A new report reveals car brands that consumers love (and hate) the most.
For the proportion of the car-buying public that isn't deeply emotionally attached to a particular brand, it's always useful to keep an eye out for the models that bag the industry's biggest awards or those that return the highest customer satisfaction ratings. Together with our BuzzScore for each model, these are useful ways to separate the good from the bad.
With that in mind, Consumer Reports shared the results of its owner satisfaction survey which reveals the most and least liked car brands. Tesla, fresh from the reveal of the updated Model S, came out on top with an overall score of 88. The rankings were based on the 2020 Annual Auto Surveys covering 369,000 vehicles.
These include model years between 2018 and 2020, along with a few 2021 models. Customers rated their vehicles based on factors including driving, comfort, in-car electronics, cabin storage, and value. Following Tesla were Lincoln (with a score of 79), Ram (76), Chrysler (76), and Subaru/Hyundai (75 each).
The highest-ranked premium German automaker was Porsche (74) followed by BMW and Audi (both with 70). Ford also scored 70 but its score was held back by a 2-out-of-5 rating for in-car electronics. Lexus, a recent strong performer in sales satisfaction, only managed a score of 67. Nissan will be very disappointed with a score of 58 and the only brand to score lower than this was Nissan's own luxury arm Infiniti, managing just 48.
Some brands weren't included as they couldn't match the required sample size - excluded brands were the likes of Genesis, Fiat, and Acura. The majority of brands had the lowest ratings for value, but Volkswagen, Subaru, and Mazda were better than most in this area.
Tesla has a questionable reputation for build quality, so this latest showing must be a welcome boost for the EV automaker. Ram also doesn't have the best reliability record, so a third-place result is promising. But the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Chevrolet, Cadillac, and Nissan will all be looking to improve following their less than stellar results.