Cars – 2013 Results

You are viewing the archived 2013 award for cars. Go to the current new car ratings.
Go to the current new car ratings.

“I only want you for your body,” say one in two new car owners

Most Satisfied Customers - Cars, 2013Nearly half of the new car owners who responded to our recent survey were less concerned about how their car drove and more interested in how it looked: telling us they bought their vehicle because of its appearance.

It would be interesting to find out if this focus on appearance could be linked to the three in five respondents who believed their car reflected their personality. However, three quarters of the surveyed new car buyers cited fuel economy as a big factor in their final purchasing decision – proving that practicality was still important.

If you’re thinking about taking the plunge into the new car market, our customer satisfaction ratings can help you choose the best car for your adventures on the road.

Our survey found that Kia customers were most satisfied with their car brand of choice, the Korean brand taking out our Most Satisfied Customers Award – Cars – 2013. Also rated in this survey were Toyota, Holden, Ford, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Honda, Nissan and Hyundai.

Congratulations to Kia for scoring five star ratings in all criteria in conjunction with this year’s award win.

The results also showed younger new car owners were less likely to worry about the regular upkeep of their vehicle – especially in comparison to their elders:

  • Forty five percent of Generation Y drivers would only spend money on their vehicle if it broke down or failed a warrant. Only 13% of Baby Boomers did the same.
  • More Gen X’s and Baby Boomers (91% and 96% respectively) regularly had their car serviced, versus 78% of younger drivers.
  • Generation Y respondents were also the most likely demographic to invest in a sound system instead of safety features in their car (nearly one in five).

Canstar Blue commissioned Research Now to survey 5,000 New Zealand consumers to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have bought a brand new car from a dealership in the last 3 years – in this case, 478 people. Brands must receive at least 30 responses to be included.

Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands that received three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10.

Overall customer satisfaction

Kia secured five star victory in this category, earning the top rating for overall customer satisfaction. Following were Hyundai, Nissan, Honda, Mazda, Ford and Toyota with four star ratings; then Mitsubishi and Holden with three.

Value for money

Value for money doesn’t just mean paying less for your car; it also means getting better value for every dollar you pay over the long term. Kia customers were most satisfied with the value for money of their new car purchase, providing the award-winning brand with another five stars. Hyundai, Honda, Mazda, Ford and Toyota all received four star ratings; followed by Holden, Mitsubishi and Nissan with three.

Point of sale service (from the dealership)

Kia was ahead of all the other rated brands once more, this time for its customer service at the time of purchase. Following the five star recipient were Toyota, Holden, Ford, Mazda, Honda, Nissan and Hyundai with four stars each; then Mitsubishi with three.

After sale service (from the dealership)

Whether your car’s due for its first major service, or if you just need to ask how to make the Bluetooth work, good after sale service is always appreciated. Kia scored a five star rating for after sale customer service; followed by Hyundai, Toyota, Mazda, Ford and Holden with four stars, then Mitsubishi, Honda and Nissan with three.


Which car brand could be counted on over the long haul? Kia once again outdid its competition, with a five star rating for new car reliability. Next were four star recipients Hyundai, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Ford and Mazda; then Holden and Mitsubishi with three.


Kia finished up with a final five star rating for vehicle performance. Hyundai, Toyota, Holden, Ford, Mazda, Honda and Nissan all achieved four star ratings; followed by Mitsubishi with three stars.