By on June 2, 2016

2016 Toyota RAV4

If you want the best chances of being treated right as a new car buyer, head over to a Toyota or Mercedes-Benz dealer, a new report says.

Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm, ranked 294 companies, including 20 auto dealers, based on satisfaction surveys from 10,000 Americans. While Toyota took the top spot with a 66 percent rating, the report holds bad news for many automakers, and the industry as a whole.

The survey asked consumers to rate companies based on “success” (the ability to get what you want), “effort” (whether it’s easy to deal with the company), and “emotion” (how you feel interacting with the company).

Toyota hasn’t fallen lower than second place during the past five years, so it’s no stranger to being on top. Mercedes-Benz, which garnered a 65 percent rating, gained ground to grab the second place spot.

Out of the 20 automakers, only Mercedes-Benz, Kia and Audi improved on last year’s customer satisfaction scores. It doesn’t look good on the industry.

From some automakers, reading the report will require a double scotch, straight up.

“At the other end of the spectrum, Volkswagen received the lowest score in the industry with a rating of 44 percent, which put it in 278th place overall,” Temkin Group stated in a release. “Volkswagen’s score tumbled a dramatic 17 percentage points over the last year — the biggest decline of any company in any industry.”

Ouch. Just when you thought the damage to that company’s reputation was complete.

There’s plenty of bad news for others, too. BMW’s rating fell 15 points this year to 51 percent, while General Motors dropped 13 points to 47 percent. GM’s Cadillac brand fell 12 points to 49 percent. To put those numbers into context, Volkswagen’s rating is 44 percent.

There’s clearly room for improvement at auto dealers, but the same goes for the car rental industry. With a rating of 57 percent, the rental industry dropped seven points since last year.

[Image: Toyota Motor Corporation]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

89 Comments on “Toyota and Mercedes-Benz Dealers Ranked Best for Customer Experience, VW is Dead Last...”


  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    “There’s plenty of bad news for others, too. GM’s Cadillac brand fell 12 points to 49 percent. To put those numbers into context, Volkswagen’s rating is 44 percent.”

    Cadillac’s numbers should be improving now that Melody Lee & Uwe’s Cadillac SoHo Haus Coffee is open!

    Ford’s numbers were so bad, respondents couldn’t complete the survey due to anal pain.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Awww, did you get passed by an Escort this morning? Don’t worry, champ, you’ll get ’em next time. ;-)

    • 0 avatar
      orenwolf

      DW, what’s your issue with ford, exactly? I’m genuinely curious because while most of your comments are without real substance, your ford comments tend to be oddly specific.

      I know you have an issue with qualified ford commenters (that is, owners or plant workers) commenting, but in general, what’s your issue exactly?

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Ford dealerships are among the sleaziest, slimyest, scummyest of any dealership network in a sea of overwhelming sleazy, slimy, scummy dealerships.

        • 0 avatar
          360joules

          DW, did the local Ford dealer sleep with your mom & shave her back [sarcasm]? Dealer experience is variable by area or even locally by staff turnover. My local Ford dealership is very reasonable but the next closest Ford dealership is as slippery & scary as moray eel covered in exotic sex lubricant. You’re often witty and acerbic but things have declined of late.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          My local dealership is, so far, just as good as the Toyota one I take the Corolla to.

          (The Volvo dealership I use is pleasant, but being a Volvo dealership, overpriced for service.

          As soon as the warranty’s up it’s never going back there, unless there’s some post-warranty issue they’ll cover [e.g. catastrophic low-mile engine failure, which I’m led to believe Volvo Cars NA will often cover].)

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          Ford owner, can confirm.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            My condolences.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Dennis Leary (instead of Mike Rowe in past years) annoyingly yells “That’s Military Grade Aluminum, pal!” (signifying nothing), while the ex-cons on parole in the sales dept and service bay get ready to shove it directly up “customers’ ” a$$es.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Mine is sleazy and slimy but can be worked with once you establish that you are not susceptible to sleazeball tactics. The local Honda stores, on the other hand, have the attitude of “SUBMIT TO OUR SLEAZE OR NO HONDA FOR YOU.”

        • 0 avatar
          brn

          DW, sorry to hear about your experiences.

