Consumer Reports: Sports Cars Are The Most Satisfying Segment

2012 Porsche 911 first drive

2012 Porsche 911 first drive

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Want to be happy with the next car you purchase? You may want to consider something that puts a smile on your face when you climb behind the wheel, like a sports car.

In fact, in the sports car segment, you’d be happiest behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 or a  V-8 powered Dodge Challenger.

The findings come from Consumer Reports, whose latest satisfaction survey shows that buyers of cars with sporting intentions tend to be the most content with the cars purchased.

In addition to the Challenger and 911, the influential consumer magazine says that the Audi S4, A5 and S5, Chevy Camaro and Corvette, Ford Mustang GT, Mazda MX-5 Miata and Mini Cooper Convertible all fared well in customer satisfaction surveys.

We're not surprised that the Porsche 911 fared well in satisfaction surveys; in fact, we've picked it as the 2012 Best Car To Buy.

In general, turbocharged variants of mainstream vehicles fared better than their normally-aspirated siblings. The Ford Flex EcoBoost and the Hyundai Sonata Turbo both topped owner satisfaction scores, while their less-powerful stablemates did not.

While the category of sports cars returned the highest number of satisfied buyers, it was the Chevy Volt that returned the highest score for an individual vehicle. The Volt achieved a 93 percent score, while both the Challenger and 911 only hit 91 percent satisfaction.

Consumer Reports' bias against the Volt isn't well disguised, since they call its powertrain “advanced but unproven,” before discounting its score with the explanation, “early adopters of a new technology tend to be the most enthusiastic buyers.” They don’t miss the opportunity to point out that the Volt is currently the subject of an NHTSA investigation into post-crash-testing fires, either.

We've liked the Volts we've driven, and aren't concerned about parking uncrashed examples in our garage. That said, we'd have to agree with Consumer Reports on this: we're most satisfied behind the wheel of a sports car, too.
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Comments (6)
  1. well they just prove everything i know already.

  2. @Enzo Rollis, I'm utterly convinced the world would be a better place if everyone owned a six-speed manual MX-5 or last generation Honda Civic Si as a first car. Both make reasonable power, both offer surprising handling and (since they're MT cars) both make texting while driving difficult.

  3. good one i totally agree except not a fan of Mazda or Honda but i get what your saying.

  4. Totally agree

  5. I don't read that as bias. The 'unproven' point is absolutely true--automakers can't even tell us how much those big batteries will cost to replace in the 10 years or so they're good for (a $7,500 battery bill would probably put a dent in customer satisfaction).

    As for the caveat, it's an important distinction. Volt drivers had been driving the car for a couple months at most--of course they're satisfied. Meanwhile cars like the 911 were being judged from model years '09-11, giving them more time to break down, etc. The NHTSA issue is just one factor that could affect customer satisfaction over time.

  6. "We're not surprised that the Porsche 911 fared well in satisfaction surveys; in fact, we've picked it as the 2012 Best Car To Buy."

    I guess all those Americans out there who like fat gas guzzling SUV's like the Cayenne, just wouldn't understand the joys of driving a true sports car...

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