The Most and Least Liked Car Brands

Rankings based on Consumer Reports' owner satisfaction survey

Lincoln shown as among the Most and Least Liked Car Brands based on owner satisfaction survey

It’s great news for car shoppers when an individual model stands out for high owner satisfaction. It’s even better when an automaker manages to carry that magic across an entire brand lineup.

We asked owners whether they’d buy their same car again if given the chance. Then we sorted those responses by vehicle brand, and we present them here by overall brand average. The results show which brands’ models are most and least satisfying to owners. Car shoppers can use this information to make more informed choices when deciding which 2021 models to consider. (Note that some brands, such as Toyota, offer many models, and others, such as Chrysler and Ram, have just a couple.)

Tesla once again tops the list, joined by Lincoln, truck-only brand Ram, Chrysler, and Subaru in the top five. Genesis, one of our top-rated brands last year, did not have enough models with sufficient sample size to be counted this time.

MORE ON OWNER SATISFACTION FOR CARS

For all brands, most owners said they would buy their vehicle again. But owner satisfaction is just one factor that goes into Consumer Reports’ Overall Score for each tested model we rate, along with safety, reliability, and road-test score.

Some of the brands that score high for owner satisfaction don’t rate well on other measures. For example, Tesla and Lincoln are near the top for owner satisfaction but at the bottom of our reliability ratings. The reverse is true for brands such as Buick, which has models that are reliable but relatively unsatisfying to their owners. And a few brands—such as Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz—are toward the bottom for both.

Keep in mind that the least satisfying models or brands aren’t necessarily the worst on the market. Rather, they didn’t match the customers’ expectations.

Below is a chart of the brands offering vehicles that most satisfied owners, and a few that didn’t get as much love.

How We Rate Satisfaction

Results are from the 2020 Annual Auto Surveys on 369,000 vehicles. Data from the 2018 to 2020 model years (plus a few 2021 models) were used, provided a vehicle wasn’t significantly changed over that time. Some ratings might be based on a single model year. The Would Buy Again score is based on the percentage of owners who responded “definitely yes” to the question of whether they would buy the same vehicle if they had it to do all over again (considering price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.). Factor ratings were determined based on the percentage of owners who said they were “very satisfied.” Driving reflects acceleration and handling. Comfort includes seats, noise, and ride. Value determines whether owners felt they got what they wanted relative to the purchase price. In-car electronics refers to the ease of using the infotainment systems and Bluetooth. Cabin storage is storage spaces between seats, in cup holders and the dashboard, and other storage, not including trunk space. For more information, see CR’s Guide to Car Reliability.