          I bought my car at a Ford dealer. They let me have the car for the day to try it out. The negotiation was less than a minute (he came in below my offer). The time purchasing the car with the F&I person was about five minutes (hand them a check, sign a couple of papers and take my car home).

          Our other car was purchased at a different Ford dealership. They let us have the car for the weekend. The negotiation was zero seconds (one price dealership and the price was very reasonable). The purchase process was about fifteen minutes (we asked about extended warranties, so it took a little longer).

          There is another Ford dealership that I won’t do business with. They’re slimy. Don’t let the slimy ones taint you for all of them.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I’ve had 3 terrible experiences at 3 separate Ford Dealers over the years.

            Two issues were those under factory warranty, while the other wasn’t.

            When I say terrible, I mean terrible. I am quite prickly & surly & cynical when opining on products and marketing, but am actually very diplomatic and reasonable in human interactions on a daily basis.

            Also, I know many commerical contractors running fleets, and many of them (not all) have absolutely sworn off Ford due to problems with vehicles and warranty issues at both the dealership and HQ level.

        • 0 avatar

          This varies. My two local BMW stores are actually nice. My local Caddy and Acura stores need a one way to the Marianas Trench, but as ocean pollution is now a thing, probably transport to deep space, full dispersion is better. I go to the next further away stores for each, and THEY are nice. All dealers are in the same general area.

          I love the Acura Dealer. On the GM’s door are huge signs saying “no entry” and quoting privacy regulations. This is also the only place I’ve ever been yelled at going into the shop to look at my car. Not admonished, not asked firmly to leave, but YELLED at. I guess there is a reason ? I’ve never seen such a comprehensive set of warning signs. “Do not Enter without XXX Acura Employee”

          • 0 avatar
            redmondjp

            Well, to be fair, for insurance reasons, customers aren’t supposed to be in the shop area at any automotive business.

        • 0 avatar
          pragmatist

          “That’s Military Grade Aluminum, pal!” (signifying nothing)”

          That is one of the stupidest bits of BS, along with “aircraft grade aluminum”. There are
          hundreds of grades of aluminum, many used by aircraft or by the military (trashcans in recruitment centers for example?)

          When advertisers throw a phrase that has no meaning, you KNOW they’re talking BS.

          • 0 avatar
            redmondjp

            You mean, like the nitrogen-infused gasoline at the nearest Shell station?

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “That’s Military Grade Aluminum, pal!” (signifying nothing)”

            Well, it may quell the fears of those who are led to believe (by Chevy) that the aluminum is the “Reynolds-Wrap” used to roast turkeys…

        • 0 avatar
          SSJeep

          The local Ford/Lincoln dealer is great, so is the local GMC and FCA. The local BMW/Porsche/MB dealer is also good. The Toyota dealer nearby is lacking, as are the Acura, Nissan, and Kia. The newest Hyundai dealer is getting good reviews.

          I suppose much dealer dissatisfaction is strictly based on one persons experience with a very limited number of dealers.

        • 0 avatar
          formula m

          I have worked for Ford, GM and Hyundai. This Ford dealership has literally on ethical standard in the way they treat their staff and customers. Maybe one or two instances that I can think of in all my time with GM and Hyundai that stand out as a problem. I would see way worse stuff happen 2-3 times every month. This is in Ottawa, Ontario. I can only imagine what is the accepted practice for much higher volume dealerships in large US markets.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    The last Toyota dealership I shopped knew absolutely nothing about the Corolla I test drove. I asked the guy what kind of engine it had and he said it ran on gasoline. Har har har, funny.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      What kind of engine in a Corolla? Would you ask a Ram salesman how much recycled content was in the seats or a Subaru salesman what lift and offset it takes to fit 35s?

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        He ought to know the displacement and horsepower (and torque) numbers, if he’s selling the cars.

        “Har har nobody shopping a Corolla could possibly care about anything about the engine”, only no.

    • 0 avatar
      onyxtape

      We went to a dealer to buy a Corolla 10 years ago. It was a particularly wintry December day, and there were 8 salesmen sitting at their respective desks not doing much. We were completely ignored. We had to go to the receptionist, who had to page a salesman to help us.

      We ended up buying it, but they certainly weren’t hurting for business.

