2016 Car Ratings & Reviews

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Looking for a new set of wheels? Compare leading car brands using our customer satisfaction ratings.

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2016 Award for cars

Most Satisfied Customers | Hyundai

Most brands received strong results across the board, but Hyundai stood out from the crowd with a clean sweep of five-star ratings.

Hyundai speeds off with customer satisfaction award

So you’ve decided to upgrade your car – great! But where do you start? While purchasing a brand new car is exciting, it can also be quite confusing. After all, a new vehicle is no small purchase, so you want to find something that perfectly suits your needs.

To help you on your way, Canstar Blue canvassed the nation, surveying New Zealanders who have recently bought a new car. We asked them to rate their brand based on a number of key criteria, as you can see from the ratings table above. Most brands received strong results across the board, but Hyundai stood out from the crowd with a clean sweep of five-star ratings.

Hyundai produce a range of popular models, with some of its New Zealand 2015 best sellers including the Hyundai Santa Fe, IX35 and the I30 – all of which boast a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

New Zealand’s best-selling vehicles

Canstar Blue customer satisfaction ratings don’t factor in sales figures. However, we did take a look at total vehicle sales in 2015, and according to the Motor Trade Association, Toyota had the most yearly sales by far with 26,352. Behind Toyota was Holden with 14,028 cars sold, followed by Ford with 13,840. Hyundai models were the fifth most commonly purchased with 8,348 cars sold.

Value for money

Most of us will fork out tens of thousands of dollars on a new car, and while you can usually negotiate a lower price, some dealers will simply offer you a better price. Shop around and ask a range of dealerships for their best offer. Ultimately though, value for money is a subjective matter. Just because a car is cheap, doesn’t make it good value.

Point of sale service

Many of us often feel out of our element when it comes to car shopping. The dealers will usually know much more about the vehicles than you, so you trust their knowledge and conscience to help you find the perfect car. Good point of sale service is hugely important and a significant driver of overall customer satisfaction, but only if it’s helpful service.


Everyone wants a reliable vehicle – and it’s really the least you should expect from a new purchase. However, the truth is that some cars are simply more reliable than others, so it pays to have a good idea which brand has got your back. After all, we depend on our cars, so a breakdown is the last thing we want – especially if your car is new. In this important category, Hyundai was the only brand to rate five stars.

After sale service

You might still have a few questions after you’ve bought the car: scheduled maintenance, repairs, information queries and more. Buying a car is just the start of your relationship with the dealer, so you want to ensure you will receive all the help and support you need.

Driving experience

When all is said and done, we all want a car that is enjoyable and comfortable to drive. Buying a cheap vehicle might seem like the best move to start with, but you’ll soon regret the decisions if it’s unpleasant to drive.

Car servicing

It’s a fact of car ownership that from time to time, we need to service our cars. While it may be expensive in the short run, it can ensure your car is running safely and help extend its life. Servicing conditions and costs vary between manufacturers, so it’s a good idea to take these costs in to consideration before purchasing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue commissioned I-view to survey 2,500 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers who have bought a brand new car from a dealership in the last three years – in this case, 780 New Zealanders.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.