More precisely, Consumer Reports has recently issued a report card about the ten most satisfying cars and SUVs – vehicles that are so good that CR members would buy or lease again. Their latest owner satisfaction survey is here, and the trend is simple – automakers who produce models that “deliver the promised performance, efficiency, roominess, luxury, and/or comfort are the ones owners will readily buy again.” Also, the other trend is towards continuously raising the bar, of course.
It’s not entirely surprising, although the list does contain some exciting choices. In last place – but entirely honorably – is the quirky Hyundai Ioniq 6 – a fully electric sedan vying to take the fight to the refreshed Tesla Model 3. By the way, despite being one of the best-selling cars in America last year, it isn’t on the list, alongside its best-selling sibling Tesla Model Y.
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 has 81 percent of owners who would buy or lease it again. Very close to it are the Honda Pilot and Kia Telluride with 82% – two crossover SUVs with three rows of places and good design plus lots of practical features – what’s not to love about them? Next up, at 83%, is another surprise – Ford’s Maverick Hybrid, which has garnered more sales last year than its bigger F-150 PowerBoost brother, by the way!
No worries, we are not done. The first all-electric vehicle is the Rivian R1S at 84 percent, and the BMW X5 (85%) creeps in between the big EV SUV and the interesting Lexus NX plug-in hybrid with 87 percent. From now on, we are on the podium where in third place – entirely unsurprisingly – the iconic Mazda MX-5 Miata (88%) resides. For sure, its numerous qualities are well known, and it needs no presentation. On the other hand, the Rivan R1T (also at 88%) is quite possibly the biggest surprise of the entire survey – especially since the R1S is also an entry into the top ten list.
Last but not least comes the 2024 C8 Chevy Corvette – America’s sports car – which is at the top with 93%, and the crown is well-deserved. Now in its fifth model year, the C8 was reinvented as a mid-engine RWD and recently eAWD model that could easily go toe-to-toe with Europe’s famed sports and supercars. It’s dubbed as a Ferrari killer nowadays but also hasn’t forgotten its street manners or the option to give anyone a lesson at the local quarter-mile dragstrip – either in stock or heavily modified form.
The 2024 Chevy Corvette starts from $68,300 in Stingray form and then jumps all the way up to $104,900 in E-Ray form or $112,700 with Z06 grunt under the hood – but they’re all well worth it given their credentials. They also cater to customers from three directions – the Stingray is the quintessential Corvette in a novel mid-engine format, the first-ever E-Ray should be the Corvette usable all year long, including at the track, and the record-breaking Z06 is a statement of Team Corvette’s technical prowess.
More versions are coming, also – in the form of the next ZR1 boasting turbocharged greatness and a possible electrified Zora variant that may ultimately make the Corvette both a supercar and hypercar killer. That’s all fine and dandy, but what happens when you can’t afford the satisfaction of owning a sports car that nowadays costs in excess of $70k? No worries, I have a potential solution – although that involves petitioning Toyota to bring a Gazoo Racing model they don’t want to be seen in America.
Yep, you guessed correctly, I am talking about the newly updated 2024 Toyota GR Yaris. One of the most beloved pocket-sized hot hatchbacks that graced the tarmac somewhere around Japan, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Mexico, Argentina, or Taiwan – but not the United States, it recently went through the classic mid-cycle facelift.
With it, TGR gifted the little rascal at the 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon a lot more power – rising from 272 ps (268 hp) to 304 ps (300 hp) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) in Japan , the same as in the GR Corolla (Europe gets lower values – the rise is from 261 to 280 hp). Naturally, that makes it prone to being faster than its compact hot hatch sibling – especially now that it also boasts a feisty eight-speed automatic transmission for the first time. Of course, Toyota will probably never bring the feistier GR Yaris to America because if it did, there would be few arguments in favor of the GR Corolla other than the additional rear space for family and friends.
As such, I reckon that – if available – Toyota’s GR Yaris would easily top CR’s next survey about owner satisfaction – it’s almost as nimble as the rally version, it has both a manual and an automatic, an excellent AWD system, and also the tendency to get the pistons through the hood as it revs up happily to the red line! So, would you like to see it reach the United States, just like I would?