Cars and Drivers

These 15 Car Buyers Are The Least Faithful

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With so many different cars and car brands available, it’s often hard to know which are the best. More importantly, “best and worst” cars can be subjective based on the buyer. Thankfully, Consumer Reports took the question of which car buyers are the least faithful a step further. Asking over 330,000 different car owners, Consumer Reports looked to see which car brand owners would be least likely to buy again. 

It’s important to know that many factors contributed to these responses. It’s not just the brand itself but also the price of the vehicle, how well it performs, overall comfort, and how much fun it is to drive. With this in mind, let’s look at the 15 car brands buyers are least likely to purchase again in descending order. 

15. Ford

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Ford has made progress with its vehicles but has yet to earn additional customer loyalty.

An American staple, it’s surprising to see that only 67% of current Ford buyers would buy another. Considering the Ford F-150 is the country’s most popular pickup truck, quality control issues persist. Along with this, interior quality has been a staple issue as Ford has lagged behind its competitors who have larger screens and more features. 

14. GMC

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It’s increasingly hard to justify GMC’s pricing when Chevy cars are all so similar.

If you’re a new customer looking at a GMC vehicle, there is a good chance you’ve questioned price versus value. For example, GMC is often regarded as slightly better than Chevy, so it begs the question of whether GMC vehicles are worth the extra price. This is likely the reason why only 67% of current GMC owners indicated they are satisfied enough to purchase another model. 

13. Mazda

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Mazda vehicles are fun to drive but people aren’t sure if they are luxury or not.

The “vroom vroom” car brand, Mazda, stands in a weird place in the auto industry. Not quite luxury and not quite Toyota or Honda, only 66% of Mazda owners would look to buy another one. Part of the issue with Mazda is likely a stronger focus on driving dynamics rather than technology and cargo space. Mazda loves to say its cars are fun to drive but the infotainment experience feels outdated. 

12. Volvo

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While Volvo vehicles remain super safe, the lack of lineup diversity is an issue.

While Volvo ranks among the safest vehicles on the road, only 66% of buyers are willing to buy another model. There is a strong likelihood that Volvo buyers are disappointed by the outdated interior technology compared to BMW and Mercedes. The limited model selection also impacts potential buyers who might not find the exact type of vehicle they want offered by Volvo. 

11. Lincoln

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Like GMC, car buyers have a hard time learning why Lincoln cars fit into their lives.

While Lincoln makes some sharp vehicles like the Navigator and Nautilus, its vehicles don’t stand out against the competition. The focus on luxury is overshadowed by international brands that offer more for the dollar. Lincoln simply doesn’t offer enough luxury to outshine the likes of BMW and Lexus. For these reasons, only 65% of existing Lincoln buyers would consider another model. 

10. Buick

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Buick still has a stigma that its vehicles are made for an older crowd.

With only 64% of Buick owners indicating they would buy another vehicle, Buick has its work cut out. For the most part, Buick still has a reputation for being geared toward an older demographic. Even though Buick’s marketing shows a younger persona, the senior stigma remains. Buick also has a hard time standing out against other competitors with a “wow” factor. 

9. Kia

2023 Kia Sorento Premium Plus Plug In Hybrid
Source: Chanokchon / Wikimedia Commons
Even though its cars have vastly improved, drivers of older Kia models remain frustrated.

A surprising presence on this list, Kia has come a long way over the years. Unfortunately, only 63% of Kia owners told Consumer Reports they would be interested in another Kia model. There is a strong likelihood that those who own older Kia models are still frustrated over reliability issues. However, the company’s advanced warranty is likely going to turn this number around soon. 

8. Cadillac

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Compared to other luxury vehicles, Cadillac doesn’t offer the same level of service.

Even though Cadillac is often regarded as one of America’s premier luxury car brands, it struggles to compete with competitors. Brands like BMW and Lexus frequently outpace Cadillac as far as overall ride quality and interior strengths. On top of that, Cadillac offers no complimentary maintenance, which is a real bummer for owners. This is why only 61% of Cadillac owners would likely buy another model. 

7. Chrysler

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Chrysler is stuck in neutral trying to find a way back into driver’s hearts.

Chrysler’s presence on this list is not at all surprising. Over time, Chrysler’s reputation has suffered due to disappointing car designs and interior quality. This makes it no surprise that only 60% of current Chrysler owners would look to buy another one. Chrysler’s brand also appears to be in flux as its brand identity has shifted over the past few years, which has also led to fewer models available. 

6. Mercedes-Benz

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The Mercedes brand is associated with luxury and also a super confusing infotainment system.

A truly surprising entry this low on the least faithful car brand owners, Mercedes-Benz ranks sixth worst. Considering that only 59% of current Mercedes owners would buy another model, it’s a shocking turn. Along with a high price tag, high maintenance costs, and a technology learning curve, Mercedes customers gave the brand the lowest rank in the Consumer Report’s “Ownership Cost” category. 

5. Audi

Source: Alexander-93 / Wikimedia Commons
Audi drivers frequently complain about high maintenance and service costs.

Often compared to both BMW and Mercedes, Audi is a surprising entry as the 5th least faithful car brand owner. With only 59% of customers indicating they would buy another Audi, the company has its work cut out. Among the chief complaints are high maintenance costs as well as overall reliability. Audi is trying to upgrade its interiors over the years which might help customer satisfaction in the future. 

4. Jeep

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While Jeep Wrangler’s are popular, the rest of the Jeep lineup leaves something to be desired.

With 58% of current buyers saying they would not buy another vehicle, Jeep has some work to do to earn customer loyalty. While the Wrangler remains a popular model, overall Jeep quality and reputation have taken a hit over the years. Jeep vehicles do have a good reputation for off-roading but driving on traditional roadways shows Jeep as being outclassed by competitors. 

3. Nissan

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As a car brand, Nissan suffers from not standing out in any meaningful way.

While Nissan is certainly trying to reinvigorate its brand with new marketing, there are still concerns among buyers. Accordingly, 55% of current Nissan owners indicated they would not purchase another car from the brand in the future. Part of the issue is likely that Nissan still has a build quality issue as its cars use interior materials that are not as well-received as its closest competitors. 

2. Volkswagen

Source: Alexander-93 / Wikimedia Commons
For Volkswagen drivers, there is still a lot to be desired about ride quality and infotainment.

The second least-faithful car brand buyers according to Consumer Reports belong to Volkswagen. When it comes to driving, in particular, Volkswagen buyers express concerns override quality and performance. Between poor reliability and an image that Volkswagen is still “cheap,” Volkswagen still has work to do to overcome some of the remaining stigmas as 51% of buyers said they would not purchase again.  

1. Infiniti

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The least faithful car brand, Infiniti drivers are the least likely to buy another model.

You’ve arrived at number one and the car brand buyers will be least likely to purchase again. If you had Infiniti on your Bingo card, you would be right. According to Consumer Reports, only 43% of current Infiniti owners would buy another one. Not only did Infiniti rank as the least satisfying overall with comfort, but Infiniti buyers also didn’t find the cars to have the same interior strengths as Lexus or Mercedes.

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