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2009 Ford Taurus and 2009 Honda Odyssey: Ideal Vehicles, Say Owners

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2009 Ford Taurus SE

2009 Ford Taurus SE

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There's more good news all around for Ford—it beats out Toyota, GM, Honda, and other full-line mainstream brands and has taken the top mainstream-brand spot in AutoPacific's 2009 Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA). Porsche takes the top premium-brand spot, and both top-performing brands win for the second year in a row. Model-by-model, top honors go to the 2009 Honda Odyssey minivan, followed by the 2009 Toyota Venza crossover/wagon, Ford F-150 pickup, Ford Taurus sedan (in the top five for a second year), and Lincoln Town Car sedan. Last year's top-rated vehicle was the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

As an indicator that shoppers' priorities might be changing, the Ideal Product Segment for 2009 was 'Large Car'—the 2009 Ford Taurus' segment—while 2008's ideal segment was 'Large Crossover SUV,' won last year by the Ford Escape and this year by the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse.

AutoPacific notes that the Honda Fit and Lexus LS, two segment winners for IVA, achieve the top spot in the company's Vehicle Satisfaction Awards as well.

For its Ideal Vehicle Awards, the Tustin, California-based marketing research and consulting firm have new-car owners rate their new or nearly new 2009 vehicles on 15 key attributes that sound a lot like TheCarConnection.com's Bottom Line review checklist, including styling, power and acceleration, ride, handling, visibility, cargo space, safety features, and others. From these responses, AutoPacific puts together a numerical rating for nearly every U.S.-market vehicle. The results are based on a survey of 32,000 new-car owners.

AutoPacific splits vehicles into 23 different shopper-based categories; here are those segment winners for 2009:

Premium Luxury Car Lexus LS
Aspirational Luxury Car Hyundai Genesis
Large Car Ford Taurus
Luxury Mid-Size Car Lexus ES 350
Premium Mid-Size Car Saturn Aura
Mid-Size Car Volkswagen Jetta
Image Compact Car MINI Cooper
Compact Car Hyundai Elantra
Economy Car Honda Fit
Sports Car Porsche 911
Sporty Car Dodge Challenger
Large Pickup Ford F-150
Compact Pickup Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Luxury Sport Utility Lincoln Navigator
Large Sport Utility Nissan Armada
Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Mid-Size Sport Utility Jeep Liberty
Luxury Crossover SUV BMW X5
Large Crossover SUV Chevrolet Traverse
Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV Toyota Venza
Mid-Size Crossover SUV Subaru Forester
Compact Crossover SUV Kia Sportage
Minivan Honda Odyssey
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