Lexus and Subaru dealerships posted the highest average consumer ratings among luxury and mass-market brands on review site DealerRater over the past 12 months.
Lexus edged Mercedes-Benz and Porsche among the top three ranked luxury brands, while Subaru nipped Mini and Honda among mass-market brands, DealerRater CEO Gary Tucker said.
DealerRater looked at the star ratings earned by franchised dealerships of all brands in the 12 months ending March 31, 2015, to come up with this year’s Consumer Rating Index, Tucker said.
The index was based on 416,000 reviews left on DealerRater over that time by consumers who purchased vehicles or received service at new-car dealerships.
Lexus customers rated their experiences an average of 4.82 stars out of a possible 5 stars. Mercedes-Benz achieved 4.78 stars, and Porsche 4.75.
Subaru customers gave the brand’s dealerships 4.76 stars, on average, while Mini posted 4.75 stars, and Honda averaged 4.73 stars.
Lincoln finished last among luxury dealerships with a rating of 4.61 stars. Chrysler brand was last in the mass-market category with a 4.49 star rating.
Tucker said as consumers do more and more of their car-shopping online, they are consulting consumer reviews to decide where to buy their vehicles and get service.
“Increasingly, reviews are a part of the buying process,” Tucker said.
Since DealerRater’s founding in 2002, nearly 2 million people have reviewed U.S. dealerships on the site. It competes in the field with Google-plus, Yelp, Edmunds.com, Cars.com, SureCritic and CitySearch.
Autotrader.com announced late last year a partnership with DealerRater to begin posting consumer reviews from DealerRater on the Autotrader.com site.