Five steady-selling vehicle models produced by South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co. and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors Corp. have been named best cars by U.S. consumers.
In a customer satisfaction survey dubbed “2016 Automotive Performance Execution and Layout (APEAL)” released by J.D. Power and Associates, a U.S. marketing information service firm, on July 27 (local time), Hyundai Tucson, Kia K5, sold as the Optima in the U.S., Kia Sorento, Kia Soul and Kia Carnival, sold as Sedona in the U.S., were named the segment leaders, according to industry sources on the 28th. Hyundai Tucson scored the highest mark of 804 points out of a possible 1,000 with its excellence in interior and exterior design, spatiality and fuel efficiency, and was named the best small SUV, beating Subaru Crosstrek and Volkswagen Tiguan in the segment.
Kia K5 was named the best midsize passenger car with 837 points with favorable reviews in spatiality, seat and driving performance, surpassing all its rivals that include Nissan Altima, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Kia Sorento scored the highest mark of 822 points among midsize SUVs sold in the U.S., beating Ford Edge, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota Highlander. In particular, Kia Carnival was named the best minivan sold in the U.S. for a second consecutive year after it took the top position in the minivan segment for the first time in the company last year. The model scored 795 points with the high satisfaction levels in exterior design, specifications and driving performance, surpassing Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey.
Kia's best-selling model, Kia Soul compact multipurpose vehicle was ranked the top of the compact multipurpose vehicle (MPV) segment with the score of 806 points, surpassing Ford C-MAX and Toyota Prius V.
Meanwhile, in terms of brand image, Kia vehicles were ranked the third highest, moving up four notches from 7th place in 2015, while Hyundai cars were ranked in ninth place. J.D. Power conducts a survey on the satisfaction levels of customers who purchase new cars in design and commercial value. The survey this year was conducted on those who purchased a new car between November 2015 and February of this year.