Ranked

Worst to first, J.D. Power survey ranks brands with most loyal customer base

Subaru topped the list for brand loyalty for the second time in a row

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.

There's little doubt that you know a “Ford guy" or a “Chevy man" slightly more quietly, there are people who won't even consider buying anything but a Toyota or Honda. Returning customers are the bread and butter of the auto industry.

Which brand has the most loyal customers? That's a question the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Automotive Brand Loyalty Study explored.

"There are many factors that contribute to brand loyalty, ranging from the experience a customer has when purchasing the vehicle to how driving it makes them feel," said Tyson Jominy, vice president of data & analytics at J.D. Power. "Automakers are really focused on customer retention, as evidenced by the payment plans and incentives they've offered since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. Many have gone above and beyond to offer customers financial assistance during a period of economic uncertainty, which does a lot to bolster consumer confidence in their chosen brand and repurchase it in the future."

To calculate the winner, J.D. Power calculates whether an owner purchased the same brand after trading in an existing vehicle on a new vehicle. Customer loyalty is based on the percentage of vehicle owners who choose the same brand when trading in or purchasing their next vehicle. The 2020 U.S. Automotive Brand Loyalty Study calculations are based on transaction data from June 2019 through May 2020 and include all model years traded in.

No. 32 - Fiat

Fiat 500 "One Shot" docufilm still shots Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Fiat sells just five models in the U.S., but they haven't sold through their 2019 inventory yet. The stable includes the Fiat 500, 500X, 500L, 124 Spider (it's best-selling model), and 500E.

No. 31 - Chrysler

2020 Chrysler Pacifica

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Chrysler lineup is quite slim these days, but the brand did expand its offerings a bit for 2020 and 2021. They still sell the 300 sedan and the Pacifica minivan. Now, the company also sells a low-cost version of the Pacifica under the Voyagernameplate.

No. 30 - Dodge

2020 Dodge Charger SRT

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Dodge doesn't make many vehicles, and they've been around without too many modifications over the years though there have been Widebody variants brought to the table in recent years. The current Dodge lineup includes the Journey and Durango SUVs, Grand Caravan minivan, and Charger and Challenger cars.

No. 29 - Jaguar

Jaguar F-Type

Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Jaguar's F-Pace and E-Pace make up the entirety of its SUV roster. The I-PACE is the company's all-electric crossover, the F-Type is the sports car, and the XE, XF, and XJare the available sedans.

No. 28 - MINI

2021 Mini Countryman

Photo courtesy of MINI

MINI sells its signature Cooper model in two- and four-door hardtop varieties with several grades to choose from per model. There's also the Countryman, which is more like a crossover, and the Clubman. MINI also offers a few convertible versions of its models.

No. 27 - Mitsubishi

2020 Mitsubishi Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

Mitsubishi sells just a few models in the U.S., the Outlander, Outlander Sport, Outlander PHEV, Mirage, and Eclipse Cross.

No. 26 - Buick

2019 Buick Regal Avenir Photo courtesy of Buick

Buick has gotten away from selling cars in the U.S. and now has four SUV models in its lineup including the Encore, Encore GX, Envision, and Enclave. The Encore GX is new for 2020. Don't let the name fool you, it's a completely different vehicle than the smaller Encore.

No. 25 - Infiniti

2020 Infiniti QX60

​Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Infiniti is in the middle of a brand makeover. It still sells the Q50 and Q60 cars as well as the QX50, QX60, and QX80 SUVs. Most of those models received upgrades for 2020. The launch of the new QX55 SUV is slated for later this year. The QX60 will launch as a 2021 model next year and then there's a few more things up the company's sleeves.

No. 24 - Maserati

2021 Maserati Ghibli Hybrid Photo courtesy of Maserati

Maserati sells just a few models in the U.S. - the Quattroporte, Levante, GranTurismo, and Ghibli. The Ghibli Hybrid was just introduced and the automaker is planning a complete lineup revitalization in the coming years.

No. 23 - Cadillac

2021 Cadillac Escalade Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac has also changed up its lineup in a big way over the last year. It now includes the CT4 and CT5 sedans as well as the XT4 and XT5 SUVs. The Escalade is getting a complete redo for 2021 and the CT6 will be discontinued.

No. 22 - Lincoln

2020 Lincoln Corsair

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company​

If you can't remember the names of the vehicles in the Lincoln lineup, you're not alone. The company recently renamed and redesigned most of their SUVs while also introducing a new one to the mix. The MKC became the Corsair and the MKX is now the Nautilus. There's now the Aviator, and the Navigator remains the flagship. And don't forget about the Continental and MKZ!

No. 21 - Volvo

2021 Volvo XC40

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Compared to other automakers, the Volvo lineup is rather slim. They offer the XC90, XC60, and XC40 SUVs as well as the S90 and S60 sedans and V90, V90 Cross Country, V60, and V60 Cross Country wagons. Several of the models come in hybrid form.

