Most people love their cars at first, but what about after that new-car smell wears off? Once you’ve lived with a car for three years—let alone five—the features and qualities that gave you goose bumps in the showroom can often turn into cold chills down the road.

This is what we found out when we asked our subscribers whether they would get the same car all over again and to consider attributes such as commuting, local driving, long-distance trips, cargo space, and driving with children.


See our report on new-car owner satisfaction.
 

Three Constants

We have found, time and again, that no matter the vehicles’ age, the vehicles that inspire the strongest loyalty are—almost universally—ones that are reliable, performed well in Consumer Reports' testing, and deliver great fuel economy. Additional attributes that please owners include being fun to drive, fashionably green, or dressing the owner in a high-tech, luxurious driving environment. And ones that performed poorly in some, or all, of those areas sit at the bottom.

The Tesla Model S all-electric luxury sports sedan, which provides all of those attributes in one car, continues to top our ratings with the highest satisfaction score. Even at three years old, it scored a 97 out of 100.

Another strong performer is the Toyota Prius, which is among the most-satisfying three- and five-year-old models.

For example, in the midsized car category, the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Subaru Legacy satisfy their owners no matter the age. At the same time, the Chevrolet Malibu, Chrysler 200, and Nissan Altima disappoint.

The same trend can be seen among minivans, small and midsized SUVs, and even three- and five-year-old wagons.

There are models that defy this overall trend, but they tend to be outliers. The Jeep WranglerToyota 4Runner, and FJ Cruiser didn’t fare well in our testing, but these specialty vehicles are loved by their owners.

Fuel-efficient models dominate many of the categories, but the “green” promise isn’t satisfying on its own. Both the three- and five-year-old Lexus CT 200h, for example, sit, at the bottom of the Hybrids/EVs category, despite their impressive fuel economy. But the Lexus was a mediocre performer in Consumer Reports' road tests.

Hunger for Fun

Year-over-year owners have shown that, similar to fuel economy, performance and driving enjoyment are satisfying features. You’ll see the same names among the top-performers in the 3- and 5-year categories: Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang, Mazda Miata, and Porsche 911.

Yet it’s clear manufacturers can easily mess this formula up. The Mini Cooper ranks among the bottom one-third of three-year-old sporty cars, but falls to last place at five years.

Our annual owner-satisfaction survey, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, asks Consumer Reports magazine and Web subscribers a key, revealing question, “Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had it to do all over again?”

A model’s score is based on the percentage of respondents who answered “definitely yes” to that question.

This year, we received responses on about 600,000, spanning the 2006 through 2015 model years.


Use the pull-down menu to view satisfaction by subcategories.

Owner Satisfaction: 3-Year-Old Cars

Tesla Model S97%Hybrids/Electric Cars
Chevrolet Volt82%Hybrids/Electric Cars
Toyota Prius80%Hybrids/Electric Cars
Toyota Prius V75%Hybrids/Electric Cars
Toyota Prius C70%Hybrids/Electric Cars
Nissan Leaf68%Hybrids/Electric Cars
Lexus CT 200h66%Hybrids/Electric Cars
Ford C-MAX65%Hybrids/Electric Cars
Honda Fit70%Subcompact Cars
Fiat 50066%Subcompact Cars
Smart ForTwo62%Subcompact Cars
Chevrolet Sonic54%Subcompact Cars
Hyundai Accent52%Subcompact Cars
Chevrolet Spark48%Subcompact Cars
Hyundai Veloster47%Subcompact Cars
Ford Fiesta41%Subcompact Cars
Kia Rio40%Subcompact Cars
Volkswagen Golf74%Compact Cars
Honda Civic71%Compact Cars

