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Japanese cars continue to dominate Consumer Reports' 2008 car-owner satisfaction survey

Japanese vehicles continue their domination over domestic and European brands in Consumer Reports' Annual car owner satisfaction survey, results of which were released in January 2008. Of the 39 car models that made Consumer Reports' latest Most Satisfying car list, 18 toted Japanese nameplates with 10 of those built by Toyota.

For the fourth straight year, the Toyota Prius hybrid was identified by respondents as the most satisfying of any vehicle, with 92 percent of Prius owners indicating they would definitely buy one again. Following closely, were the BMW 335i coupe/convertible and Porsche Boxster, which drew scores of 91 and 90 respectively.

European models accounted for 12 cars on the list-a slight increase from last year. Domestic models remained steady at seven, and for the first time, two South Korean models, the Hyundai Azera (83) and Hyundai Santa Fe (80), made Consumer Reports' Most Satisfying car list.

For the first time in five years, domestic models have gained ground in the family car category, which has been consistently dominated by Japanese nameplates. The Ford Fusion V6 with all-wheel-drive and Saturn Aura were identified by respondents as two of the top four most satisfying family cars behind the Toyota Prius and Toyota Camry Hybrid. The inclusion of the Lincoln MKZ AWD was also a five-year first for a domestic model to be found among the most satisfying Luxury/Upscale cars.

“These latest results suggest that domestic carmakers are getting better at capturing what people want in the car they drive every day,” said Rik Paul, automotive editor for Consumer Reports.

Individual owner satisfaction scores for the vehicles on Consumer Reports' Most and Least Satisfying car lists are published in the Consumer Reports January issue, which goes on sale December 4, 2007. The complete report is also available at

European models dominated the sporty car and roadster categories taking 10 of the top 14 spots. While the BMW 335i RWD (91), Porsche Boxster (90) lead the way, the Mini Cooper proved to be a very satisfying vehicle, three versions-the Cooper S (88), Cooper Convertible (81) and Cooper Hatchback (80) all made the list. Performance generates a strong passion amongst owners, of the top 12 most satisfying cars, half were sports cars.

Consumers Reports Annual Car Owner Satisfaction Survey asks subscribers if they would buy the car or truck they own again, considering its price, performance, comfort, reliability, and enjoyment. In all, subscribers rated their experience with more than 415,000 vehicles and more than 300 separate models, in the survey conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.

Among the least satisfying cars, domestics accounted for 20 of the 22 in the lineup, 15 of which are from General Motors. These included the least satisfying vehicles to own: the Buick Terraza, Chevrolet Uplander and Saturn Relay minivans, with only 34 percent of respondents reporting they would definitely buy or lease one again.

There were no European nameplates listed among the Least Satisfying Car list, but several popular European nameplates, including Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Saab and Volvo were absent among the Most Satisfying car list.

Consumer Reports Most Satisfying vehicles are those for which at least 80 percent of owners said they would definitely buy or lease the vehicle again. Consumer Reports Least Satisfying vehicles are those for which less than 50 percent of owners said they would do so. Models are listed within categories in order of most satisfying:

Most Satisfying

Small Cars: Honda Fit, Volkswagen Rabbit

Family Cars: Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Ford Fusion V6 (AWD), Saturn Aura

Large Cars: Hyundai Azera, Toyota Avalon

Upscale/Luxury Cars: Lexus LS 460, Acura TL Type-S, BMW 330i/335i (sedan), Infiniti M35 RWD, Lincoln MKZ (AWD)

Sports Cars/Roadsters: Porsche Boxster, Porsche Cayman, Chevrolet Corvette, Mini Cooper S (hatchback), Honda S2000, Porsche 911 Carrera, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Audi S4, Mini Cooper (Convertible), Ford Mustang (V8), Volkswagen GTI, Mini Cooper (hatchback)

Coupes/Convertibles: BMW 335i (RWD), Volkswagen Eos

Wagons/ Hatchbacks: Mazdaspeed3

Minivans: Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey

SUVs: Lexus RX350, Ford Edge, Toyota Land Cruiser, Chrysler Aspen (4WD), Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota RAV4 (V6), Toyota 4Runner (V6)

Pickup Trucks: Honda Ridgeline, Toyota Tundra (V8)

Least Satisfying

Small Cars: Chevrolet Cobalt (coupe, nonturbo), Saturn Ion (sedan), Chevrolet Cobalt (Sedan), Chevrolet Aveo (sedan)

Minivans: Ford Freestar, Buick Terraza, Chevrolet Uplander, Saturn Relay

SUVs: Chevrolet Trail Blazer (6-cyl., RWD) GMC Envoy (6-cyl., RWD), Suzuki Grand Vitara, Jeep Commander (V6), Chevrolet Equinox, Jeep Grand Cherokee (V6, gas)

Pickup Trucks: Dodge Dakota, Chevrolet Colorado (5-cyl.), GMC Canyon (5-cyl.), Ford Ranger, Mazda B-Series, Chevrolet Colorado (4-cyl.), GMC Canyon (4-cyl.).

Wagons & Hatchbacks: Chevrolet Aveo

Complete Owner Satisfaction Scores for all vehicles are available to consumer reports online subscribers. For more information, Consumer Reports Most and Least Satisfying car list are published at


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