Robert Reed shared an interesting piece recently with his readership at The Car Connection: The results of market research firm Strategic Vision who surveyed thousands of car owners across the U.S.

The question: “How much do you love your car? Could you put a number on that?” This is what they discovered:

The folks at Strategic Vision surveyed 44,000 new-vehicle owners, asking them to score their vehicles on a number of areas. The market research firm tabulated those responses to create their “Customer Love Index” (or CLI) and found the followings:

•Millennials may not be buying as many cars as their parents and grandparents, but they are enthusiastic about the cars they do drive. On average, respondents under 40 years of age gave their vehicles CLI scores of 470 (in contrast with the responses of older drivers which averaged around 500).

•Hybrid owners aren’t necessarily “in love” with their vehicles. While APT (alternative powertrain) cars deliver good fuel economy, they frequently fail to satisfy on other levels, such as (no surprise), styling.

•As Strategic Vision noted: “Even minivans , which are often disparaged as being bland, boring, and completely uncool, obtained higher CLI scores than most hybrid vehicles”.
The Toyota Prius outshines the competition in part because of its unique looks and high-tech features.

•Strategic Vision found that economy-minded shoppers tend to prefer Asian models, while luxury fans gravitate toward European vehicles. Folks who like trucks, SUVs, and convertibles are more often drawn to brands from Detroit.

•Volkswagen (the group, not the VW brand) was the best-loved car company overall. However, Strategic Vision is careful to note that this survey was taken before news of the Dieselgate scandal broke.

Following is a list of the best-loved cars, arranged by segment from smallest to largest:
Micro Car: Fiat 500 Hatchback (449)
Small Car: Mazda3 Sedan (438)
Small Multi-Function Car: Kia Soul (408)
Small APT Car: Fiat 500e (408)
Mid-Size Car: Subaru WRX (451)
Mid-Size Multi-Function Car: Subaru Outback (408)
Mid-Size APT Car: Toyota Prius / Toyota Camry Hybrid (354 / 354)
Full-Size Car: Dodge Charger (543)
Near-Luxury Car: Mercedes CLA-Class (564)
Near-Luxury APT Car: BMW i3 (474)
Luxury Car: Mercedes S-Class Sedan (563)
Luxury Multi-Function Car: BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo (466)
Specialty Coupe: MINI Cooper Hardtop (547)
Premium Coupe: Chevrolet Corvette Coupe (598)
Standard Convertible: Ford Mustang Convertible (564)
Premium Convertible/Roadster: Chevrolet Corvette Convertible (617)
Standard Pickup: Chevrolet Colorado (423)
Full-Size Pickup: Nissan Titan (482)
Heavy Duty Pickup: GMC Sierra 2500/3500 (467)
Entry SUV: Jeep Renegade (490)
Entry CUV: Hyundai Tucson (451)
Mid-Size SUV: Dodge Durango (465)
Mid-Size CUV: Ford Flex (460)
Full-Size Utility: GMC Yukon XL (483)
Near-Luxury Utility: Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 5-Door (516)
Luxury SUV: Infiniti QX80 (524)
Luxury CUV: Porsche Macan (629)
Minivan: Kia Sedona (391)
Best Model: Porsche Macan (629)
Best Full-Line Corporation: Volkswagen Group of America (422)

November 2015