The UK car brands with the best reputation

The Reputation.com study ranks car brands in terms of customer satisfaction at a dealer level. It’s good news for Lexus, but not for Jaguar.

  • 2020 Automotive Reputation Report

    2020 Automotive Reputation Report

    © Lexus

    The 2020 Automotive Reputation Report analyses customer feedback from car dealerships to rate their effectiveness at providing an excellent service. Using a scale of one to 1,000, the Reputation Score takes into account customer reviews, the volume of reviews, how much time a customer spent providing a review and even how well a business engages using social media. Here, we reveal the best car brands in the UK, with the results presented in reverse order.

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  • 29. Jaguar

    29. Jaguar

    © Jaguar

    The Automotive Reputation Report is compiled by Reputation.com. It analysed 18,000 brands and dealerships in the United States, plus 15,000 more across Canada and Europe. The report references 2020 as being a year ‘marked by seismic change’. In the Covid-19 era, mentions of personal health and safety have grown 100 times in reviews of dealerships. Jaguar finishes bottom of the UK league table, with a reputation score of 530 out of 100.

  • 28. Citroen

    28. Citroen

    © Citroen

    A year ago, nobody could have predicted that a dealership valet service would be the number one driver of positive sentiment during a pandemic. New car registrations are depressed, with the industry suffering from factory closures, lockdown measures and consumer uncertainty. Citroen has a reputation score of 534.

  • 27. Land Rover

    27. Land Rover

    © Land Rover

    According to Cars.com, of those who purchased a car within the last six months, 57 percent said it was due to the pandemic. Consumers see personal car ownership as a safe means of transportation. Online car showrooms and dealers operating click-and-collect services have seen a rise in popularity. Land Rover’s reputation score is a lowly 537.

  • 26. Mercedes-Benz

    26. Mercedes-Benz

    © Mercedes-Benz

    Reputation.com says health and safety is not the number one driver of negative sentiment. It’s actually fourth, behind service, pricing and finance. Maintaining a safe environment is critically important, but customers still demand great service and value for money. Mercedes-Benz finishes with a reputation score of 540.

  • 25. Alfa Romeo

    25. Alfa Romeo

    © Alfa Romeo

    When looking at Europe overall, Citroen, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Peugeot and Jeep ranked lowest for sales experience. Meanwhile, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover and Jeep ranked lowest for service experience. Alfa Romeo finishes 25th in the UK, with a reputation score of 545.

  • 24. Ford

    24. Ford

    © Ford

    Without giving too much away, the Reputation.com report doesn’t make particularly good reading for the European and American manufacturers. Indeed, there are only two European brands in the top 10. Ford has a reputation score of 547.

  • 23. Dacia

    23. Dacia

    © Dacia

    Reputation.com says dealers should encourage reviews from customers, monitor them closely, then respond to them whenever possible. This will improve the dealer’s visibility on Google. Dacia might be at the budget end of the market, but a reputation score of 554 means it finishes higher than Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover and Jaguar.

  • 22. Renault

    22. Renault

    © Renault

    The 2020 Automotive Reputation Report also ranks dealer groups in terms of their reputation scores. Looking at the table, Vantage Motor Group, RRG Group and Norton Way Motors, Lloyd Motors, Listers Group and Toomey Motor Group are the top five dealer groups in the UK. On the brand list, Renault has a reputation score of 554.

  • 21. Vauxhall

    21. Vauxhall

    © Vauxhall

    Anthony Williams, head of new media at Listers Group, said: “Customer experience has been at the heart of Listers’ approach since Terry Lister opened his first dealership over 40 years ago”. At the opposite end of the table, Donnelly Group, Eastern Holdings, TrustFord, Drive Motor Retail and Hartwell were the lowest ranked dealer groups. On the brand list, Vauxhall finished with a score of 556.

  • 20. Jeep

    20. Jeep

    © Jeep

    In the United States, the car brands are split into two groups: luxury and non-luxury. From a luxury perspective, Lexus, Acura and Lincoln top the table. Meanwhile, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota are ranked highest in the non-luxury category. Staying in the United States, Jeep finished with a reputation score of 602. In the UK, its score is 567.

  • 19. Volkswagen

    19. Volkswagen

    © Volkswagen

    The Reputation.com analysis is valuable as it measures the effectiveness of the car-buying experience, as expressed in the unfiltered voice of the consumer. Reputation management is vital for encouraging repeat business and attracting new customers. Volkswagen finishes 19th with a reputation score of 568.

  • 18. Audi

    18. Audi

    © Audi

    That’s the same score as its Volkswagen Group sibling Audi. The company has announced that it will be adding new features to the myAudi smartphone app. In the UK, this means Audi e-tron owners will have the option to engage Matrix LED lighting or use a function where the car will park itself.