      Whereas the Ford dealer we visited several months before – the lizards were crawling from their outdoor smoke break area and practically pulling me out of my car the moment my front right wheel rolled into the parking lot. Then they proceeded to have me test drive a Focus where the stick shift knob came right off in my hand – then he popped it back on there like nothing happened.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        onyxtape, I had a similar experience at a local dealership – they let you look around and if you need help, then they find you someone. Supposedly avoids the situation like the Ford store you were talking about.

      • 0 avatar
        tekdemon

        Well our family has had good and bad experiences with Toyota dealerships. They are usually willing to fix issues if anything arises, but on the sales side there were definitely some misleading things some dealerships would say-the salespeople are also fairly clueless and the used car side…well it’s used car sales. But most of the Toyota dealerships I’ve been to lately seem to employ the low pressure sales thing, you really have to go find someone to sell you a car if you want one and they’re never pushy about it.

        Probably the worst experience with a Toyota dealership was when the wannabe mobster (or who knows, maybe a real mobster given the city I was in) at the service department at one of them tried to tell me that I had “frame damage” that would cost “$8000” to fix by pointing to one of the curves that was part of the car’s design. It was pretty surreal to see this guy say all this nonsense with a straight face then continuing to insist it after I pointed out that the same crease is on every goddamn car in their lot.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      Well, in all fairness to them, those Corolla’s practically follow Dave Ramsey acolytes home. No need to actually know anything about them.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    When did the RAV4 become so hideous? D:

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    Most of the dealer experiences I’ve had we’re not bad (though mostly unnecessary, I always walked into the dealership knowing exactly what vehicle I wanted and at what price, so their only real function was trade-in). For me, the quality of service staff has been far more important.

    My current Mazda dealer (Gyro Mazda in Toronto) is amazing. They were an auto repair centre before they were a dealership (they now deal in both Mazda and Hyundai across the street), and They’re completely transparent and up front about all aspects of maintenance. Twice they called me proactively about a recall or fix, which I thought was pretty awesome. They also noticed and fought for a wheel rim resurfacing under warranty when they noticed (I didn’t!) that the paint had bubbled around the edge of the rim, which was a known defect.

    I took auto mechanics for a few years and used to work on my family’s big rigs, so I’m not afraid of maintaining my own vehicle. But I have nowhere to do it, so finding a dealer I can trust I won’t have to dissect their statements to see what I *really* needed done versus up-selling or flat out fraud on maintenance is great to have.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      I seriously question the methodology that was used in this research. There’s nothing in the way a BMW or GM does business that’s undergone such a sea change in the past year that it’d explain such dramatic swings in customer satisfaction. Frankly, irrespective of how I feel about the specific makes featured in this story, the entire survey simply sounds like BS.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      Gyros are good. Especially with that Tzatziki sauce!

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    Demand for Toyota’s products must really be on the wane when their dealers have been reduced to treating people well.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Years ago, Toyota used to score way down in most of these surveys and I could not figure out why, considering their products rated so well in reliability surveys, yet, Lexus, usually next door to a Toyo dealer, owned by the same dealer, scored way up there. I guess Toyo has made a strong effort in getting their dealers in shape. Although my last Toyo purchase (2012) was never followed by any call or letter or nothing, as if I had never bought a car there.

    • 0 avatar
      360joules

      I had recall work done on our Toyota a decade ago and made a mildly negative comment on the survey from Toyota and it must have released a shit storm on the dealer. Personally signed letter from dealer owners, follow-up phone calls: total overkill. So much of this is influenced by state auto franchise protection laws.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    My last experience with Toyota was meh. But, that was a big improvement from a few years earlier when they could have cared less if you bought a car or not.
    The local Honda dealer was much better, but the F&I guy ruined the process with his numb nuts obsession to sell me a third party warranty along with a “paintless dent removal” policy despite me clearly stating I did not want it.
    I got somewhat even by dinging them on the customer satisfaction survey.
    I looked at the survey results on the link. It’s interesting that the top companies were dominated by grocery stores; not one car company on the fist page. We have a Wegman’s nearby, and it is always crowded after work. I can eat out for less than their take out food and don’t go there very often, but the locals love the place. It’s too crowded and pricey for my tastes.

  • avatar
    Chumley

    So let me get this straight – This company asked 10,000 people to rank 300 companies, of which 20 were auto manufacturers? How can the results be anything other than marginally qualified to answer at best, complete crap at worst.

