The majority of shoppers on Cars.com are undecided on make and model, making the customer experience and reputation influential tipping points.
Cars.com's latest Experience Report revealed the major automotive brands that have the best reputation amongst consumers, ranking Mazda and Subaru as leaders in customer experience, driven by a comprehensive analysis of over 13 million consumer reviews.
"More than 75% of shoppers on Cars.com are undecided on make and model---a standout customer experience and stellar reputation are often the influential tipping point," said Jamie Oldershaw, vice president of reputation, Cars Commerce. "Based on the 13 million consumer-submitted reviews on Cars.com, we're able to provide data-driven insights---across brands, dealership groups and down to the individual dealer level---about strengths and gaps in the retail experience. The auto brands that rose to the top of our list have local retailers across the country that are meeting the rapidly evolving needs of today's consumers and delivering exceptional car-buying experiences."
The report detailed how brands like Mazda and Subaru and luxury brands such as Acura, Lexus and Volvo excelled over a 24-month period. It also broke down the analysis into six critical categories that impact a brand's overall rating, including pricing transparency, trade-in experience, transaction speed, financing experience, business responsiveness to reviews, and vehicle inquiries.
In terms of pricing transparency, Mini and Mitsubishi led the mass-market category, while Porsche excelled in the luxury segment.
For trade-in experiences, Fiat and Alfa Romeo, along with Porsche and Volvo, were noted for their positive impact. Chevrolet, GMC, Mini, Subaru, Acura, BMW, Porsche and Volvo were recognized for their efficient transaction processes.
Financing experience, another crucial factor, saw Buick, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Honda, Jeep, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Volkswagen, Acura, Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Genesis, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volvo leading the way.
However, the report highlighted that only 40% of dealers respond to all reviews, a critical factor in consumer decision-making, with Honda, Toyota and Lexus being the most responsive.