Mazda3

67%Compact Cars
Kia Soul64%Compact Cars
Toyota Corolla63%Compact Cars
Scion xB62%Compact Cars
Toyota Matrix61%Compact Cars
Subaru Impreza61%Compact Cars
Volkswagen Beetle60%Compact Cars
Volkswagen Jetta59%Compact Cars
Hyundai Elantra57%Compact Cars
Dodge Dart56%Compact Cars
Chevrolet Cruze54%Compact Cars
Kia Forte50%Compact Cars
Ford Focus48%Compact Cars
Nissan Sentra35%Compact Cars
Honda Accord74%Midsized Cars
Subaru Legacy73%Midsized Cars
Toyota Camry72%Midsized Cars
Ford Fusion67%Midsized Cars
Volkswagen Passat65%Midsized Cars
Hyundai Sonata60%Midsized Cars
Chevrolet Malibu60%Midsized Cars
Kia Optima60%Midsized Cars

Mazda6

55%

Midsized Cars

Chrysler 20054%Midsized Cars
Nissan Altima49%Midsized Cars
Chrysler 30077%Large Cars
Hyundai Azera73%Large Cars
Dodge Charger73%Large Cars
Toyota Avalon72%Large Cars
Nissan Maxima66%Large Cars
Chevrolet Impala66%Large Cars
Buick LaCrosse65%Large Cars
Ford Taurus58%Large Cars
Porsche 91191%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Porsche Boxster89%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Chevrolet Corvette87%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Dodge Challenger84%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Mazda MX-5 Miata81%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Audi A579%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Mercedes-Benz SL78%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Subaru Impreza WRX/STi77%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Ford Mustang76%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Chevrolet Camaro75%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Volkswagen GTI72%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Volvo C7071%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Mini Cooper70%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
BMW 1 Series67%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Subaru BRZ66%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Scion FR-S65%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Hyundai Genesis Coupe56%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Honda Odyssey76%Minivans
Toyota Sienna75%Minivans
Chrysler Town & Country65%Minivans
Nissan Quest54%Minivans
Dodge Grand Caravan53%Minivans
Subaru Forester73%Small SUVs
Mazda CX-571%Small SUVs
Honda CR-V70%Small SUVs
Subaru XV Crosstrek69%Small SUVs
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport65%Small SUVs
Toyota RAV463%Small SUVs
Volkswagen Tiguan56%Small SUVs
Kia Sportage53%Small SUVs
Ford Escape51%Small SUVs
Nissan Juke47%Small SUVs
Nissan Rogue47%Small SUVs
Hyundai Tucson45%Small SUVs
Toyota FJ Cruiser80%Midsized SUVs
Toyota Highlander75%Midsized SUVs
Toyota 4Runner72%Midsized SUVs
Jeep Wrangler70%Midsized SUVs
Nissan Murano67%Midsized SUVs
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport65%Midsized SUVs
Ford Explorer65%Midsized SUVs
Honda Pilot64%Midsized SUVs
Ford Edge64%Midsized SUVs
Hyundai Santa Fe62%Midsized SUVs
Jeep Grand Cherokee61%Midsized SUVs
Chevrolet Equinox59%Midsized SUVs
GMC Terrain59%Midsized SUVs
Kia Sorento59%Midsized SUVs
Mazda CX-958%Midsized SUVs
Dodge Journey45%Midsized SUVs
Nissan Pathfinder38%Midsized SUVs
Chevrolet Suburban74%Large SUVs
GMC Yukon XL74%Large SUVs
Toyota Sequoia73%Large SUVs
Ford Expedition71%Large SUVs
Chevrolet Tahoe71%Large SUVs
GMC Yukon71%Large SUVs
Ford Flex70%Large SUVs
Dodge Durango68%Large SUVs
Chevrolet Traverse64%Large SUVs
GMC Acadia64%Large SUVs
Ram 250079%Pickup Trucks
Ford F-35077%Pickup Trucks
Honda Ridgeline76%Pickup Trucks
Ford F-15075%Pickup Trucks
Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD74%Pickup Trucks
GMC Sierra 2500HD74%Pickup Trucks
Ford F-25073%Pickup Trucks
Toyota Tundra72%Pickup Trucks
Ram 150070%Pickup Trucks
Chevrolet Silverado 150065%Pickup Trucks
GMC Sierra 150065%Pickup Trucks
Toyota Tacoma63%Pickup Trucks
Nissan Frontier56%Pickup Trucks
Audi Allroad77%Wagons
Subaru Outback76%Wagons
Volvo XC7074%Wagons
Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen67%Wagons
Honda Crosstour64%Wagons
Toyota Venza64%Wagons