    Reputationally perhaps VW deserves to be where it is but I highly doubt the survey represents the interaction of actual customers with a dealer. People are pissed at VW, hence the trashing. I’m a car enthusiast and if I was a respondent I couldn’t even guess an answer for Kia, Lincoln, Subaru, etc..never set foot in any of those dealers…..Toyota’s high rating is the result of brand loyalty and satisfaction with the car – every Toyota dealer I’ve been to is a high-volume meat market with a revolving door of salesmen and a service area that’s nothing more than functional.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I completely agree. It’s a general reputation ranking, not an experience ranking. VW is a perfect example. Their reputation right now is garbage, hence at the bottom.

      • 0 avatar
        mattwc1

        I am honestly curious. Are the horror stories about VW’s reliability true, unfounded, or somewhere in the middle. My only experience is with several neighbor’s cars that had varying degrees of issues. This is wildly contrasted with several friends who are diehard VW fans and have had great luck with their respective vehicles.

  • avatar
    06V66speed

    MB? The “best” at Customer Service?

    Lmao How so?

    Because it offers Starbucks coffee (oooooo, fancy) in its showrooms?

    Because of the vast array of Mercedes-Benz logo products and apparel for sale? I mean, awesome! Where else can I get a $45 Mercedes-Benz logo stainless steel travel mug?

    Benz driver’s love it when they get pampered like the “Exclusive” folks they are. Which is likely reflected in this survey.

    Thank You, Thank You! #raucousapplause *takes a bow* *waves*

  • avatar
    fvfvsix

    My experience with Toyota dealers in general has not been positive. In fact, I’d say that they were the worst experiences I’ve had with makes that have halfway decent dealer networks (i.e., excluding Hyundai/Kia/Volkswagen). I bought a Toyota 4Runner two weeks ago, and I had to drive 50 miles and go through four dealers to find one who wasn’t trying to price gouge on a TRD Pro (asking $6K above MSRP). That’s amazing, considering there are 10 Toyota dealers here in the Phoenix area, and the vehicle in question isn’t rare. The dealer I settled on has a “no haggle, high value customer service” model. I was extremely satisfied, and I only had to spend about an hour and a half at the dealership.

    • 0 avatar
      TL

      The TRD Pros in my neck of the woods (greater Seattle area) all seem to have been taken by the dealership to some truck customization shop prior to landing on the showroom floor. I have yet to see one without $600-$10,000 worth of bolt ons from somebody other than Toyota.

  • avatar
    Fred

    In my experience BMW is the worst. They would give me one word answers, rudely hand me a brochure and walk away. This happened at the dealer and twice at the car show. Everyone else was at least polite and would show me the car.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      My local BMW dealership awesome.

      When I checked out a M3, the salesman literally tossed me the key & said “have fun.”

      • 0 avatar
        onyxtape

        I got the same experience with our local BMW dealer as well when I tried to test drive an M3. Though he preceded that with “there was a guy who test drove an M3 a couple months ago who died after wrapping it around a telephone pole, so please don’t do anything too crazy”.

    • 0 avatar
      tbp0701

      I alluded to it in my other response, but I had a great experience at a BMW dealer. I had tested some other cars and had been disappointed, so I thought maybe something had changed and I didn’t like driving anymore. So on a whim I stopped by a BMW dealer not long before closing and asked if there was a used 3-series with a manual transmission I could try. The salesman said sure and knew exactly the kind of road on which to let me turn it loose. I realized, yeah, I still loved driving.

      But then I wound up buying a Mazda from the same chain. (Couldn’t quite deal with the financial and other baggage of BMW ownership, especially in the snowbelt).

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      Maybe it was me? Or was it they thought I was a nut for wanting to check out the wagon?

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      My BMW dealer made me feel like I’d just unexpectedly scored with a pretty girl. It was that good compared to any previous dealership experience I’d ever had.

      • 0 avatar
        SSJeep

        Dont worry, they will get you in the service bay. At least you will be treated somewhat well when you have to turn the wallet upside down for an oil change and brake job…

    • 0 avatar
      Chumley

      Just the opposite experience here with BMW. Same service advisors for years, loaners whenever you need them, expressos, coffee, sodas, snacks, flat screen tvs, wifi all in the waiting area. Willing to let you drive anything.

