Strategic Vision Names Outlook Tops in 'Customer Delight' Survey

Saturn Outlook Photos

Earlier today the Saturn Outlook was named a leader in Strategic Vision's Customer Delight survey of 2007 cars and trucks. The Outlook not only topped competitors, like the Ford Edge, Subaru B9 Tribeca, and the Nissan Murano in the medium crossover segment, but it also surpassed the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, and Mazda CX-9. In a press release, the organization said the Outlook demonstrates "foundational strengths that create a sense of security for drivers and adds substantial leverage in performance, design, innovation and thoughtfulness" over other vehicles in its class.

Customer Delight, Strategic Vision's most stringent measure of product quality, captures the customer's emotional response to each vehicle attribute from areas of power and performance to interior design. This in-depth examination looks at the vehicle attributes in many of their modes to the specificity of the A/C vent performance to the difference between the function and style design of headlights. For a vehicle to be a Delight leader, it must deliver against the highest standards and vehicle priorities that customer's hold.

"The customer perception of thoughtfulness comes from those cues that suggest the manufacturer was thinking about the customers individually," says Dr Darrel Edwards, CEO of Strategic Vision and creator of the metrics used for thoughtfulness. "Thoughtfulness is always a keystone component of the truly Delightful."

One aspect that is important across all segments in creating Delight is the impression of reliability.

"Reliability is a crucial factor in building a sense of emotional Security, which is the foundation of any ownership experience. Owners must know from the very beginning that they can rely upon the vehicle in order to trust that it will be there and be safe for them and their passengers," said Alexander Edwards, President of Strategic Vision Automotive.

The impression of reliability is influenced by any element of the vehicle that is either visible to – or interacting with – owners and passengers alike. There are many possibilities for enhancing overall Delight by increasing the sense of reliability created by a vehicle: ranging from exterior cues of quality (such as the fit of body panels and paint work), to interior touch-points such as the parking brake release, turn signal indicator, or gauges and their character.

Buyers rated the following vehicles leaders in Customer Delight (CDI) in their segments:

  • Small Car - Mazda 3 (572)
  • Small Multi-Function - Volkswagen Rabbit (613)
  • Medium Car - Volkswagen Passat / Jetta (629 / 626)
  • Medium Multi-Function - Volvo V50 Wagon (533)
  • Larger Car - Dodge Charger (641)
  • Near-Luxury Car - BMW 3-Series (690)
  • Luxury Car - Mercedes S-Class (830)
  • Luxury Multi-Function - Audi A3 (644)
  • Small Specialty Under $28,000 - Mini Cooper (671)
  • Small Specialty Over $28,000 - Porsche 911 Coupe (735)
  • Mid-Specialty Car - Chevrolet Monte Carlo (577)
  • Convertible Less than $30,000 - MINI Cooper (652)
  • Convertible Less than $30,000 - Mercedes SL (713)
  • Minivan - Honda Odyssey (598)
  • Small SUV - Hyundai Santa Fe (589)
  • Medium Crossover - Saturn Outlook (644)
  • Medium SUV - Toyota 4Runner (593)
  • Large SUV - Ford Expedition EL (686)
  • Near Luxury SUV - Lexus RX400H / Lincoln MKX (705 / 702)
  • Luxury SUV - Land Rover Range Rover Sport (736)
  • Compact Pickup - Honda Ridgeline (598)
  • Full-Size Pickup - GMC Sierra 1500 / Chevy Avalanche 1500 (605 / 603)
  • Heavy Duty Pickup - Ford F-250 / F-350 (511)

Source: Strategic Vision

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Motor Trend: Buick will Replace Saturn as Opel's Global Partner

Opel Insignia

Todd Lassa from Motor Trend says that his magazine will report in its January 2009 issue that "Saturn's connection with Opel styling is over. Following the current wave of Saturns, Opel styling will merge with Buick's." Why? The reasons Lassa says make a lot of sense. "First, GM wants to push Opel back upmarket," he says.