HAPPY CUSTOMERS: Seeking satisfaction? Apparently you need a Mazda.
HAPPY CUSTOMERS: Seeking satisfaction? Apparently you need a Mazda.

Do you drive Australia's most satisfying car brand?

BOUGHT a Mazda recently? Chances are you're more satisfied with your purchase than buyers of all other rival brands in Australia.  

That's according to new figures announced in the inaugural J.D. Power Australia Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study, an independent study which used responses from 2477 Australian new-vehicle owners who bought their cars between September 2015 and June 2016.  

In fact, if you bought Japanese or Korean you're probably pretty chuffed as well: Honda and Hyundai came in joint second place and then Toyota in fourth.  

2016 Honda Civic RS. Photo: Contributed.
HAPPY HONDAS: The Japanese brand came joint second on the satisfaction survey.

The leading premium brands on the satisfaction index were BMW in 10th place and Audi in 12th, both with figures below the industry average.  

While the figures are interesting, due to a small or insufficient sample size, brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Suzuki, Jeep and Kia - massive sellers in our market - were left off the list.  

This suggests that to give a true marker of Australian buyers' new car satisfaction a much larger response pool is required in future to give us a more comprehensive picture.  

This takes nothing away from the achievements of the brands that came out on top, because as sales satisfaction should be something all brands strive for.  

2016 Hyundai i30 SRPhoto: Contributed
HYUNDAI SURGE: The Korean brand tied for second on the satisfaction survey. Mark Bramley

The six factors customers were asked to rate included their dealership's performance in terms of the helpfulness of the salesperson they dealt with, the deal they received, delivery timing, delivery process, dealer facility, and sales initiation.   

The study also found that almost a third (31%) of all new-vehicle buyers surveyed chose a dealer based on receiving the best deal or the lowest price. However, the study found that those customers generally did not receive a rewarding sales experience.  

"Customers who make the effort to find out more about their dealer stand to benefit from a better shopping experience," said Mohit Arora, regional vice president at J.D. Power.   

The power-packed BMW 340i.
WHERE WERE THE GERMANS? BMW was the highest ranked premium brand in 10th, but was below the industry average.

"It is far more gratifying for the customer to have the support of a reliable sales dealer in what may be the beginning of a long-term relationship - a relationship that also benefits the dealer, as the customer may recommend or even buy again from the same dealership in the future," Mr Arora said.  

Highlighting we're a nation well armed with information before visiting a showroom, more than 8 in 10 (84%) customers indicate they check the internet during the shopping process.    

Perhaps some of you even take the sage advice offered by motoring journalists?  

J.D. Power 2016 Australia Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study  

1. Mazda  840 (out of 1000)  

>2. Honda  832  

>2. Hyundai  832  

4. Toyota  825  

Industry average  817

5. Ford  815  

6. Volkswagen  813  

>7. Holden  812  

>7. Mitsubishi  812  

9. Subaru  791  

10. BMW  785  

11. Nissan  784  

12. Audi  749       

2016 Mazda MX-5 2.0-litre road trip in South East Queensland. Photo: Iain Curry / Sunshine Coast Daily
VICTORY LANE: Happiness in an MX-5? Oh yes. Iain Curry