Nissan and GM brands ranked the highest in two categories (out of seven) in BrandIntel’s third annual Consumer Voice Awards, which recognize top vehicles according to (pdf) consumer discussions and sentiment, as expressed online via blogs, discussion forums and other social media.
Winners are based on BrandIntel’s consumer sentiment index, which takes into account over 200 vehicle attributes such as quality, safety, performance, style and reliability.
Major model redesigns attributed to several vehicle wins this year, with five out of seven awards going to automotive brands that revamped both interior and exterior vehicle features.
The list of 2008 Consumer Voice Award winners:
Best Compact Car – Mitsubishi Lancer
Best Large Pickup – Nissan Titan
Best Midsize SUV – Mercury Mariner
Best Minivan – Dodge Grand Caravan
Best Sport Tourer – Nissan Rogue
Best Standard Sedan – Chevrolet Malibu
Best Entry Luxury Sedan – Cadillac CTS
Among the key findings of the report:
- Consumers’ positive response to the newly redesigned Mitsubishi Lancer propelled it to the winner in the Compact Car category, calling out the vehicle’s aggressive new styling and high performance.
- In the Minivan segment, the redesigned Dodge Grand Caravan swept the category due in part to its “Swivel ‘n Go” seating system and other new convenience features.
- Despite consistent competition from the Toyota RAV4 year-over-year, the Mercury Mariner took honors in the Midsize SUV category, as it was lauded by consumers for its interior and exterior styling as well as for its performance and quality.
- The Nissan Titan pushed the Ford F-Series out of the top spot in the Large Pickup Truck category.Â Nissan has an opportunity to capture more consumer interest by offering a diesel engine.
- The Nissan Rogue, a new contender in the Sport Tourer segment, was awarded over the Subaru Forester due to its Xtronic CVT transmission.
“The Internet and word of mouth marketing…radically changed the way…consumers research automobiles and formulate purchasing decisions,” said Alan Dean, VP of Research, BrandIntel. “[W]e continue to see how positive online consumer discussion by enthusiasts influences mainstream automotive discussions.Â For automotive companies, consumer-generated content can have a positive effect on their brand awareness.”
About the study: To determine the winners of the Consumer Voice Awards, BrandIntel captured and analyzed online consumer-created content from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007. The analysis focused on the automotive brands that generated the most positive discussion and sentiment in online consumer communities.