  • 17. MG

    17. MG

    © MG

    The Chinese-owned MG brand has been on an electric charge of late. It now offers no fewer than three electrified cars: the MG5 EV estate, the MG ZS EV SUV, and the MG HS plug-in hybrid. You also get a seven-year warranty. It finishes with a reputation score of 571.

  • 16. Volvo

    16. Volvo

    © Volvo

    We’re approaching the mid-way point of the table. It would be fair to say that Volvo would have expected a higher finish, but it has to make do with 16th. A score of 573 places it two points ahead of budget-led MG. In the US, Volvo is recalling around 54,000 S80 and S60 models due to an airbag defect.

  • 15. BMW

    15. BMW

    © BMW

    BMW is getting a grilling on social media following the unveiling of its new flagship electric vehicle, the iX. Not everybody is a fan of the styling. Away from matters of concern to George Foreman, BMW has a reputation score of 574.

  • 14. Fiat

    14. Fiat

    © Fiat

    We’re running out of European brands. Indeed, Fiat is fifth on the list of European car manufacturers, so there’s good news to follow for the Japanese and South Korean car companies. In the meantime, Fiat finishes two points ahead of BMW, with a score of 576.

  • 13. Peugeot

    13. Peugeot

    © Peugeot

    Peugeot is the highest ranked French company, with a score of 576. Earlier this week, Fiat Chrysler and PSA unveiled the logo of Stellantis, the company resulting from their planned merger. The deal will unite brands such as Peugeot, Citroen, Opel, Vauxhall and DS with the likes of Fiat, Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Abarth, Dodge, Ram and Maserati.

  • 12. Skoda

    12. Skoda

    © Skoda

    You may have expected Skoda to finish as the highest ranked brand within the Volkswagen Group. Instead, the Czech company must play second fiddle to Seat, finishing with a score of 590.

  • 11. Nissan

    11. Nissan

    © Nissan

    ‘Nissan is an unlikely pandemic winner.’ The Wall Street Journal headline is surprising, but it relates to a slightly improved profit outlook for the Japanese car manufacturer. It’s due to extensive restructuring and signs of recovery in the United States. It finishes with a reputation score of 598.

  • 10. Mini

    10. Mini

    © Mini

    Into the top 10, where Mini finishes with a score of 598. This is five places higher and 24 points more than its mother brand BMW.

  • 9. Mazda

    9. Mazda

    © Mazda

    The all-electric Mazda MX-30 has just been awarded a five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP. The individual scores are 91 percent for adult occupant protection, 87 percent for child occupant protection, 68 percent for vulnerable road users protection, and 73 percent for safety assist technologies. Meanwhile, the company’s reputation score is 600.

  • 8. Seat

    8. Seat

    © Seat

    Seat is the highest ranked European car manufacturer, finishing with a score of 600. The company is testing the use of rice husks, an unrecyclable bi-product of harvesting the grain, as a substitute to plastic in the new Leon. Seat is forecasting to recycle 12,000 tonnes of rice husk per year, which reduces the amount of global husk waste by eight percent.

  • 7. Mitsubishi

    7. Mitsubishi

    © Mitsubishi

    If you’re familiar with reliability and satisfaction surveys, it will come as no surprise to find that Japanese and South Korean brands dominate the top seven in the Reputation.com study. Mitsubishi finishes with a score of 606.

  • 6. Honda

    6. Honda

    © Honda

    Followed by Honda with a score of 614. Interestingly, Honda could only manage 12th place in the US non-luxury table, scoring 603 points.

  • 5. Suzuki

    5. Suzuki

    © Suzuki

    This is a terrific result for Suzuki, with the company finishing fifth with a score of 628. The new Suzuki Swace is a Corolla-based estate car with a starting price of £27,500. The cheapest Toyota Corolla Touring Sports costs £25,750.

  • 4. Toyota

    4. Toyota

    © Toyota

    Speaking of Toyota, the company finishes fourth with a score of 655. The company ranked highest in terms of customer engagement, scoring 96 percent.

  • 3. Hyundai

    3. Hyundai

    © Hyundai

    Hyundai grabs the bronze medal, with a reputation score of 660…

  • 2. Kia

    2. Kia

    © Kia

    While its sister brand Kia finishes second with 668 points. Paul Philpott, president and CEO Kia Motors UK, said: “We are extremely proud to be the recipients of such high praise from Reputation.com, and are also proud of our dealerships.” No prizes for guessing which company is ranked highest.

  • 1. Lexus

    1. Lexus

    © Lexus

    It’s Lexus, with a reputation score of 675. Globally, Lexus finished first in the United States, second in Asia Pacific and seventh in France. In the UK, the luxury brand scored 93 percent for customer engagement and 85 percent for sentiment.