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10 Best Mainstream Car Brands In Customer Service - See Where Subaru Ranks Now

Which car brands offer the best service department quality? Check out the ten best mainstream automakers and where Subaru ranks this year.


Which automakers offer the best service department quality, and where does Subaru of America rank? Subaru has improved significantly and is now the number one mainstream car brand in the 2023 J.D. Power Customer Service Index (CSI) study.

What is Subaru's customer service like after driving a 2023 Crosstrek, Outback, Forester, Ascent, or another all-wheel-drive Subaru model off the retailer's lot? J.D. Power says Subaru ranks ahead of all mainstream car brands for the first time.

2023 Subaru J.D. Power CSI
photo credit: Michael's Subaru

The J.D. Power study measures customer satisfaction for maintenance or repair work among owners and lessees of one- to three-year-old Subaru vehicles. The CSI study measures five areas, combining weighted scores into a composite number for each brand. The five weighted areas are service quality, service adviser, vehicle pickup, service facility, and service initiation.

How is Subaru doing in customer service?

You can have the best car, but it can ruin your new car experience if the service is lousy. Subaru moved from seventh place last year to first place this year in the mainstream car brand's overall customer satisfaction index ranking.

2023 Subaru J.D. Power CSI

photo credit: Michael's Subaru

Based on a 1,000-point scale, the overall mainstream brand customer service average satisfaction score in the 2023 CSI study was 842. Subaru has shown continual improvement over the past five years. Subaru of America retailers scored 866 points this year, up from 852 points in 2022 and 843 points in 2021. In 2020, Subaru scored 831 overall for mainstream brands, and in 2019 Subaru scored 829.

The top 10 mainstream car brands in customer service

Subaru ranks highest in the mass market (non-luxury) car segment (866). Mazda (863) ranks second, and Honda (855) ranks third. They are followed by Chevrolet, Nissan, Ford, Dodge, Mini, Toyota, and Kia, which round out the top ten.

"As the electric vehicle segment grows, service is going to be a 'make or break' part of the ownership experience," said Chris Sutton, vice president of automotive retail at J.D. Power.

Why Subaru is making steady progress in CSI

Subaru dealers in the U.S. started receiving significant incentives from Subaru Corporation in 2013 to expand and renovate their service-shop capacity in a new program called Fixed Operations Expansion, or FOX. Subaru says almost two-thirds of its U.S. dealerships have used the money to expand their service-shop capacity.

2023 Subaru J.D. Power CSI
photo credit: Michael's Subaru

You would rather be enjoying your Subaru.

Your time is valuable, and you want to get your vehicle in and out as fast as possible to enjoy your new Subaru. In addition, you want to be treated courteously by a knowledgeable service advisor and have a clean, comfortable waiting area where you can relax or work on your laptop. You also want to be charged a fair price for routine maintenance and repairs.

Because Subaru of America grew so fast before COVID, many retailers outgrew their facilities. As a result, service department expansion was vital to keep new customers happy and returning. Subaru's FOX program paid off because Subaru just moved from seventh place overall among mainstream car brands to first overall.

Suppose an all-wheel-drive 2023 Subaru Crosstrek, Outback, Forester, Ascent, or other new model is on your shopping list. In that case, current customers are even more satisfied than in previous years with their service department experience, according to the 2023 J.D. Power CSI study.

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2024 Subaru Outback WildernessDenis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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Photo credit: Michael's Subaru