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When you ask me about the best-loved or most desirable car brands, I doubt I would think of Genesis. And a recent study of 32 automakers’ online reputations ranked Genesis dead last. But when Consumer Reports sent surveys to owners of recent vehicles to ask them about their experience, it found Genesis among the most loved brands, outranking even Lexus.

Widewail is a business consulting firm that specializes in SEO-minded review response. Its uniquely qualified to sort through all the reviews of an automaker and their dealers to rank its reputation. It looked at reviews of dealerships as well as reviews of the total experience of owning a Genesis car. In this case, remember that dealership experience reviews are not always by actual customers. What’s more, a lot of chatter about one bad dealership can drive down a brand’s reputation. With that in mind, let’s look at Genesis’ reputation by the numbers.

According to reviews, the brand’s greatest strengths were knowledge of employees (mentioned in 21.93% of positive reviews) and price of its vehicles (mentioned in 9.66% of positive reviews). Price isn’t as big a strength as with some competitors, but reportedly a strength nonetheless. A ton of positive reviews (46%) mentioned the sales department by name and even more positive reviews (58%) called out the overall staff.

A man inspects the tire on a car
Inspecting tires | Tzido via iStock

So what about Genesis’ weaknesses? The top of the list is its dealer service departments. A whopping 58.13% of negative reviews mentioned them by name. What were the problems? Well 43.5% of negative reviews called out communication. Loaner cars were mentioned in 8.59% of negative reviews. That may sound low, but it didn’t really come up for other automakers.

We can drill down a bit further: Genesis’ best selling 2023 model was the GV70. It got an average rating of 4.1 out of 5. To be blunt, that’s not great. It lands at 29/31 out of all the top-selling models.

But drivers who bought a Genesis in the past three years told Consumer Reports a very different story. In fact, 73% of current Genesis owners say they would absolutely buy their car again. That is a higher percentage than owners of Subarus, Hondas, Toyotas, Acuras, or Volvos. Of 29 brands, Genesis earned sixth place. (It lost out to EVs Tesla and Rivian as well as sports cars Mini, BMW, and Porsche).

Why did these owners love their Genesis cars? They gave them top marks in comfort, which includes seat comfort, cabin noise, and ride comfort. They also ranked them near the top in the driving experience, which includes handling and acceleration. Genesis also did fairly well in usability. That includes features such as climate controls, the gear selector, and infotainment. Even though it wasn’t Genesis’ best category, an “okay” score was enough to outrank every other automaker.

So there you have it. It seems like Genesis makes a comparatively great car. Owners say they perform well, are comfortable, and are more “usable” than anything on the road. But there are also many complaints about Genesis’ service departments, especially about how they communicate with customers.

Learn about the genesis of the Genesis brand in the video below:


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