Mazda5

59%Wagons
Audi A473%Luxury Compact Cars
BMW 3 Series67%Luxury Compact Cars
Buick Regal66%Luxury Compact Cars
Buick Verano65%Luxury Compact Cars
Infiniti G65%Luxury Compact Cars
Volkswagen CC63%Luxury Compact Cars
Mercedes-Benz C-Class62%Luxury Compact Cars
Acura TSX61%Luxury Compact Cars
Volvo S6060%Luxury Compact Cars
Lexus IS49%Luxury Compact Cars
Cadillac ATS46%Luxury Compact Cars
Acura ILX37%Luxury Compact Cars
Audi A787%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Lexus LS85%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Audi A680%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Lexus ES80%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Mercedes-Benz S-Class79%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Jaguar XF76%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Hyundai Genesis75%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Lexus GS73%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Mercedes-Benz E-Class73%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
BMW 5 Series70%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Lincoln MKZ68%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
BMW 7 Series67%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Infiniti M67%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Acura TL62%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Cadillac CTS62%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Lincoln MKS61%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Cadillac XTS58%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Audi Q575%Luxury Compact SUVs
Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class73%Luxury Compact SUVs
BMW X369%Luxury Compact SUVs
Acura RDX64%Luxury Compact SUVs
Volvo XC6063%Luxury Compact SUVs
Buick Encore60%Luxury Compact SUVs
Mini Cooper Countryman57%Luxury Compact SUVs
Cadillac SRX57%Luxury Compact SUVs
BMW X153%Luxury Compact SUVs
Porsche Cayenne89%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
Lexus RX80%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
Lexus GX79%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
Buick Enclave75%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
Lexus LX75%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
Volkswagen Touareg73%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
Mercedes-Benz GL-Class72%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
Mercedes-Benz M-Class72%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
Cadillac Escalade66%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
BMW X565%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
Lincoln MKX65%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
Lincoln MKT63%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
Acura MDX63%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
Audi Q762%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
Infiniti FX60%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
Infiniti JX53%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs

Use the pull-down menu to view satisfaction by sub-categories.

Owner Satisfaction: 5-Year-Old Cars

Toyota Prius80%Hybrids/Electric Cars
Nissan Leaf55%Hybrids/Electric Cars
Lexus CT 200h54%Hybrids/Electric Cars
Honda CR-Z43%Hybrids/Electric Cars
Honda Fit65%Subcompact Cars
Ford Fiesta40%Subcompact Cars
Nissan Versa37%Subcompact Cars
Volkswagen Golf69%Compact Cars
Kia Soul64%Compact Cars
Subaru Impreza63%Compact Cars