No. 20 - Acura

2020 Acura RDX

Photo courtesy of Acura

Acura's lineup is in the middle of a complete redesign. It sells the ILX, TLX, RDX, and MDX. The company just announced that the RDX will no longer be sold in the U.S. and that they've completely redesigned the TLX for 2021 including a new Type Svariant.

No. 19 - GMC

2020 GMC Acadia AT4

Photo courtesy of GM

GMC's lineup is small but mighty. Buyers are flocking to the premium brand, buying up its Terrain, Acadia, and Yukon SUVs as well as its Canyon, Sierra 1500, and Sierra HD trucks.

No. 18 - Land Rover

Range Rover Sport SVR Media Drive, March 2018 JLR Global PR

Land Rover just launched the 2020 Defender. It joins the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar, Range Rover Evoque, Discovery, and Discovery Sport in the British automaker's lineup.

No. 17 - Mazda

2020 Mazda Mazda3 Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

Mazda doesn't sell many vehicles in the U.S., but its lineup is competitive and includes Mazda3 and Mazda6 sedans, the MX-5 Miata, and four SUVs: CX-3, CX-30, CX-5, and CX-9.

No. 16 - Jeep

2020 Jeep Wrangler Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Jeep now sells a diversified portfolio of SUVs including the Renegade, Compass, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and Wrangler. The Gladiator has made a statement as the company's truck option. A new Grand Cherokee should be out later this year and look for the forthcoming Wagoneer down the pipeline.

No. 15 - Volkswagen

Volkswagen Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen's U.S. lineup is small, but much of it is made in the U.S.A. There's Jetta, Jetta GLI, Passat, and Arteon cars as well as Tiguan, Atlas Cross Sport, and AtlasSUVs. If a wagon is more your style, you can get a Golf SportWagen or a Golf Alltrack. The Beetle, Golf, Golf GTI, and Golf R are also still on sale.

No. 14 - Nissan

2022 Nissan Ariya

Photo courtesy of Nissan Motor Company

Nissan has a wide variety of models to choose from. Its Versa, Sentra, and Altima cars have all be redesigned over the last two years. The Maxima got a solid mid-cycle refresh. On the SUV side of things, the Kicks, Rogue Sport, Rogue, Pathfinder, and Armada all remain options. Nissan plans to launch new versions of most of those in the next two years. The Frontier has a new engine for 2020 and will be all-new for 2021. The Titan has also undergone a significant upgrade.

No. 13 - Audi

2021 Audi Q5

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi has had a big year revamping its lineup and adding the E-Tron all-electric SUV and additional variants of its most popular models.

The Audi cars lineup now includes: A3, S3, RS 3, A4, S4, A5Sportback, S5 Sportback, RS 5 Sportback, A6, S6, A7, S7, RS 7, A8, S8, A5 Coupe, S5 Coupe, RS 5 Coupe, A5 Cabriolet, S5 Cabriolet, TT Coupe, TTS Coupe, TT RS Coupe, TT Roadster, R8, R8 Spyder, A4 Allroad, A6 Allroad, and RS 6 Avant.

The roster of SUVs includes: Q3, Q5, SQ5, Q7, SQ7, Q8, SQ8, and RS Q8.

The aforementioned E-Tron SUV is joined by the E-Tron Sportback in the Audi EV stable.

No. 12 - Porsche

Porsche 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition Photo courtesy of Porsche

Porsche doesn't make as many vehicles as some automakers each year, but they're still plagued by problems similar to what you'll find in a mass market car. The Porsche lineup includes the 718, 911, Taycan, Panamera, Macan, and Cayenne. Each of those has multiple variants - the 911 alone has 22 different models.

No. 11 - BMW

2020 BMW 3 Series Photo courtesy of BMW

Visiting the BMW lineup is like going to Baskin Robbins. There are a wide variety of flavors to suit nearly every palette. the list of SUVs includes the X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, and X7. There's the 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8 Series sedans and coupes. There are M and cabriolet variants of most of the cars. BMW also sells the new Z4 as well as the i3 and i8 electric vehicles.

No. 10 - Hyundai

2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

If you've overlooked Hyundais lately, it's time to look closer. The company's lineup is diverse and offers a high-quality portfolio of desirable products from the Veloster, Accent, Elantra, and Sonata cars to the Venue, Kona, Tucson, Santa Fe, and PalisadeSUVs. Most of those models are getting a full redesign or a refresh for 2020.

No. 9 - Mercedes-Benz

2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz stable is nearly full, not just with a wide variety of models, but a slew of engine options to choose from once you pick the car or SUV you're after.

In the U.S., the automaker sells the A-, C-, E-, and S-Class sedans. There's also the Mercedes-Maybach sedan line and the E-Clas wagon. The CLA, C-Class, E-Class, CLS, S-Class, and Mercedes-AMG GT (two- and four-door) all have coupe variants.

