Tesla Crushed Toyota in This Consumer Reports Satisfaction Feud

by Gabrielle DeSantis

Consumer Reports rates models and brands in an array of categories. Two of the primary categories include predicted reliability and consumer satisfaction. In a recent study of which cars are the most satisfying to consumers, Tesla crushed Toyota in terms of satisfaction ratings. 

Tesla’s original logo | Win McNamee via Getty Images

How happy a car can make its drivers is one of the oldest and most important feuds between brands. Each manufacturer strives to bring its consumers exactly what they want. Some models and brands are meant for niche markets. 

Others are intended for a wide audience that ranges from base trim mainstream buyers to more expensive range toppers that approach the luxury segment when it comes to quality. While Toyota may often be on top in terms of value and reliability, Tesla took the crown for the highest Consumer Reports satisfaction ratings.  

Do people like Tesla cars? 

A white 2021 Tesla Model X driving down a highway exemplifies one of the best brands in terms of consumer satisfaction
2021 Tesla Model X | Tesla

Tesla is a popular brand with CEO Elon Musk at its head. This year, the Consumer Reports satisfaction survey proved that people really love their Tesla cars. In fact, the Tesla EV brand earned the highest consumer satisfaction score of 88. For the overall driving experience, Tesla models scored a 5/5 cumulative score after the survey. 

Tesla scored a 4/5 for both comfort and in-car electronics. These cars offer an accommodating cabin experience on most fronts. The Tesla EV brand scored a 3/5 for in-cabin storage. In fact, the only low mark Tesla received in terms of consumer satisfaction is a 1/5 rating for value. 

Lincoln is second place for satisfaction. Then, Ram––a strictly pickup truck brand––takes third place. Toyota is down below Chrysler, Subaru, Hyundai, Porsche, Dodge, and Mazda, respectively. It’s satisfaction isn’t necessarily low, but it is certainly far inferior to the Tesla EV brand’s consumer satisfaction rating of 88/100. 

Toyota came in 10th place, losing the satisfaction feud to Tesla

A silver 2021 Toyota Tacoma midsize truck in a desert mountainous area is a popular vehicle that contributes to Toyota's consumer satisfaction score each year.
2021 Toyota Tacoma | 2021 Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

In tenth place, Toyota comes in with a consumer satisfaction rating of 71/100. This is actually great compared with lower scores like Cadillac’s 59/100. Still, it’s pretty clear that Tesla totally takes the win here over the popular Japanese car brand. 

Toyota’s 71/100 overall score for consumer satisfaction is 17 points lower than Tesla’s winning score. Owners gave Toyota a 4/5 for the driving experience and a 3/5 for comfort. Then the ratings dip low to a 1/5 score for in-car electronics. 

Both cabin storage and value earn Toyota scores of 2/5 from consumers in the survey. So Toyota did have a point on Tesla for value. Other than that, however, the Tesla EV brand is the winner of the feud to see which car brand is the most satisfying. 

How does Consumer Reports rate the vehicles for consumer satisfaction? 

Tesla models parked outside of a Tesla gigafactory
Tesla Model 3 vehicles | Xinhua/Ding Ting via Getty Images

The survey is done by sending out questionnaires for owners of 369,000 models. The highest scoring options are those that have the most votes for “definitely yes” owners “would buy again.” Basically, if owners love their car so much that they would buy another one, that model climbs to the top of the consumer satisfaction charts. 

The five categories the cars are scored in also contribute to the scoring. However, it’s important to note that while 13 Toyota models are being judged, Tesla only has four in its lineup. Tesla clearly crushed Toyota in terms of consumer satisfaction numbers from CR. Still, it’s important to view the data with perspective.

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