Best and Worst Car Brands of 2018

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Source: Courtesy of Audi

6. Audi
> 2018 customer satisfaction index: 83 (tied)
> 2017 customer satisfaction index: 82
> US YTD sales: 124,577 (+3.7%)
> US YTD market share: 1.2%

Like many luxury automakers, Volkswagen’s Audi brand ranks fairly high in this index, improving from a score of 82 in 2017. This year’s score is also a substantial improvement over the brand’s performance in 2014, its first year appearing on the ACSI, when it scored 79, tied for third worst among all auto brands considered that year.

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7. Honda
> 2018 customer satisfaction index: 83 (tied)
> 2017 customer satisfaction index: 81
> US YTD sales: 840,256 (-1.7%)
> US YTD market share: 8.3%

After coming in as one of the less-satisfactory car brands with the 2017 model year, Honda improved its score from 81 to 83 and vaulted several places on the list to a tie for fifth. Though Honda’s overall sales are down so far this year, sales have improved in the quarter ending in June compared to the same quarter last year. Particularly, SUV sales have improved.

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8. Mercedes-Benz
> 2018 customer satisfaction index: 82 (tied)
> 2017 customer satisfaction index: 84
> US YTD sales: 199,997 (-13.4%)
> US YTD market share: 2.0%

While car quality represents a large part of overall car brand satisfaction, the car buying experience also factors into car ownership satisfaction. Mercedes-Benz scored a 9 out of 10 in J.D. Power’s 2018 dealership experience rankings.

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9. Cadillac
> 2018 customer satisfaction index: 82 (tied)
> 2017 customer satisfaction index: 83 (through Q2)
> US YTD sales: 75,949 (+5.4%)
> US YTD market share: 0.9%

Cadillac has had its share of struggles, but there are signs of light for the GM brand. General Motors’ highest-ranked make on this list also reported a 5.4% sales increase in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.

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10. BMW
> 2018 customer satisfaction index: 82 (tied)
> 2017 customer satisfaction index: 82
> US YTD sales: 175,368 (+2.5%)
> US YTD market share: 1.7%

BMW is tied with other luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac, as well as Volkswagen, for the eighth best customer satisfaction score of 2018. BMW’s 2018 class also scored high marks from J.D. Power, which ranked BMW as one of the top quality car brands for 2018, giving it a perfect 10 for mechanical quality. Consumer Reports also said BMW is one of the most reliable brands of the year.