The most satisfying car brand in America is now American.
Lincoln, which is a luxury brand from Ford Motor Co., ranks highest for customer satisfaction, according to the latest data from the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Lincoln’s latest score on the ACSI is 87 out of 100, a 5 percent improvement from last year.
The average car brand’s score this year is an 82, which reflects an average improvement of 3.8 percent from 2015.
The ACSI is a national economic benchmark that tracks the quality of products and services. It was established by the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
This ACSI report is based on a survey of 3,776 consumers.
While a luxury brand scored highest this year, the ACSI notes that mass-market brands are catching up. The top-rated brands include as many mass-market nameplates as luxury nameplates.
Claes Fornell — ACSI chairman and founder, and a professor emeritus at the Ross School of Business — adds:
“The rise of mass-market vehicles may well be at the expense of luxury brands in the sense that buyers now see little differentiation between luxury cars and regular ones. If there is little difference, why pay more? Exclusivity may not be enough.”
The 10 highest-scoring nameplates this year are:
- Lincoln (Ford): 87
- Honda: 86
- BMW: 85
- Toyota: 85
- GMC (GM): 84
- Infiniti (Nissan): 84
- Lexus (Toyota): 84
- Subaru: 84
- Audi (Volkswagen): 83
- Chevrolet (GM): 83
The lowest-scoring vehicle this year is also a luxury name, Acura (Honda). It scored a 76 out of 100, which reflects an 8 percent decrease from last year. That is the greatest decrease of any brand in the ACSI.
The latest ACSI report does not explain Acura’s fall. It describes Volkswagen’s fall as “the most notable decline.”
Volkswagen scored 78 out of 100, a 3 percent decrease, for a three-way tie with Jeep and Dodge (both Fiat Chrysler) for the lowest score of the mass-market brands.
The ACSI notes what it describes as Volkswagen’s “emissions-cheating scandal,” which erupted within the past year. David VanAmburg, ACSI director, says:
“Many customers or would-be customers could be turned-off of VW for life, and it’s hard to put a value on that.”
What’s your take on this report? What car brand do you drive and how would you rate it? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.