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Auto Outlook: Domestic cars quality up


New models from Chrysler, Buick, Chevrolet and Ford are at the top of their respective segments in Strategic Vision’s “Best 2013 Total Quality” awards.

The research consultancy annually acknowledges what it considers the best vehicles in 21 categories using a concept called “total quality” and the showing of the Detroit Three may be a surprise for some. Domestic vehicles were judged the best in 12 categories.

The 2013 Dodge Dart was the top quality Small Car; Ford Fusion and Chevy Volt, top Mid-Size Car; Chevrolet Corvette Coupe, top Premium Coupe; Chrysler 200 Convertible, best Convertible; Chevrolet Traverse, best Mid-size Crossover Utility; Dodge Durango, best Midsize Traditional Utility; GMC Yukon, best Large Utility, Buick Enclave, top Near-Luxury Utility; Chevrolet Avalanche, best Full-Size Pickup and Ford F-250/350 best Heavy-Duty Pickup.

“There’s no questioning domestic car makers want to lead,” said Alexander Edwards, President of San Diego-based Strategic Vision. “For the first time in over a decade our comprehensive and complete study of quality resulted in more domestic winners than imports.”

Strategic Vision began the survey in 1995 and measures 155 specific aspects of quality and more than 442 variables based on the opinions of nearly 17,600 buyers who purchased 2013 vehicles from September to November.

“The Dodge Dart’s win in the small car segment is extraordinary when you consider how much focus, design and competitive engineering exists within this important segment. Dart is essentially ‘proof of concept’ that when you mix super exceptional versatility motivating exterior styling, and a strong array of high quality performing components and concepts, customers respond,” Strategic Vision Vice President Christopher Chaney said.

Other Total Quality winners were the Kia Soul, Small Multi-Function vehicles; Honda Accord Crosstour, Mid-Size Multi-Function; Volkswagen CC, Large Car; Hyundai Genesis Sedan and Auto A4 Sedan, near Luxury Car; Lexus LS, Luxury Car; Mini Cooper Hardtop, Specialty Coupe; Porsche Boxster and Chevrolet Corvette Convertible, Premium Convertible/Roadster; Volkswagen Tiguan and Toyota FJ Cruiser, Entry Utility and Porsche Cayenne, Luxury Utility.

Volkswagen was the best brand in overall Total Quality for the eighth straight year, Ford was second and General Motors and Hyundai tied for third. Audi and Lexus tied for best individual brand followed by Mini, Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lincoln, Jaguar, Infiniti and Buick.

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