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Vehicle-Owner Satisfaction Rebounds From Pre-Pandemic Lows

Toyota leads all mass-market brands in owner satisfaction in the ACSI study for 2022-2023, with its Lexus luxury marque tied atop the luxury list with Tesla.

Results of the American Customer Satisfaction Index Automobile Study 2022-2023, based on a random survey of 8,941 consumers, show increased satisfaction with nearly every facet of the vehicle they owned.

Overall, Automobiles scored a 79 on the satisfaction index based on the survey results collected between June 2022 and June 2023, up two points from the previous year. Overall, Automobiles ranks in an eighth-place tie in consumer satisfaction with other industry sectors, trailing top-ranked Athletic Shoes by only two points. Other industries marginally ahead of Automobiles: Full-Service Restaurants, Soft Drinks, Breweries, Online Retailers, Search Engines and Information and Televisions.

No surprise that luxury automobile brands rank higher overall than mass-market marques, but only by a couple of points on the index. And both have been rising steadily since 2021, when the index scores dropped from 2019 levels, most precipitously for the luxury brands.

“Satisfaction with the auto industry as a whole has fully rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, and consumer demand is strong despite rising interest rates,” says Forrest Morgeson, associate professor of marketing at Michigan State University and director of research emeritus at the ACSI.

“The supply chain kinks that slowed production during the pandemic are starting to wane, and more cars are back in stock. Despite higher prices, value perceptions have improved as well. These factors bode well for automakers — and their sales figures — in the second half of 2023.”

Satisfaction scores also have been rising among the four age groups surveyed. Most happy with their vehicles are the oldest group (58-76), rating mass-market and luxury brands at 85 and 87 on the index. Least satisfied are newer owners in the youngest age group (18-25), who rate both brand groups in the low 70s.

Toyota tops the mass-market brands with an 84 score on the index, five points above the average. Its Lexus brand ties for Tesla at the top of the luxury brands, but Lexus’ score is down a point from the previous year and Tesla’s has risen three points since then.

The ACSI Automobile Study also asks consumers to rate their satisfaction on a long list of vehicle attributes, from driving performance to exterior and interior appearance to warranties and more. In all cases, scores are equal to or better than a year ago, signaling growing satisfaction across the board. That was true for both mass-market and luxury brands.

Ricardo Rodriguez Long