At our 327-acre test track in Connecticut, we evaluate dozens and dozens of cars each year, which we buy at dealerships the same way you do. In addition to testing them rigorously at our track, we drive them on roadways for months and for thousands of miles. (Learn more about how CR tests cars.)

For even more information, we collected data on more than half a million vehicles with our Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey. The Owner Satisfaction Score, based on whether an owner says he or she would buy the same car again, measures whether a car lives up to expectations. Respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. Combined with CR’s ratings, our Owner Satisfaction Survey gives car buyers valuable guidance when they’re shopping for a vehicle. (Detailed information is available on the car model pages.)

MORE ON OWNER SATISFACTION AND CAR RELIABILITY

A familiar theme is that cars that meet owner expectations consistently score well. Sports cars like the Porsche 911, Chevrolet Corvette, and Mazda MX-5 Miata are hits because they deliver the driving fun that their owners were looking for.

In a surprise showing, the revamped Honda Ridgeline outscored the compact pickup field by a wide margin. The Ridgeline and the Ford F-350 are also among the top 10 vehicles ranked by owner satisfaction scores. That’s the first time in at least five years that any pickup truck has made it into the top 10.

The following chart shows which brands satisfy drivers, based on vehicles that were one to three-years old at the time of the survey. Tesla and Porsche hold the top two spots on the list of brands ranked by the average of their models’ Owner Satisfaction Scores. For a fuller picture, we also indicate how many places each brand has climbed or dropped since last year, and provide ratings for four of the six categories owners evaluate. Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury spinoff, was the only brand to score a top rating in all of them. 

Rank Brand Owner Satisfaction
(Average of all models)
2018 2017
1 Tesla 90
2 Porsche 85
3 NA Genesis 81
4 4 Chrysler 78
5 2 Audi 76
6 1 Mazda 76
7 3 Subaru 76
8 3 Toyota 76
9 3 Honda 75
10 2 Lincoln 75
11 5 Mini 73
12 5 Ram 73
13 5 Kia 72
14 5 Chevrolet 72
15 1 BMW 72
16 5 GMC 72
17 2 Ford 70
18 8 Lexus 70
19 1 Volvo 69
20 3 Dodge 68
21 4 Jeep 68
22 3 Mercedes-Benz 67
23 1 Volkswagen 67
24 11 Hyundai 67
25 4 Buick 66
26 4 Cadillac 64
27 Infiniti 60
28 NA Mitsubishi 58
29 1 Nissan 58
30 4 Acura 58
Note: Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, and Smart are not included due to a lack of sufficient data.
Rank Brand Owner Satisfaction
(Average of all models)
2018 2017
1 Tesla 90
2 Porsche 85
3 NA Genesis 81
4 4 Chrysler 78
5 2 Audi 76
6 1 Mazda 76
7 3 Subaru 76
8 3 Toyota 76
9 3 Honda 75
10 2 Lincoln 75
11 5 Mini 73
12 5 Ram 73
13 5 Kia 72
14 5 Chevrolet 72
15 1 BMW 72
16 5 GMC 72
17 2 Ford 70
18 8 Lexus 70
19 1 Volvo 69
20 3 Dodge 68
21 4 Jeep 68
22 3 Mercedes-Benz 67
23 1 Volkswagen 67
24 11 Hyundai 67
25 4 Buick 66
26 4 Cadillac 64
27 Infiniti 60
28 NA Mitsubishi 58
29 1 Nissan 58
30 4 Acura 58

Note: Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, and Smart are not included due to a lack of sufficient data.


Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the February 2018 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.