May 10, 2007 The Toyota Prius has earned many plaudits worldwide since its launch in 2004 but it’s unlikely to ever have a better 24 hours than those that have just passed. Yesterday, the hybrid family car won its fourth consecutive International Engine of the Year Award for the engine with the best fuel economy, and today it finished equal top of the 2007 J.D. Power and Associates customer satisfaction study. The independent study of thousands of UK motorists driving vehicles registered between September 2005 and August 2006 saw the Prius place equal first, alongside the Lexus IS, another Toyota group model. Given that the award is open to cars of any price, the latest accolade demonstrates the high esteem in which it is held by the most demanding of judges – owners. It was a good day for Toyota in general, as the company’s premium Lexus brand took out its seventh consecutive Gold Award for customer satisfaction, ranking top in three of the four key measures – vehicle quality/reliability, service satisfaction and vehicle appeal. Lexus has now claimed the coveted Gold Award every year since it became eligible for consideration.
It is an achievement that is unmatched by any other car manufacturer in J.D. Power CSI reports, anywhere in the world.
Scoring 862 points out of a possible 1,000, Lexus led the field by a 17-point margin and was 46 points ahead among the premium sector brands. It was the highest scoring brand in three of the four study categories: vehicle quality/reliability, service satisfaction and vehicle appeal.
As well as retaining the top manufacturer title, Lexus also claimed the highest result for an individual model. The IS sports saloon took top spot for the second year running, sharing the laurels with its Toyota group stablemate, the Toyota Prius.
The RX was placed fourth overall, making it by far the highest-rated SUV, 20 points clear of its closest rival. In all, Lexus and Toyota models claimed five of the top 10 model rankings. The results were produced from thousands of survey questionnaires completed by owners of cars registered between September 2005 and August 2006.
Lexus’ reputation will be enhanced further this summer with the launch of the LS 600h, a new flagship for the range, featuring the latest development of Lexus Hybrid Drive.
The good news continued down the line for the company seemingly destined to become the world’s largest automotive manufacturer, with three other Toyota models ranked in the top 10 individual model rankings (the Avensis and Corolla tied for eighth place and Yaris came in tenth) and the company retaining its overall position as the fourth highest-ranked manufacturer.
Within the vehicle type categories, the Toyota Verso was the best MPV, with Prius and Corolla first and third among the medium segment models.