Hyundai received two Motorist Choice Awards, recognizing the compact Elantra sedan and the luxury Genesis sedan for high consumer satisfaction and overall value. Auto industry research firms AutoPacific and IntelliChoice honored the Elantra in the Value category and the Genesis in the Luxury Lifestyle category. Motorist Choice Awards are based on AutoPacific's annual survey of new car owners and cost of ownership data compiled by IntelliChoice.

The Elantra sedan was redesigned for the 2011 model year and now features Hyundai's "fluidic sculpture" styling and available features like a heated rear seat and touch-screen navigation. At 40mpg highway, the Elantra's efficiency adds to the value equation, as does Hyundai's industry-leading 10-year/100,000-mile warranty. The Elantra starts just under $15,000, with heavily optioned Limited models priced over $22,000. Elantra also received AutoPacific's Ideal Vehicle Award earlier this year.

Hyundai's Genesis model offers luxury sedan accommodations at thousands less than offerings from competitors. Introduced in 2009, the Genesis brought loads of standard features and high build quality to a segment dominated by established players like BMW and Lexus. The Genesis offers a long list of high-tech options like climate controlled seats and park assist, but even base models surround occupants in leather and wood trim for around $34,000. Hyundai's generous warranty adds to the value.

Motorist Choice Awards recognizes outstanding vehicles categorized by drivers' needs and uses rather than by vehicle segment. The 15 categories include names like "Active Lifestyle" and "Kid Friendly," with an award for "Popular" and "Premium" models in each category.

"Our research has shown that buyers often shop in more than one vehicle segment based on their needs and uses, rather than simply choosing a segment and then comparing models within it," said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific.

The firm solicits feedback from new car owners to measure satisfaction across the entire customer experience. This year, AutoPacific surveyed a record 72,000 motorists to determine the models with the highest consumer satisfaction.

IntelliChoice monitors costs of ownership for over 1800 model trim lines. The firm analyzes these data to provide consumers a realistic picture of costs over five years, allowing them to compare costs between models. Criteria include such costs as fuel, maintenance, repair and depreciation.

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Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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