      Same with Acura. Wife had a minor issue with her MDX, they told her bring it in, service guy spent 15 minutes taking care of it – done. No appointment, no waiting, no paperwork. Even reminded her to bring it by for free car washes!

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    A nearby Lexus dealer offers spa and beauty salon services as well as a very nice bistro, while you wait for you wheels to be serviced.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    It depends on the dealer and not so on the brand, unless you have dealt with Saturn, who used to get rave reviews even though their cars did not.

    • 0 avatar
      Sloomis

      Yeah, I’d think so. We had a decent experience when we bought my wife’s Camry in 2011, but I would’t assume any other Toyota dealership would be similar, just because it’s Toyota.

      • 0 avatar
        Corollaman

        There is nothing worse than a dealer who has a car that is currently “hot”. They feel they can stick it to you with whatever price they feel like sticking in the window to the point where it’s take it or leave it, cause they, know the next idiot coming thru the door will gladly pay their super inflated prices.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Waingrow

      Agree. While VW scores lowest, my particular dealer has been very good through three VWs. Also, their Audi dealership which adjoins is also very good. The Audi showroom is obviously a bit more luxurious and they fawn over you a bit more. Some years back, Honda and Toyota had the best cars but the worst dealer experiences because they didn’t need to please. I assume that’s mostly over.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Mmm-hmm. I’ve bought from four Volkswagen dealerships, and had my car serviced at five or six of them. They were all great. But I’ve also had positive experiences from BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Kia, Nissan, and several others. Quite frankly, I never really have bad experiences (outside of the F&I office, where anything goes), because if the dealership is rude or unsatisfactory, I just take my business elsewhere before I exchange any money. Surprisingly, there is only one Hyundai dealership near me, and I stopped taking our Sonata there because they were always rude. The one across town is splendid.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I agree. Two of the worst cars I’ve owned had good purchase experiences – VW and Honda.

      But while the VW service experience was quite good (under warranty), the Honda service experience was exceptionally bad, devolving into a lemon suit.

      But I blame the local dealer mostly – not the brand.

  • avatar
    Tosh

    I was not able to follow the link to the results, but if the lowest is 44 and the highest is 66, a difference of only 22 points (out of 100?), then that indicates excellent convergence of performance by these scumbags.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Buying a Toyota in the SE region is an extra pain, they all come thru this SE Toyota distributor place who charges a premium for their wax and undercoating plus an “inspection” which is already tacked on to the price you pay,good luck negotiating out of that!

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Gulf States Toyota (which is responsible for all of the Toyota, and possibly Lexus / Scion inventory in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas) is just as bad. They love marking up vehicles that already have high profit-margins, like the Tacoma or Land Cruiser, with “factory-installed” options people didn’t want or need.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Kudos to Toyota for a sustained effort to improve the US dealership experience. Mazda should hire their US executive team.

    • 0 avatar
      Corollaman

      Mazda is not doing so well in sales, even though their cars always test out very nicely, that is most likely the problem with their dealers, they think they got the best products on the market, but you still gotta get the people to buy them.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    First impressions matter.

    For the first time in 36 years of car buying (just this weekend), I’ve purchased a second vehicle from the same multi-brand dealer.

    The first was a new car (Kia); the second was used (Hyundai – not their brand). They say their salespeople are paid on bonuses rather than commission.

    Sure, I went a second time because they had a car I was interested in, but I wouldn’t have bothered if the first experience had been bad. There are several dealers I won’t return to – for anything – just based upon a bad first experience.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    VW dealers are surly these days because of diesel-shafting by the mothership.

    Can’t blame ’em.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Unless the dealerships are just being particularly insensitive (“I know you lost a ton of value on your TDI, but you should trade it for this Passat SEL Premium. Please?! PLEASE?! IT’S A GREAT DEAL!”) I would think they’d be nice enough not to blame the dealers, whose fault it absolutely isn’t.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I’ve had excellent experiences at all of the Volkswagen dealerships I’ve visited, but I can believe VW’s rankings.