There are C-, E-, and S-Class cabriolets as well as the SLC and SL roadster and a convertible version of the Mercedes-AMG GT.

As for SUVs, the lineup includes the GLA, GLB, GLC, GLE, GLS, and G-Class. Mercedes offers coupe versions of the GLC and GLE.

No. 8 - Lexus

2021 Lexus LS

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

The Lexus lineup has been rather stagnant lately (with the exception of the ES) but that's about to change. The company just showed off a redesigned IS, and a number of SUV upgrades look to be in the pipeline. Lexus still sells the RC and LS cars.

No. 7 - Chevrolet

2022 Chevrolet Traverse Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Chevrolet's lineup is undergoing a redo. The Sonic, Spark, Malibu, and Impala cars may be available on dealer lots now, but most won't make it another model year. The Bolt EV, Trax, and Blazer are sticking around. Chevy's Camaro and Corvette are still sports car options (the 'Vette was just redesigned).

The company has introduced the Trailblazer, refreshed the Equinox, and plans to bring the new Tahoe and Suburban to market this year. The Colorado will undergo a refresh for 2021 and the Silveradoand Silverado HD have been recently redesigned.

No. 6 - Kia

2021 Kia Rio

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The Kia lineup is more diverse than it has ever been. The company now offers the Rio, Forte, Optima, Stinger, Cadenza, and K900 sedans as well as a roster of other models including the Soul, Seltos, Sportage, Niro, Sorento, Telluride, and Sedona. The automaker recently debuted redesigned versions of the Optima/K5, Sorento, and Sedona.

No. 5 - Ford

2019 Ford F-150 Raptor

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford recently slimmed their lineup as the company's focused shifted toward next-gen models. Still, there's a number of competitive offerings. Fusion and Mustang are their only cars. The SUV and crossover lineup includes the EcoSport, Escape, Edge, Explorer, Expedition, and Mustang Mach-E. Some Flex models remain on automaker lots. The Ranger, F-150, and Super Duty round out the trucks lineup while the vans offered are the Transit and Transit Connect. The Ford GT is still sold in limited quantities.

No. 4 - RAM

2020 Ram 1500 Built to Serve Edition Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Ram sells just two models, the Ram 1500 and Ram HD trucks. The 1500 has recently been redesigned and the Ram HD models underwent a refresh. Word on the street is that a midsize truck could soon join the ranks.

No. 3 - Honda

2019 Honda Passport Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Mfg. Inc.

The Honda lineup now include the CR-V Hybrid. It also has the Civic, Accord, Ridgeline, Passport, Pilot, CR-V, Insight, and HR-V. The Honda Odyssey minivan is getting a facelift for the 2021 model year. Look for a redesigned Pilot to debut soon as well.

No. 2 - Toyota

2020 Toyota Tacoma Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Toyota delivers a lot of what customers are looking for. Its lineup includes the Yaris, 86, Supra, Corolla, Camry, and Avalon cars as well as the CH-R, RAV4, Highlander, Land Cruiser, and Sequoia. The company also sells the Tacoma and Tundra trucks. They recently announced that they would be selling a plug-in version of the RAV4 and bringing back the Venza nameplate for 2021.

No. 1 - Subaru

Subaru Crosstrek Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

Subaru introduced new Forester, Legacy, and Outback models in the last 18 months. They've also added the Ascent three-row SUV to their lineup and are gearing up to launch a refreshed Crosstrek. The WRX and BRZ are also slated to be made over sooner rather than later.

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New sports car

2022 Subaru BRZ pricing announced

The BRZ is all-new for 2022.

Subaru

Earlier this year, Subaru announced the all-new BRZ sports car, which is coming this fall to replace the previous generation of the car that was discontinued in 2020. It, along with its Toyota cousin, the 86, get more power, updated interiors, and better technology than their predecessors.

The BRZ Premium is the base trim of the car. It starts at $28,955 after destination. Adding an automatic transmission drives the price up by $1,600 to $30,555. The BRZ Limited starts at $31,455 after destination, which shifts to $33,255 with an automatic transmission.


2022 Subaru BRZ The BRZ's compact size and manual transmission make it enthusiast friendly.


The 2022 BRZ gets a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine that produces 228 horsepower. Part of the appeal of small, sporty cars like BRZ is that they are infinitely more fun to drive than larger, more computerized vehicles. To that end, the car comes standard with a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission. Buyers can opt to swap in a six-speed automatic transmission, but that almost defeats the point of the car. A Torsen limited-slip differential, vehicle stability control with track mode, and 17-inch wheels round out the car's standard performance features.

