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Consumer Reports provides predicted reliability ratings for hundreds of new vehicles yearly so car shoppers can make informed buying decisions. But did you know the consumer site also conducts surveys regarding owner satisfaction? CR polls owners on how much they like their cars. And this year’s survey results show one Volkswagen SUV is the least satisfying vehicle of 2023. Only 38% of owners said they would buy their Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport again. Here’s why.

How Consumer Reports determines owner satisfaction ratings

A silver 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport driving down the highway in a wooded area.
2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport | Volkswagen of America, Inc. Newspress Limited

Consumer Reports is an organization that collects and analyzes unbiased information about products and services, including cars. CR assesses vehicle reliability and polls owners regarding their satisfaction level.

Consumer Reports’ annual owner survey seeks insight into how satisfied drivers are with their vehicles and how much they like or dislike them. The questionnaire polls owners about various aspects of their cars. For instance, how comfortable is the vehicle, and how does it perform on the highway?

The survey helps CR compile a detailed overview of a vehicle’s quality. While a car could have a high predicted reliability rating, drivers might not find owning it satisfying. On the other hand, most owners might find a vehicle a joy to drive, but it has a low predicted reliability rating.

Consumer Reports’ goal is to provide car shoppers with comprehensive performance, reliability, and safety data so they can make informed buying decisions. It’s a look at how owners feel about the vehicle, not just the specs and features.

Most owners would not buy a Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport again

Consumer Reports recently released its roundup of the 10 least satisfying vehicles of 2023. Sitting at the bottom of the list is the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport. Only 38% of owners said they’d buy this model again. What happened?

CR asked owners to rate their overall satisfaction with the SUV on a scale of zero to 100. The Atlas Cross Sport earned a middling overall score and an average-to-low predicted reliability rating. Respondents also answered questions about other aspects of owning the vehicle, such as comfort level, driving experience, gas mileage, and reliability. 

In addition, owners might be asked how happy they are with the vehicle’s acceleration, braking, and handling. Some questions inquire about the vehicle’s interior quality and infotainment system. Participants may also be asked what problems they’ve had with the car and how the issue was resolved.

Once Consumer Reports receives responses, they’re analyzed to establish the overall satisfaction rating for every model. The rating is a composite of many factors, including the percentage of owners who said they were very happy with their vehicle, the average score for overall satisfaction, and the percentage of owners who would buy the vehicle again.

Other least satisfying vehicles of 2023, according to Consumer Reports owner surveys

What other vehicles made Consumer Reports’ list of the 10 least satisfying vehicles of 2023?

The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport isn’t the only VW model on the list. The Taos also appears, with only 48% of owners saying they would buy it again. Although this small SUV earned decent marks in Consumer Reports road testing, it received low predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings.  

Two Kia models also landed on the list. Only 51% of Kia Forte owners said they’d buy this model again. And only 48% said they’d be willing to purchase a Kia Seltos again.

Rounding out the list of the least satisfying vehicles of 2023 are the Nissan Altima, Nissan Kicks, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Mercedes-Benz GLB, Jeep Compass, and Infiniti QX50.


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