  • avatar
    tbp0701

    Interesting study. I’ll have to look at it more (it’s free, so I downloaded), but I’m wondering how much expectations play a role. For instance, I suspect most people walking into a BMW dealer expect to be treated like celebrities or at least Nobel prize winners, and are disappointed at anything less. Meanwhile, I’ll guess many Toyota buyers walk into a dealer expecting to dodge questionable sales tactics and argue about undercoating and are surprised at being treated with some level of respect. I guess that means Mercedes dealers really offer a great experience, but I’ve never been in one.

    Of course the dealer experience is also regional. For instance, where I live many of the VW and Mazda dealers have stereotypical car sales tactics, but there is one chain that treats people very well (both the Mazda and VW dealers are right by the company’s Toyota and Ford dealers as well.) If it wasn’t for them, I’m not sure I would have bought a new Mazda as I just didn’t want to deal with the other dealers. (I was also treated well by this chain’s BMW dealership).

    Similarly, I didn’t seriously consider a new Subaru as nearly all that company’s local dealers are operated by an exceptionally sleazy chain (which I stupidly bought a Nissan from shortly after getting my first steady paycheck). Speaking of which, I’ve never known anyone to have a good experience at a Nissan dealer.

    • 0 avatar
      tbp0701

      And looking at the list outside of auto dealers, I’m surprised there’s anything left of eMachines for anyone to have any kind of experience. And yeah, after staying at a rural NC Days Inn while attending a relative’s funeral a few months ago, I’ll never sleep in one again (the place was bed bug infested).

      And I should probably find an O’Reilly Auto Parts and a Publix to shop at.

  • avatar
    jaybread

    My visit 3 weeks ago to test drive Tacoma TRD fully loaded at the Toyota dealer on the north side of ABQ:
    Me: “When we sit down to talk a deal, I only want to discuss the selling price of the truck, if you try to talk about payments, how much I owe on my trade in, put anything in front of me with 4 squares on it, I am going to get up and walk out. Do you understand?”
    Sales Clone: “I completely understand.”
    He goes to the cage and comes back with a credit app for me to fill out, and asks me: “How much do you owe on your car?”
    Me: “I thought you understood I only want to discuss the selling price of the truck?”
    Sales Clone: “I have to know how much you owe on your car.”
    Me: “No you don’t.
    Clone: “Yes I do, if you trade it, we will have to pay it off.”
    Me: “You do not have to pay it off if I pay it off first. What is the price of the truck?”
    Clone: “What is the amount you owe on your car?”
    Me: “This is pointless, see ya later.”
    Followed by Sales Clone and another larger Sales Clone chasing me through parking lot….”Come back in, we can figure this out….why are you leaving,…what happened….don’t go…”

    This is to me very typical of Toyota dealerships…It’s Hucksters and Carnival Barkers all day.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      Why do you even tell them you owe anything, I just tell them I’m not trading anything. For that matter, it’s best to not even step foot into the dealership and get the deal negotiated in writing via e-mail, then you show up with the price quote with all the fees already listed out. I’ve e-mailed a bunch of dealerships for different brands like this and most are willing to send you a price quote with all the fees listed and you can use these quotes for other dealerships to compete against. I got $4000 off MSRP on the 2016 Accord V6 EX-L when the new model year had just started this way, which was about $2000 cheaper than the “Costco” price in this area.

  • avatar
    MatadorX

    Sorry Honda takes the cake, no one comes close. They drove me to Mazda, Toyota, Scion, even the Koreans. They stock almost nothing, like 25 new models tops at the three places I went, rest overpriced pre owned for more than cost of new, seriously anything 2 years old or newer was at least 1k over MSRP of that car new. Everything on the lot new is marked over MSRP. I mean everything. They wouldn’t order anything either. The hype was insane. Walking into a Toyota dealer after where nary a ADM sticker was to be found (circa 2006) was a breath of fresh air. The wanted something like $24k for a Fit back then, sticker was nearly 8k less than that. All 3 Honda stores I tried in San Diego were like that. Apparently in Texas you can get one at MSRP, as my relatives there own several, dealers all have 200+ vehicles. I will never step foot in one again.

    Toyota dealers have always treated my well, all 5 in town I tried. There isn’t even a discussion of over MSRP for anything, and the online guys were usually able to come in below it. Very low pressure, and no holier than thou attitude. Same went for Mazda, first year model and they were happy to deal. Really not sure what world Honda exists in where people line up to pay 10-20% more than the company wants for their cars. Better stuff exists.

