Reliability, value, comfort—all these things and more matter when you’re going car shopping. However, even if a new car checks all your boxes on paper, that doesn’t mean you’ll like driving it. Sometimes, it’s the flawed or imperfect cars that you really want. But regardless of what blend of factors influences your car buying decisions, your goal is long-term satisfaction. And based on its readers’ responses, Consumer Reports claims that the four new cars described below spark the most joy.
The Consumer Reports survey says, the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette is the most satisfying new car
If you need proof that reliability is overrated to some, look no further than the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette. It scored poorly in Consumer Reports’ reliability testing, but Corvette owners named it the most satisfying new car to own. Actually, with 97% of owners saying they’d buy another one, the Corvette isn’t just Consumer Reports’ most satisfying car, it’s the most satisfying vehicle, period.
So, why does the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette leave its owners smitten even if it breaks? As with most sports cars, because of how it drives. With its mid-engine RWD layout, the C8 Corvette has a supercar-like design to match its supercar-like looks. And it has the handling and exhaust note to back both up.
No, the 2022 Corvette doesn’t have the most standard safety features, nor is it the most practical new car. But neither matters much to the average sports car buyer. What they want is “a potent dose of joie de vivre,” CR notes, reliability be damned. And based on the owner surveys, the C8 is happy to provide.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata isn’t just Consumer Reports’ #1 roadster, it’s a supremely satisfying new sports car
Reliability isn’t inherently necessary for new car satisfaction, but that doesn’t mean it’s not appreciated. And it’s just one reason why the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata ranks high in owner satisfaction. According to the Consumer Reports surveys, 89% of Miata owners said they’d buy another MX-5. That makes it the #2 most satisfying vehicle to own, placing it just ahead of the Kia Telluride SUV.
But it’s not just owners that praise the lithe little roadster. It’s Consumer Reports’ #1 sports car, not to mention one of the best new convertibles full-stop. Nor is the Miata’s reliable nature its only strength. It’s also affordably priced, inexpensive to maintain, stylish, and, oh yeah, fun to drive.
As noted earlier, new sports car buyers tend to value driving fun over other, more ‘practical’ car-buying factors. However, the 2022 Mazda Miata offers that and more. So, it’s not that surprising to see its owners so satisfied.
Ford Mustang owners love their ponies
Considering Consumer Reports ranked the 2022 Ford Mustang as its worst sports car, it might seem odd to see its owners so satisfied. Yet according to the surveys, 84% of Mustang owners would put another in their driveway. Admittedly, the Mustang Mach-E crossover ranks slightly higher on the overall satisfaction scale, but the coupe is still in the top 10.
So, what makes the 2022 Mustang such a satisfying new car? For one, as low as Consumer Reports rated it, the Mustang delivered near-perfect performance scores. That especially applies to models like the Mach 1 and Shelby GT500. And you don’t have to pay GT500 prices to get enjoyable levels of performance out of a Mustang.
Secondly, even though the Dodge Challenger recently beat it in raw sales, the Mustang is an American icon. It’s recognizable and desirable, and you don’t see these words often associated with logical car buying. But that level of emotional appeal often trumps mere rationality.
So, while it’s not the best new sports car, the 2022 Mustang certainly has what it takes to be one of the most enjoyable.
The Tesla Model 3 is the most satisfying new electric car to own, Consumer Reports claims
Consumer Reports’ ‘most satisfying new cars’ list may contain several sports cars, but it also has some EVs. And in addition to the Mach-E, the Tesla Model 3 gets a significant amount of love. It didn’t beat the Mach-E in Consumer Reports’ surveys like in J.D. Power’s study, but still, 85% of Model 3 owners would buy it again.
As with some of the sports cars on Consumer Reports’ list, it might seem odd for the Tesla Model 3 to be so beloved. Yes, it’s a compelling EV, but Model 3s have suffered several quality problems, including one that was delivered without brake pads. And that’s on top of all the problems ‘Full Self-Driving’ (which isn’t a self-driving suite) introduces.
However, Tesla fans are a devoted bunch even beyond the usual commitment level of typical EV owners. They like the brand and what it represents to the public, such as the perception of status and cutting-edge technology. And for all its faults, the Model 3 is a solid, affordable, and efficient new electric car. As such, it appeals both to the brain and the heart—a solid formula for satisfaction.
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