American Car Buyers Less Satisfied With Domestics, Toyota Perpetually Fine: Study

Overall contentment among domestic vehicle owners dropped slightly in this year’s American Customer Satisfaction Index. Meanwhile, enjoyment from European and Asian automakers stayed roughly the same. However, that information might not be quite so useful until you begin comparing individual brands (and even other industries).

Domestic automakers averaged 80 out of a possible 100 points in the ACSI scale, with General Motors as the only American manufacturer seeing an improvement from 2016. For the sake of comparison, let’s see how other industries are doing on either end of the spectrum: Cable companies, which everyone hates, averaged 64 points and television sets, which everyone loves, scored 87 points.

By and large, that doesn’t place automakers in the doghouse. But it does highlight a modest shift in the perception of specific domestic brands while longtime satisfaction leaders, like Toyota and Lexus, hold pole position.

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New Car Customer Satisfaction Down Slightly, Experts Blame High Quality For High Expectations

The just released American Customer Satisfaction Index, based on interviews with over 4,000 recent new car buyers, finds that car buyers are less satisfied this year than last, with the index dropping 1.2% to an industry average of 83%. It’s the first time in two years that a decline in new car buyer satisfaction has been measured, but customer satisfaction is still significantly higher than the index’s 1979 baseline of 79% of customers being satisfied.

The survey measures consumer satisfaction based on quality, purchase price, the dealership experience, and other factors. The authors of the study say that the small drop may ironically be due to past improvements in quality and customer satisfaction.

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  • THX1136 Agree with SCE, the cost alone puts me out of the equation. Would I like an EV Charger, sure but see previous sentence.
  • IBx1 The only thing that stops a bad guy with a [Milwaukee Sawzall for stealing catalytic converters] is a good guy with a [Hydrochloric Acid 37%].
  • SCE to AUX Well, this is one reason to go electric.
  • THX1136 According to carbrain.com the cost for catalytic converter 'repair' is between $945 and $2475. They claim the converter cost itself can be up to $2250. Figuring $880 a unit doesn't seem too far out of line if the carbrain info is accurate. Wonder if gas theft is still going strong on the west coast also?
  • KOKing I'm not sure what to make of the small commercial van market in the US. There are a fair number of Transit Connects and ProMasterCitys, but Nissan/Chevy dumped the NV200 even though they seemed to sell well (though I guess Nissan decided to get out of the commercial space entirely), and I don't think Stellrysler ever bothered C/V-ing the Pacifica.