Automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific named the Hyundai Elantra and Hyundai Azera 2011 Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) winners in their respective categories. In the Compact Car category, the Hyundai Elantra beat out top rivals by a large margin including the Ford Focus, Mazda 3, Chevrolet Cruze, and Volkswagen Jetta. The Hyundai Azera topped the Toyota Avalon, Ford Taurus and Dodge Charger in the Large Car segment. Overall, Hyundai scored second in the Popular Brand rankings, trailing only Chrysler.

Additionally, three other Hyundai models made the Ideal Vehicle ranks: the Sonata finished second in the Premium Mid-Size Car segment, the Genesis Coupe earned fourth in the Sporty Car segment and the Accent ranked fourth in the Economy Car segment.

AutoPacific’s 2011 Ideal Vehicle Awards are based on 72,000 surveys completed by owners of new cars and light trucks in the United States in the first half of 2011. The IVAs measure the fusion between owner expectations and the reality provided by the manufacturer by quantitatively measuring how closely a vehicle matches those expectations. To determine the winners, owners rate their new car or truck on how close it came to “ideal” in 15 different categories ranging from power and acceleration to safety features and storage. The vehicles that customers said they would change the least were considered the most “ideal.”

“It’s getting harder and harder to measure quality differences in today’s vehicles,” said George Peterson, president, AutoPacific. “Consumers need better insights into which vehicles will meet their ideal for comfort, ride and handling, cargo space, and other attributes that are experienced on a daily basis. IVA winners deliver the most of what consumers are really looking for in their vehicles.”

“Having our models recognized for AutoPacific’s 2011 Ideal Vehicle Awards is a testament to the hard work and dedication that goes into all the vehicles in the Hyundai lineup,” said Scott Margason, director Product Planning, Hyundai Motor America. “At Hyundai, we strive to exceed customer expectations in safety, quality, value and performance, and look forward to continuing to develop more award winning vehicles as we bring the 2012 Accent and Veloster to market this year.”

Hyundai also excelled in this year’s AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards. The Hyundai Genesis won in the Aspirational Luxury Car segment for the third year in a row, the Elantra took top honors in the Compact Car segment and the Sonata topped the Premium Mid-Size Car segment and also took home the first-ever President’s Award for All-Time Highest Satisfaction.

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