New report: America’s best and worst car brands for customer satisfaction

Better value is driving customer satisfaction scores up for automakers, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s (ACSI) latest report, just released.

In addition to improvements related to value, drivers say product and service quality have also gotten better.

RELATED: Buying gas from a station on this list is better for your car

Lexus, Volvo, Lincoln and Subaru top customer satisfaction survey 

The ACSI Automobile Report 2018 is based on interviews with 4,649 drivers who were chosen at random and asked to evaluate their recent purchase and driving experiences.

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Here are the key findings of the study, followed by the rankings:

  • Customer satisfaction with automobiles and light vehicles is up 1.2% to a score of 82 on the ACSI scale of 0 to 100
  • European-made cars have the highest owner satisfaction at 82; Japanese and Korean automakers slip to 81; U.S. manufacturers come in last at 79 
  • Lexus and Volvo tie for first among luxury vehicles with an 85; Subaru leads the mass-market segment with an 84
Automaker 2018 score 2017 score
Lexus (Toyota) 85 86
Volvo 85 82
Lincoln (Ford) 84 83
Subaru 84 85
Audi (Volkswagen) 83 82
Honda 83 81
Toyota 83 86
BMW 82 82
Cadillac (GM) 82 83
Mercedes-Benz 82 84
Volkswagen 82 79
Acura (Honda) 81 80
Buick (GM) 80 80
GMC (GM) 80 84
Hyundai 80 83
Jeep (Fiat Chrysler) 80 80
Mazda 80 82
MINI (BMW) 80 NM
Nissan 80 80
Ram (Fiat Chrysler) 80 NM
Chevrolet (GM) 79 81
Kia 79 82
Mitsubishi 79 78
All others (Smaller nameplates) 78 80
Fiat (Fiat Chrysler) 78 75
Infiniti (Nissan) 78 NM
Dodge (Fiat Chrysler) 77 75
Ford 77 79
Chrysler (Fiat Chrysler) 74 79

NM = Not measured

More details 

Perhaps surprisingly, the ACSI report found that customer satisfaction among drivers who had a recalled vehicle is only slightly lower (80) than those who had no recall (81).

ACSI data shows that automakers are continuing to “streamline” the recall process, though individual company performance varies greatly.

There’s room for improvement elsewhere. Regardless of automobile category (mass-market or luxury), this study says all drivers want better warranties and better gas mileage.

On the other hand, driving performance has improved in both the mass-market and luxury segments.

“Look first at cars that your fellow American has been by far the happiest with,” money expert Clark Howard says about this report. Get more details on specific automakers at www.theacsi.org.

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