Most Satisfying Cars by Age Group

The vehicles that make millennials, baby boomers, and others happy

woman millenial driving GettyImages-1155324039

You may not be driving your father's Oldsmobile, but what about your grandfather's Tesla? While every generation—millennials, Gen Xers, baby boomers, the silent generation—is unique, there's some overlap when it comes to the cars that satisfy their owners the most.

Overall, we've found that the new vehicles inspiring the strongest loyalty are fun to drive, reliable, deliver great fuel economy or can be driven solely on electricity, or provide a high-tech, luxurious driving environment. Those that perform poorly in some or all of those areas sit at the bottom.

In general, the vehicles that perform well in CR tests are often ones that also give owners higher satisfaction.

How do we know this? We ask CR members whether they would buy the same car again. That decision is the basis of our owner satisfaction score. We also look at how owners rate their cars on satisfaction in five categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, and audio controls. We have data on more than 390,000 vehicles from CR's owner satisfaction surveys to help you choose.

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Below, we highlight the five vehicles that appeared in at least two of the four generational categories. It's followed by lists of the five most satisfying new vehicles for each generation in order of their owner satisfaction scores, according to CR members. This can help you find a model that will put a smile on your face now and down the road.

Some of these models carry our new Green Choice designation, which highlights the vehicles with the cleanest emissions. You can read more about Green Choice here.

If you’re a Consumer Reports member, the list below is available to you. CR members also have full access to the results of our Annual Auto Surveys; first-drive reviews of the newest cars, SUVs, and trucks; our full road-test results; and exclusive ratings for each vehicle we buy and test.

If you're not a CR member, click below to become one to access the list and all of our exclusive ratings and reviews for each vehicle we buy and test. Joining also gives you full access to exclusive ratings for the other products our experts evaluate in several categories, including electronics and home appliances.

Become a member to read the full article and get access to digital ratings.

We investigate, research, and test so you can choose with confidence.