    • 0 avatar
      baggins

      I bought an 2011 accord and an 2014 oddysey for about 3.5k and 4.2K under sticker respectively. All by email.

      Maybe you need to rework your negotiation approach

  • avatar
    dal20402

    My dealer experiences, averaged out among all dealers of a make, in order from tolerable to gouge-my-eyes-out:

    1) Acura
    2) Subaru (influenced by PNW location)
    3) Lexus
    4) BMW
    5) PB&J, er, Buick/GMC
    6) Chevrolet
    7) Nissan
    8) Ford
    9) Hyundai
    10) VW
    11) Kia
    25,351) Honda

    • 0 avatar
      onyxtape

      In the Pacific NW, I’ve been mistreated or outright ignored at:
      – Hyundai
      – Toyota (but we still bought a car there)
      – Ford
      – Mazda (in Portland; the Seattle ones are very well run)
      – MB

      Most favorable impressions go to:
      – Jaguar/Land Rover
      – Acura
      – Infiniti
      – Subaru (Carter – even though I didn’t end up buying mine there)
      – Lexus
      – BMW
      – Audi

      Speaking of Mazda dealers in Seattle, I was always amazed that the local mom-n-pop dealer in Kirkland was able to secure the services of national sportscaster Charissa Thompson for their ads – turns out her daddy makes her do these ads for free in her downtime.

    • 0 avatar
      mazdaman007

      What brought up Honda’s score ?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        There was that one time a Honda salesman looked me in the eye and shook my hand. Of course, then he proceeded to tell me I couldn’t really afford a V6 Accord. Before knowing my profession, income, credit score, or anything else about me other than that I was in my mid-20s.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    The survey conveniently forgot to poll Toyota buyers in my area. The manufacturer incentives get the buyers to the lot, but the dealers send them elsewhere.

  • avatar
    Instant_Karma

    My only experience with Mercedes Benz went surprisingly well, seeing how I showed up filthy and in work boots after a replacement ignition cylinder and a spare key for an 81 300SD that I bought for $800. Everyone was exceptionally nice, no one looked at me like I didn’t belong there. I was a little apprehensive after reading a few forum postings of people being charged upwards of $70 for just a key. The service manager even surprised me by asking which trick I used to get the old cylinder out, in my case it was clamping the key in an orbital sander which got it out in a few seconds. He printed out my car’s entire service history and gave it to me. Treated me just as well when I picked up a $20 laser cut key that no locksmith would attempt to even copy and even the keyed ignition cylinder was only about $40. MB Tyler, TX did me alright and I tend to hate every experience I’ve ever had in that town.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      I think Benz respects owners of their older cars. Our dealership always has interesting 15-30+ year old cars out back in service parking. They also actually restore their own cars at a facility in California I think.

  • avatar
    pragmatist

    Mercedes wasn’t always at the top in dealer service. Which shows that things CAN be changed

    http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/customer-service-new-mercedes-benz-way/

  • avatar
    Johnster

    It’s weird to think that VW would come in so low, given all the other problems they’ve had with their product and problems at headquarters.

    In the area where I live the GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota (but not Lexus) and VW (including Audi) dealerships are all owned by the same family and the sales experiences are pretty similar at every dealership. Not great.

  • avatar
    john66ny

    If you go and look at the actual survey you may, like me, form the opinion that it’s a total farce designed to attract clients to their consulting business.

    If the sample questions they show are actually indicative of their real questions, it appears that they probably didn’t allow the respondents to say “no opinion”, and hence they might have responded based more on general perception than actual experience.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    I’ve had nothing but great experiences with my local Toyota dealer. My 4Runner gets serviced there. What I find impressive is there backing of product, even after warranty. My local Porsche dealer that I bought a 911 from is absolutely careless of you and the product they’ve sold you.


Recent Comments

  • vvk: I am on vacation in Spain and I would never own a car if I lived here. Public transportation is everywhere,...
  • APaGttH: Chrysler. Dead brand walking the green mile.
  • JoeBrick: The HORROR…The HORROR…
  • JoeBrick: I was not aware that Jaguar was for uh…bent people… not that there;s anything wrong with...
  • emineid: No, I do not like to adjust my mirrors to the “outward” angle as some people advocate. I like to...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States