Top 10 Brands With the Best Car Buying Experience: 2015

Top 10 Brands With the Best Car Buying Experience: 2015

The J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study results are in and overall sales satisfaction has improved slightly compared to last year.

Each year, J.D. Power provides a comprehensive analysis of the new-vehicle purchase experience from the customer perspective, with the study measuring the ability of dealerships to not only manage the sales process, but how satisfied customers are with price negotiation, finance and insurance processes as well as final delivery.

SEE ALSO: Korean Brands Soar, Japanese Cars Lag Behind in J.D. Power Initial Quality Study

The results are tallied up on a 1,000-point scale to determine just how satisfied customers are with the buying process. This year, overall sales satisfaction in the U.S. improved to 688 from 686 in 2014. Some dealerships benefited from taking advantage of technology tools in their sales process to deliver a superior customer experience. For example, salespeople who used tablets to record customer vehicle needs or to demonstrate car features earned higher satisfaction scores than salespeople that did not.

Check out a list of the top 10 overall automakers in the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. SSI Study.



Coming in 10th place overall, Audi improved slightly on its 2014 score of 726, rising two points to 728 for 2015. Among luxury brands however, Audi is below the average of 732 and is actually the fourth worst.



In 2014, Lincoln had a score of 724 so it is one of the most improved luxury brands for 2015 netting a score of 731. Still, Lincoln is a margin below the industry average. The good news for the American automaker is that it beat out Land rover (710), Volvo (708) and Acura (706) this year within the luxury category.



Tied with Lincoln, BMW also scored 731 this year beating German competitor Audi. Last year, BMW had a score of 727 and has typically scored below the luxury brand average in the study. It is getting closer to the top each year but has its work cut out if it wishes to catch up to Mercedes-Benz.



Cadillac may be one of the pleasant surprises this year among luxury brands, scoring 738 in 2015 compared to 732 last year. In 2014, the American luxury automaker was actually below the luxury brand average of 734 but this year it bests it by six points.



It’s a bit strange that Land Rover is so far down the list within luxury brands while Jaguar customers are extremely satisfied with the sales process. Last year, Jaguar ranked third among luxury brands with a score of 748, so it did stumble a bit scoring 739 this year. The British automaker is still above the luxury brand average, but sits in fifth place for 2015.



Another luxury brand that saw a drop is Infiniti. In 2014, the Japanese automaker scored 749 to help it earn a second-place finish. This year however, it has an index ranking of 739 and is fourth among luxury brands.



Lexus remained steady at 741 this year, the same score it earned last year. It did move up one rank among luxury brands to third place and is the highest-ranked Japanese automaker overall.



Mercedes-Benz actually got bumped from its 2014 top-place finish, earning a score of 749 in 2015. Last year, the German automaker beat Lexus by a wide margin with a score of 761, but it appears Mercedes is falling behind when it comes to customer sales satisfaction.



Earning the top spot among luxury brands this year is Porsche, with a score of 752. The German automaker actually jumped significantly compared to last year’s score of 738 and its fifth-place ranking among luxury brands. In May, Porsche’s U.S. chief, Detlev von Platen, called for the brand and its dealerships to improve customer satisfaction ratings – looks like it’s paying off.



For the sixth consecutive year, MINI ranks highest among mass-market brands as well as luxury brands. With a score of 762, MINI saw a 35-point improvement compared to 2014. The mass market brand average for 2015 sits at 681, so MINI is well ahead of the competition. In fact, its closest competitor in the mass market brands segment is Buick with a score of 707.

Discuss this story on our MINI Forum

  • craigcole

    MINI is No. 1? That’s a surprise to me. I’d have thought Lexus would be tops.

  • Jay Maggio

    Remember, this is the buying experience not customer satisfaction or reliability.