Consumer Reports: Satisfaction Improving for Domestic Cars

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Although Japanese cars continued to dominate Consumer Reports’ Car Owner Satisfaction Survey, domestic automakers scored some of their highest marks in the past five years. In the family car category, the Ford Fusion V-6 and Saturn Aura were both chosen by consumers as two of the top four Most Satisfying Vehicles. Also, for the first time in five years, the luxury/upscale category saw the introduction of a domestic vehicle, the Lincoln MKZ AWD.

Japan remained dominant, however, producing 18 of the 39 car models chosen, with Toyota responsible for 10 of those. For the fourth straight year, consumers chose the Toyota Prius hybrid as the most satisfying vehicle overall, outdistancing plush luxury vehicles like the BMW 335i and Porsche Boxster. Nine out of 10 Prius owners said they would buy the car again.

European models enjoyed the most success in the sporty and roadster categories. Joining the 335i and the Boxster, the Mini Cooper nabbed three of the top 14 spots with the Cooper S, Cooper convertible and Cooper hatchback.

While it may have been an improved year for American automakers, Detroit also had more than its fair share of clunkers: 20 of the 22 cars deemed Least Satisfying were domestic. GM alone accounted for 15 of the 20, including the Buick Terraza, Chevrolet Uplander and Saturn Relay — the top three Least Satisfying Vehicles to own.

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