How is the CR car satisfaction survey calculated?
In its satisfaction survey, Consumer Reports (CR) ranked the brands based on owners’ reported satisfaction levels. It must be noted that this study is different from Consumer Reports‘ Reliability Survey, which ranks cars on the basis of performance and dependability.
Instead, the magazine’s car satisfaction survey rates cars on how well they have lived up to buyers’ expectations. Respondents rate their cars based on six categories: value, styling, driving experience, audio, climate systems and comfort. To calculate the scores, Consumer Reports uses its Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey to collect data on over half a million vehicles.
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“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,” the magazine explains. “Combined with CR’s ratings, our Owner Satisfaction Survey gives car buyers valuable guidance when they’re shopping for a vehicle.”
Tesla, which was the only all-electric car brand in the CR car satisfaction survey, got a score of 90, while Porsche came in second with 85 points. Last year, Tesla scored 91 points. It must be noted that the survey uses an average of the models from one brand. For Tesla, the Model S and Model X were included in the survey.
“People are very happy with them [Tesla],” said Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports. “You’re not buying it because it’s a great value, but you’re still extremely happy with the purchase.”
Will Tesla’s rankings take a hit with the Model 3?
Tesla’s rankings could take a hit next year, as some Model 3 owners might get disappointed if it fails to meet their expectations, which will be influenced by the ultra-luxurious Model S and Model X. Currently, the company is ramping up production of the mass-market Model 3.
According to Fisher, there have been instances when the satisfaction scores of luxury auto brands dropped after they introduced less expensive models. For instance, buyers were disappointed in Mercedes-Benz’s CLA, which is priced in the low-to-mid $30,000 range to appease Millennials. Acura witnessed similar reactions from buyers, Fisher said.
After Tesla and Porsche, Genesis, a new luxury brand from Hyundai, came in in third. Last year, Hyundai offered a model called the Hyundai Genesis, so its results were also counted under Hyundai’s results. This year, since the Hyundai brand is separate from the Genesis brand, it dropped 11 places to finish in 24th. Chrysler came in fourth, an improvement of four spots from last year, thanks to its Pacifica minivan. Lincoln bagged tenth place, helped by its new Continental model. Audi, Mazda, Subaru, Toyota and Honda filled the remaining spots from five through nine.
At 11:35 a.m. Eastern, Tesla shares were up 0.055% at $329.16.