Inside, the BRZ comes with an 8-inch touchscreen that runs Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, SiriusXM radio, and dual-zone automatic climate controls. A new gauge cluster display can show amps, coolant temperatures, or the car's lateral g-forces, and when track mode is engaged, the tachometer shifts from a circular to a color linear graph.


2022 Subaru BRZ An updated interior and tech are highlights of the new BRZ,

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All-new SUV

2022 Acura MDX Review

The MDX is all-new for 2022.

Acura

Acura is an interesting company. Its vehicles have long been sort of an afterthought compared to Japanese luxury heavy-hitter Lexus, but the brand offers a sporty, upscale alternative to the plush rollers from elsewhere in the country. The MDX is Acura's flagship vehicle, and though it skipped the 2021 model year altogether, the vehicle that landed for 2022 is worth the wait.

I spent a week testing the 2022 MDX, putting it through its paces, first as a family SUV, and then as a sporty alternative to other traditional luxury options. I liked the previous MDX, but found its infotainment to be too complicated and its third-row seats to be too cramped. The SUV's latest iteration addresses those problems and more – at least partially. Let's take a look at what's what.

2022 Acura MDX Features and Driving Impressions

The MDX starts at just under $47,000, and reaches just over $60,000 in its top Advance Package. My test vehicle landed at the top end of that spectrum, but the base MDX's list of features will likely be enough to make most people happy. The standard 12.3-inch infotainment screen, digital gauge cluster, extensive advanced safety equipment, and spacious interior make the entry-level MDX quite the compelling vehicle.


2022 Acura MDX The 2022 MDX features sleek styling.Acura


Though we're looking at a brand-new SUV here, Acura opted to leave the previous model's engine in place. The tried-and-true 3.5-liter V6 makes 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque, but now comes with an impossibly smooth ten-speed automatic transmission instead of the nine-speed seen in 2020's MDX. The engine, while unimpressive on paper, is strong enough to pull the three-row MDX to 60 mph from a standstill in 6.4 seconds – quicker than I, or anyone else, should hope to go with a family in tow. Additionally, the engine is so smooth and so well in tune with the MDX's chassis that it's impossible to want for more. Of course, the world being what it is, Acura will give you more. If you're willing to wait, the MDX Type S will hit the streets later in 2021 with 355 horsepower from a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6.

It's easy to assume that the 2022 MDX is just another frumpy family hauler, but that's not entirely the case. Acura gave the vehicle an all-new chassis that the brand says is actually a light truck platform that has been tuned to target the driving dynamics of a sports sedan. That, combined with a double wishbone front suspension and a multilink rear suspension system, help the new MDX handle like a much smaller vehicle while retaining a family-friendly ride in most circumstances. Steering is noticeably assisted, but not to the point of feeling too light or disconnected.

2022 MDX Technology

Acura ditched the overwhelming dual-screen infotainment setup seen in previous MDX models for a single screen and touchpad controller – similar to the system that comes in the smaller RDX. Though it's easier to use than the screen-on-screen system, the touchpad takes longer to learn than it should. Over time, however, it's likely to become more intuitive than I could give it credit for in a short week of testing. The 12.3-inch unit runs wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and comes with a Wi-Fi hotspot, Amazon Alexa capabilities, and Bluetooth. A Qi wireless charging pad is standard as well, but depending on how you like to charge your smartphone you might end up with a confusing pairing situation. My preference is to charge with a cable, which caused wireless Apple CarPlay to disconnect my iPhone in favor of a wired connection, but this didn't happen all the time. The sometimes-connected-sometimes-not situation was frustrating and confusing, so it's probably best to charge with the wireless pad if you choose to use wireless CarPlay.


2022 Acura MDX The MDX's interior is an extremely nice place to spend time.Acura


My tester's Advance Package meant that I had access to even more tech. There was a 10.5-inch head-up display, an ELS Studio 3D premium audio system with 16 speakers, and charging ports in the second and third rows. When it comes to safety tech, however, everyone gets in on the party. Acura includes a load of advanced safety features as standard gear on the 2022 MDX, which includes forward collision warnings, collision mitigation braking, lane departure warnings, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and traffic sign recognition.

2022 MDX Safety

That list of features and stellar crash test scores helped the MDX achieve a Top Safety Pick + designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The agency scored the MDX Good in all crashworthiness categories and Superior in both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention with the standard safety systems.


2022 Acura MDX The MDX is a solid premium family hauler.Acura


The MDX was already a compelling vehicle with great standard features and attractive styling, and the updates have only made the Acura's case stronger. The new ten-speed automatic transmission and chassis tuning have made the family-hauler an engaging vehicle to drive, but haven't in any way compromised its ability to do the boring "SUV stuff" well. On top of that, the MDX matches or beats many of its competitors on fuel economy, returning up to 26 mpg on the highway, and let's not forget about safety scores, which for any family should be top of mind.


2022 Acura MDX The MDX is sporty but refined.Acura

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