Quality, reliability and dependability have become the price of admission in today’s auto industry. It takes quite a bit more to stand out in the increasingly crowded market, according to a new study, which finds the Cadillac Escalade the top model in terms of customer satisfaction.
Buick and Mercedes-Benz, meanwhile, tied as top brands in the 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards, or VSA, which asked 75,000 motorists to rate the vehicles they’re driving.
“In today’s market, it’s difficult to find a low quality vehicle,” according to George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, Inc., a California-based research firm that prepared the new report. “The quality of vehicles from all manufacturers has risen to the highest level in history and what delineates a car or truck is owner satisfaction.”
The 16th annual rates each vehicle according to 48 attributes, with a goal of finding out which models are not only reliable but whether they surprise and delight their owners. Among the various criteria are: driver’s seat comfort, power and acceleration, interior styling, exterior styling, cargo space/capacity, ease of getting in and out, and quietness inside the vehicle.
Among individual models the Cadillac Escalade was a real stand-out, outscoring all other vehicles. That’s especially significant because, as TheDetroitBureau.com reported earlier this week, Caddy nearly abandoned the Escalade, often associated with rappers and sports stars. It has given the full-size luxury SUV a reprieve and will launch an all-new version in 2014. (For more on that story, Click Here.)
In terms of the most satisfying brands, the 2012 study delivers something of a surprise, General Motors’ other luxury brand, Buick, tying perennial favorite Mercedes-Benz.
In terms of individual product segments, GM dominated with seven models that included not only the Escalade but the new Chevrolet Sonic, rated tops in the Economy Car category, and the Cadillac SRX, rated number one in the crossover segment.
Mercedes captured four segment awards, including the S-Class, ranked number one among Premium Luxury Cars, and the C-Class, the top Aspirational Luxury car.
Volkswagen also claimed four segment victories, including the Beetle, the Top Rated Compact Car, while Honda scored three, including the Odyssey, which ranked tops among minivans.
“With more than 400 2012 model year vehicles available, consumers need assistance to find a vehicle that’s right for them,” said Autobytel Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey H. Coats.
Tags: Cadillac Escalade, auto customer satisfaction, auto news, automotive quality, buick customer satisfaction, car news, car quality, mercedes customer satisfaction, paul a. eisenstein, paul eisenstein, thedetroitbureau, vehicle satisfaction awards