Let us be the first to say that the results of the latest 2011 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards, conducted by influential auto industry resource AutoPacific, came as a bit of a surprise. Lincoln, arguably the most overlooked of luxury brands, was voted the ‘Top Premium Brand’ in the awards, as voted upon by more than 68,000 new car buyers and leasers across the country.

And if you thought Lincoln being voted the best of the premium brands was odd, Chrysler, with all its financial troubles of the recent past, was voted the ‘Top Popular Brand’.

The annual awards, now in their 15th year, looks at the responses of owners in the first several months of picking up their vehicles, more specifically, how satisfied they are.

The results are becoming increasingly crucial for automakers seeking to differentiate themselves in a world where even budget brands are now building cars capable of competing with the top end of the market. According to the survey’s backers, more than a third of new car buyers are positively influenced by objective awards based on owner ratings when deciding on a new vehicle.

Other categories in the survey included the ‘Top Car’ award, which went to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and the ‘Top Truck’, which went to the Cadillac Escalade. For performance fans, the Porsche 911 was picked as the ‘Top Sports Car’.

Hit the following page to see what particular model was voted the most satisfying in each respective vehicle segment.

2010 Mercedes Benz S-Class

2010 Mercedes Benz S-Class

Passenger Cars

Mercedes-Benz S-Class - Premium Luxury Car
Hyundai Genesis - Aspirational Luxury Car
Lincoln MKZ - Luxury Mid-Size Car
Ford Taurus and Toyota Avalon (tie) - Large Car
Hyundai Sonata - Premium Mid-Size Car
Suzuki Kizashi - Mid-Size Car
Volvo C30/S40/V50 - Premium Compact Car
Hyundai Elantra - Compact Car
Honda Fit - Economy Car
Porsche 911 - Sports Car
Scion tC - Sporty Car
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid - Hybrid Car

Light Trucks

Ford F-Series Super Duty - Heavy Duty Pickup
Chevrolet Avalanche - Large Light Duty Pickup
Honda Ridgeline - Compact Pickup
Cadillac Escalade - Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle
GMC Yukon - Large Sport Utility Vehicle
Jeep Grand Cherokee - Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicle
Lincoln MKT - Premium Luxury Crossover SUV
Lexus RX - Luxury Crossover SUV
Ford Flex - Large Crossover SUV
Ford Explorer - Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV
Mitsubishi Outlander - Mid-Size Crossover SUV
Kia Sportage - Compact Crossover SUV
Chrysler Town & Country - Minivan
Lexus RX450h Hybrid - Hybrid Truck

----------

Stay up to date by following us on Facebook and Twitter.