Mazda3

60%Compact Cars
Toyota Corolla60%Compact Cars
Chevrolet HHR58%Compact Cars
Honda Civic54%Compact Cars
Ford Focus54%Compact Cars
Hyundai Elantra50%Compact Cars
Chevrolet Cruze45%Compact Cars
Volkswagen Jetta44%Compact Cars
Nissan Sentra41%Compact Cars
Subaru Legacy71%Midsized Cars
Toyota Camry71%Midsized Cars
Kia Optima70%Midsized Cars
Honda Accord65%Midsized Cars
Ford Fusion60%Midsized Cars
Mercury Milan60%Midsized Cars
Hyundai Sonata54%Midsized Cars
Chrysler 20050%Midsized Cars
Nissan Altima49%Midsized Cars
Chevrolet Malibu39%Midsized Cars
Toyota Avalon81%Large Cars
Buick Lucerne70%Large Cars
Chrysler 30068%Large Cars
Nissan Maxima63%Large Cars
Buick LaCrosse63%Large Cars
Ford Taurus61%Large Cars
Chevrolet Impala53%Large Cars
Mazda MX-5 Miata84%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Ford Mustang75%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Chevrolet Camaro75%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
BMW 1 Series64%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Audi A560%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Mini Cooper57%Sport Cars: Coupes & Convertibles
Honda Odyssey77%Minivans
Toyota Sienna71%Minivans
Chrysler Town & Country58%Minivans
Dodge Grand Caravan58%Minivans
Subaru Forester68%Small SUVs
Honda Element67%Small SUVs
Toyota RAV465%Small SUVs
Honda CR-V64%Small SUVs
Kia Sportage56%Small SUVs
Ford Escape55%Small SUVs
Mazda Tribute55%Small SUVs
Mercury Mariner55%Small SUVs
Volkswagen Tiguan49%Small SUVs
Nissan Juke46%Small SUVs
Nissan Rogue46%Small SUVs
Hyundai Tucson41%Small SUVs
Toyota Highlander76%Midsized SUVs
Mazda CX-969%Midsized SUVs
Jeep Wrangler68%Midsized SUVs
Toyota 4Runner67%Midsized SUVs
Honda Pilot62%Midsized SUVs
Nissan Murano62%Midsized SUVs
Jeep Grand Cherokee61%Midsized SUVs
Hyundai Santa Fe59%Midsized SUVs
Ford Edge55%Midsized SUVs
Kia Sorento54%Midsized SUVs
Ford Explorer54%Midsized SUVs
Mazda CX-748%Midsized SUVs
Chevrolet Equinox47%Midsized SUVs
GMC Terrain47%Midsized SUVs
Ford Flex76%Large SUVs
Chevrolet Suburban74%Large SUVs
GMC Yukon XL74%Large SUVs
Ford Expedition67%Large SUVs
Chevrolet Tahoe62%Large SUVs
GMC Yukon62%Large SUVs
Chevrolet Traverse48%Large SUVs
GMC Acadia48%Large SUVs
Chevrolet Avalanche78%Pickup Trucks
Ford F-35076%Pickup Trucks
Ram 150075%Pickup Trucks
Honda Ridgeline73%Pickup Trucks
Ford F-25073%Pickup Trucks
Dodge Ram 150072%Pickup Trucks
Ford F-15070%Pickup Trucks
Toyota Tundra68%Pickup Trucks
Chevrolet Silverado 150063%Pickup Trucks
GMC Sierra 150063%Pickup Trucks
Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD63%Pickup Trucks
GMC Sierra 2500HD63%Pickup Trucks
Toyota Tacoma63%Pickup Trucks
Nissan Frontier60%Pickup Trucks
Ford Ranger55%Pickup Trucks
Subaru Outback76%Wagons
Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen67%Wagons
Toyota Venza60%Wagons
Honda Accord Crosstour56%Wagons
Acura TSX66%Luxury Compact Cars
Lexus IS63%Luxury Compact Cars
BMW 3 Series62%Luxury Compact Cars
Audi A461%Luxury Compact Cars
Buick Regal61%Luxury Compact Cars
Infiniti G61%Luxury Compact Cars
Mercedes-Benz C-Class51%Luxury Compact Cars
Lexus LS84%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Lexus ES77%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Acura TL75%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Cadillac DTS72%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Mercedes-Benz E-Class71%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Hyundai Genesis69%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Lincoln MKZ67%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
BMW 5 Series65%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Infiniti M64%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
Cadillac CTS63%Luxury Midsized/Large Cars
BMW X370%Luxury Compact SUVs
Audi Q564%Luxury Compact SUVs
Acura RDX64%Luxury Compact SUVs
Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class63%Luxury Compact SUVs
Volvo XC6061%Luxury Compact SUVs
Cadillac SRX57%Luxury Compact SUVs
Lexus RX77%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
Buick Enclave68%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
Mercedes-Benz M-Class68%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
Acura MDX64%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
Lincoln MKX62%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs
BMW X556%Luxury Midsized/Large SUVs