Styling Chevrolet Corvette Audi A5
High Tech Ford Taurus Lexus RX Hybrid
Youthful Dodge Challenger Lexus IS
People Mover Honda Odyssey Mercedes-Benz GL
Fun to Drive Chevrolet Corvette BMW 5-Series
Kid Friendly Toyota Sequoia Mercedes-Benz GL
Active Lifestyle Dodge Ram HD Porsche Cayenne
Performance Ford Taurus SHO Infiniti M
Road Trip Toyota Sienna Cadillac DTS
City Car Toyota Yaris Lexus LS
Value Car Honda Fit Lexus RX Hybrid
Cargo Hauler GMC Acadia Lincoln Navigator

"Rather than grouping these cars into stereotypical categories like 'Best Sedan' we produced a list of the best cars buyers would themselves categorize, like Most Kid Friendly," says George Peterson President of AutoPacific. "These awards are a good reflection of the perceptions of the American consumer; showing what they want to drive and why they want to drive it."

Despite this year's public relations challenges, Lexus and parent company Toyota managed to come away with 10 of a possible 30 awards for this year's field chosen by motorists. The automaker swept categories including City Car and Eco-Friendly with their Lexus and Toyota offerings. Other notable awards included Hyundai's new luxury car, the Genesis, earning top marks in the Country Club category for Popular Brands.

The awards demonstrate that consumer taste spans the globe from Asian automakers to European and domestic manufacturers all taking away several awards. The Big Three were popular among motorists as well - Ford's all-new Taurus and Taurus SHO models took awards in the High Tech and Performance categories respectively for the popular brand segment. Furthermore, the recently restructured General Motors counted a win for its Cadillac DTS in the premium brand segment for the Road Trip category. The Dodge Ram Pickup was chosen as a favorite for those with active lifestyles.

The Motorist Choice Awards are the result of 42,000 consumer surveys by AutoPacific and ongoing data analysis from IntelliChoice. The awards represent the commitment AutoPacific and IntelliChoice share in being advocates on behalf of the car buying public; empowering consumers to make educated decisions about potential purchases that satisfy not only their automotive needs, but also their wants.

"Economically, the past few years have been some of the toughest in more than a decade. Even in light of the current recovery, car buyers continue to be especially prudent, and the data we've analyzed for the Motorist Choice Awards helps customers make wise purchase decisions," says Peterson. "We've found that more than 27 percent of respondents are positively influenced by awards like the Motorist Choice Awards when deciding on a car and this trend will certainly continue given the economy."

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