What is the true mark of a successful car? Some people might say sales, and others might mention legacy or branding as markers of success. Arguably the most important metric of any car’s success is whether or not someone would buy it again, and for the second year in a row the Tesla Model S topped Consumer Report’s customer satisfaction ratings.
With a 98% rating, the Model S has the highest customer satisfaction of any other vehicle rated by Consumer Reports this year, beating out even the brand new Corvette C7 Stingray, which came in second place with a 95% rating. Consumer Reports has previously given Tesla a 99/100 test score, the highest in the publications history and only the second time that score has ever been awarded. But while most Model S reviews are glowing, what matters most is what owners think, and it’s obvious they think highly of their electric sedans (though being a Tesla owner has its own unique set of problems).
Other top runners include the Mercedes E-Class diesel (88%), the Mazda6 sedan (81%, and the Ford F-250 diesel (80%). All solid automobiles, but no Model S. On the bottom rung of the ladder were your typical compact economy cars including the Kia Rio (46%) and Nissan Versa sedan (42%) and the Jeep Compass (43%), which frankly I wasn’t even aware was still in production.
Consumer Reports has been an unabashed fan of the Model S despite a few mechanical snafus and an average reliability rating, and they’re not alone. Tesla owners are amongst the best brand ambassadors for any automaker, even putting on their own test drive events when paid-for politicians try to restrict sales, and Elon Musk has done his best to ensure buyers are well taken care of, setting a new standard for car ownership.
But can he keep it up? There are already grumblings from owners in regards to trade-in values, and as Tesla grows so will the difficulty of keeping customers happy. But here and now, Tesla customers are the happiest car buyers there are, and that’s one metric even EV doubters must acknowledge.