Lexus, MINI Snag Top Spots In J.D. Power And Associates 2011 U.S. Customer Service Index Study

March 11, 2011

Luxury brand Lexus and mass-market brand MINI are the top winners in the J.D. Power and Associates' (JDPA) 2011 U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) Study. The study looks at owner satisfaction for visits to dealers’ service departments for maintenance and repair work during the first three years of ownership. This is the period when most vehicles are still covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.

The annual JDPA U.S. CSI Study uses five measures to determine overall customer satisfaction with dealer service: service quality, service initiation, service advisor, service facility, and vehicle pick-up.

Of importance to families, most of the top-spot winners are ideal family vehicles.

Luxury brands

For Lexus, the luxury brand of Toyota Motor Company, the award marks the brand’s second consecutive time at the top-spot and the third consecutive year for an award. Lexus scored particularly well in all five measures. Top-selling Lexus products in 2010 were the mid-size Lexus ES and RX mid-size SUV, both of which are good choices for family vehicles for those looking for luxury brands.

In the field of 12 luxury brands, Jaguar slipped ahead of Cadillac for second-place. Jaguar enjoyed great success with the introduction of the new XJ large luxury car, which accounted for 40 percent of U.S. sales in 2010. Land Rover, particularly Range Rover and Range Rover Sport mid-size luxury SUVs, were also big sales volume winners in 2010.

Number three spot in luxury brands in the JDPA 2011 U.S. CSI study belongs to Cadillac. Top-selling Cadillac products in 2010 were the mid-size CTS and SRX compact crossover, both of which are excellent family vehicles.

Acura, Honda’s upscale division, rounds out the top four in the luxury category, marking its second time in fourth place. The mid-size Acura TL and MDX SUV were the brand’s best sellers in 2010. Honda, long known for providing reliable family transportation, gets well-deserved recognition here.

Mass-market brands

MINI, the highest among 21 mass-market brands, improves 19 points from 2010, moving to the number one spot from fifth place last year. JDPA says MNI performs particularly well in the area of vehicle pick-up and service quality factors. In 2010, MINI’s best-selling product was the Cooper S Hardtop. While it's more appropriate perhaps for only small families or a couple with one child, MINI is nonetheless popular with many American families.

GMC ranked second, closely behind MINI. Top-selling GMC products in 2010 were the GMC Sierra pickup and mid-size Acadia crossover SUV.

Buick is right behind GMC in the top three spots of the mass-market brands. Buick LaCrosse passenger car and Enclave mid-size crossover were the brand’s 2010 best-sellers -- and perfect for family transportation.

Here are the rest of the top ten in the JDPA 2011 CSI Study:

Chevrolet, number four – Best-selling products in 2010 were the Chevrolet Silverado C/K Pickup, Chevrolet Impala large passenger car, and Chevrolet Equinox compact crossover. Okay so the pickup may not be considered a family vehicle, but the Impala and Equinox certainly are.

Kia, number five – The mid-size Kia Sorento crossover, compact Forte passenger car and Soul hatchback were the brand’s top-sellers last year. Something for everyone in the family here.

Hyundai, number six – The Korean automaker’s best-sellers in 2010 were the Hyundai Sonata mid-size sedan, compact Elantra, and Santa Fe mid-size SUV. Yes, these are definitely family vehicles.

Smart, number seven – Tied with Hyundai (same overall score of 783), Smart sells the Smart Fortwo and recently introduced the Smart Fortwo electric drive. Not really appropriate for family transportation, unless it's for a commuter for one person.

Volkswagen, number eight – Volkswagen’s 2010 best-selling products were the compact Jetta sedan and mid-size CC. And they're both good family cars.

Ford, number nine – The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker’s top sellers last year were the Ford F-Series Pickup, mid-size Fusion and compact Focus passenger cars, and compact Escape SUV. Always plenty of good family transportation choices from the blue-oval.

Honda, number ten – Best-selling Honda products in 2010 were the mid-size Accord and compact Civic passenger cars and CR-V compact crossover. Of course, there's the Honda name and reliability. Enough said.

Want more details on the Lexus ES? Read TheCarConnection (TCC) review of the 2011 Lexus ES 350 here. See why TCC editors give the 2011 MINI Cooper an overall 8.5 (out of 10) rating in this review.

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