Quality is in the Eye of the Beholder: Porsche Macan Edges Tesla Model S, Leads Industry

Several new or redesigned models are leaders in Total Quality while the gracefully-aging Tesla Model S has lost its top spot in the industry, according to the results of Strategic Vision’s 2017 Total Quality Impact™ (TQI) measure. The revolutionary sports car now ranks second in the industry to the Porsche Macan.

Alexander Edwards, President of Strategic Vision, says, “Tesla buyers have been very enthusiastic about the performance and innovation characteristics of the Model S for the past five years. Today, there are still many customers seeking top-of-the-line driving dynamics and performance, which helped the Macan speed to first this year.” Edwards continues, “This is also why in our autonomous driving studies there is such a negative response to a fully autonomous vehicle. Only 23% of people think that a completely self-driving car is an excellent idea, while 54% hate the idea or think it is unsatisfactory. Obviously, many car owners still want control and speed! They want to be James Bond or Batman. In the Porsche and Tesla, they can become them.”

While the Macan and Model S battle for the industry lead, other models ride newfound enthusiasm to the top of their segments. Genesis, Hyundai’s new luxury brand, has had an extremely successful debut with its flagship sedan, the G90. Chrysler has given minivan shoppers a breath of fresh air with a new alternative, the Pacifica. With their newly redesigned and aluminized F-250/350, Ford has shown that there is plenty of potential in the truck market if a brand innovates properly. Honda’s 10th generation Civic built an exciting vehicle on top of Honda’s already rock-solid foundation of reliability, and swept two competitive small vehicle segments. And the re-forged Mazda CX-9 won behind high marks in its thoughtfully-executed design, styling, and performance.

PORSCHE MACAN

It may not be an expensive flagship model, but its diverse set of buyers agree: this is the best vehicle around. “Typically, with more entry-level luxury models, we see higher scores because a younger crowd comes in and is overjoyed that they are finally luxury vehicle owners,” says Karl Miller, Director of Marketing at Strategic Vision. “But what we see with the Macan is that everyone loves this CUV, independent of age, income level, or previous experience with Porsche. It doesn’t have any temporary circumstances where we’ll see enthusiasm subside. It’s simply a fantastic vehicle.”

The Macan has performed very well in all of Strategic Vision’s metrics since it came out in 2014, and it should continue to be a strong contender in the coming years.

DETROIT CONTINUES ITS SURGE

A decade ago, manufacturers based in Detroit struggled to win even a quarter of the available Total Quality Awards each year. Led by Chevrolet’s five awards in this year’s report, Detroit has more than half of the winning models (14 out of 27).

This did not happen overnight. Gradual and steady progress has been made over the years to become leaders in quality once again. Among other reasons, this has been accomplished by shoring up reliability issues, focusing on meaningful innovative advancements (especially those that involve styling or powertrain), and establishing a “home field advantage” in the truck and sports car markets.

SUBARU STAYS STRONG

Another great success story over the last decade has been the emergence of Subaru. Before 2008, it would have been hard to imagine Subaru winning a Total Quality Award for Best Mass-Market Brand two straight years. Then they began their “Love” advertising campaign and have since more than tripled their market share, becoming a classic case study in the power of emographic research and messaging.

Our data shows that Subaru’s vehicles are good, quality products. To many buyers, however, their Subaru represents much more than a collection of parts that will get them safely from Point A to Point B. It represents Love, one of the most powerful emotional connections we have, and the crowning characteristic of loyalty.

This love, like enthusiasm, enhances the owner’s experience as it amplifies the positive aspects and overlooks the minor negative ones. Each person has their own preferences, priorities, and unique emotional connection to their vehicle, which is why quality truly is in the eye of the beholder.

Here is the full list of Total Quality Award winners:

       
Small Car Honda Civic Sedan 559
Small Hatchback Honda Civic Hatchback 564
Small Alternative Powertrain (APT) Car Ford C-MAX Hybrid 545
Mid-Size Car Nissan Altima 606
Mid-Size Hatchback Subaru Outback 596
Mid-Size APT Car Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid 601
Full-Size Car Dodge Charger 684
Near-Luxury Car Chevrolet SS 678
Near-Luxury APT Car Lincoln MKZ Hybrid 629
Luxury Car Genesis G90 761
Specialty Coupe MINI Cooper 4-Door Hardtop 729
Premium Coupe Chevrolet Corvette Coupe 755
Standard Convertible Ford Mustang Convertible 704
Premium Convertible/Roadster Chevrolet Corvette Convertible 748
Standard Pickup Chevrolet Colorado 551
Full-Size Pickup Toyota Tundra 612
Heavy Duty Pickup Ford F-250/350 698
Entry SUV Jeep Wrangler 564
Entry CUV Subaru Crosstrek 580
Mid-Size SUV Dodge Durango 664
Mid-Size CUV Mazda CX-9 632
Full-Size Utility GMC Yukon XL 714
Near-Luxury Utility Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 5-Door 656
Luxury SUV Lexus GX 679
Luxury CUV Porsche Macan 777
Premium APT Utility Tesla Model X 756
Minivan Chrysler Pacifica 494
Brand Under $26,000 Volkswagen 524
Mass-Market Brand Subaru 566
Luxury Brand BMW 650
Full-Line Corporation Volkswagen Group of America 575
 

Strategic Vision’s 23rd annual Total Quality Impact (TQI) report is based on results from the New Vehicle Experience Study® (NVES) surveying over 42,000 Jul.-Dec. new vehicle buyers after the first 90 days of ownership. It incorporates the impact of problems with the vehicle as well as the drivers’ analytical and emotional evaluations of quality. For further information contact Alexander Edwards or Christopher Chaney at (858) 576-7141, or visit our website at www.strategicvision.com.