Researchers at Kelley Blue Book Co. (Irvine, CA) recently polled active car buyers on “overall cabin comfort.” They ranked the interior styling of vehicle brands based on headroom and legroom, as well as interior design throughout the cabin including “intelligent layout, quality materials, convenient compartments and superior ergonomics.”
Toyota Motor Corp. (Nagoya, Japan) topped the rankings in four of the seven vehicle categories: Minivan, non-luxury SUV, non-luxury sedan, and luxury sedan. General Motors Corp. (Detroit) took top honors in two categories: Trucks and luxury SUVs. Foreign automakers swept the top three spots in the convertibles and sports car, luxury sedan, and non-luxury sedan categories.
"Though some car reviewers have been critical of Toyota interiors, it is obvious they are a big hit with the public at large," says Jack Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst at Kelley Blue Book. "On the truck side, General Motors turned in a dominant showing in the face of strong challenges from Toyota and Nissan, each of whom would like to capture a larger share of the truck market."
Specifically, here’s how automakers scored in each of the 7 categories:
*Convertibles/Sports Cars-Mercedes-Benz; Porsche; Lexus.
*Trucks-GMC; Chevrolet; Cadillac.
*Minivans-Toyota; Honda; Dodge.
*Luxury SUVs-Cadillac; Lexus; BMW.
*Non-Luxury SUVs-Toyota; Chevrolet; Ford.
*Luxury Sedan-Lexus; Mercedes-Benz; Infiniti.
*Non-Luxury Sedan-Toyota; Volkswagen; Honda.
"While the average consumer has not had a chance to sit inside each vehicle among every brand, perceptions play a large role in determining a new vehicle shopper's consideration set," notes Rick Wainschel vice president, marketing and market research at Kelley Blue Book. "Understanding consumer perceptions and shifts in those perceptions through tracking and trending . . . allows manufacturers to better understand how to market and attract potential buyers based on their perceptions prior to purchase."