After tallying more than 68,000 surveys on more than 250 car and truck models, the results are in: Lincoln and Chrysler owners are the most satisfied. So says marketing and consulting firm AutoPacific, whose 15th annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards measure consumer satisfaction across all automakers, brands, and models.
The awards, which strive to measure ownership experience to help consumers make informed decisions, examine dozens of categories to determine satisfaction. According to the southern California-based firm, the vehicles with the highest overall satisfaction scores were the Cadillac Escalade SUV and Mercedes S-Class sedan. But those models' high scores weren't enough to unseat Lincoln as the survey's top premium brand, or Chrysler as the highest-scoring non-premium brand across all car lines.
"While the economy is strengthening, new vehicle buyers continue to be especially careful in selecting the perfect vehicle for their needs," said George Peterson, AutoPacific's president, adding that "a wise purchase decision is like money in the bank." The company says that more than one-third of new car buyers factor in satisfaction surveys when deciding which car is right for them.
"Vehicles that score highest in the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are delivering value and satisfaction across a wide range of attributes," said Peterson. "The winners perform well in 48 separate categories that objectively measure the ownership experience."
In addition to high overall scores from Lincoln and Chrysler, automakers Ford, Toyota, General Motors, and Hyundai also received positive survey results. Ford had the most class-leading vehicles with seven, while Toyota came in second with four. Hyundai and General Motors topped three classes apiece. The overall rankings are listed below by vehicle class, separated into two categories: light trucks and SUVs, and passenger cars.
Premium Luxury Car: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Aspirational Luxury Car: Hyundai Genesis
Luxury Midsize Car: Lincoln MKZ
Large Car: Ford Taurus and Toyota Avalon (tie)
Premium Midsize Car: Hyundai Sonata
Midsize Car: Suzuki Kizashi
Premium Compact Car: Volvo C30/S40/V50
Compact Car: Hyundai Elantra
Economy Car: Honda Fit
Sports Car: Porsche 911
Sporty Car: Scion tC
Hybrid Car: Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
Light Trucks & SUVs:
Heavy-duty Pickup: Ford F-Series Super Duty
Large Light-duty Pickup: Chevrolet Avalanche
Compact Pickup: Honda Ridgeline
Luxury SUV: Cadillac Escalade
Large SUV: GMC Yukon
Premium Midsize SUV: Jeep Grand Cherokee
Premium Luxury Crossover SUV: Lincoln MKT
Luxury Crossover SUV: Lexus RX
Large Crossover SUV: Ford Flex
Premium Midsize Crossover SUV: Ford Explorer
Midsize Crossover SUV: Mitsubishi Outlander
Compact Crossover SUV: Kia Sportage
Minivan: Chrysler Town & Country
Hybrid Truck: Lexus RX 450h Hybrid