Loveable brands, ‘Must Drive’ awards, unanswered recalls

There are a lot of good auto blogs online, and we think the RoadLoans blog is one of them.

What readers may not realize is that RoadLoans is a direct-lending program of Santander Consumer USA (SC), which also has a blog providing more content intended to engage, inform and entertain readers interested in news and trends about or related to cars, trucks and SUVs.

Following are snippets of recent content, and links to the SC posts if you want to read more:


Customer service made a big difference for Buick owners in a J.D. Power survey.


Top brands for customer service

Lexus and Buick.

Brands that you wouldn’t necessarily think have much in common.

But one thing Lexus and Buick do share is recognition by J.D. Power as having the highest customer satisfaction among luxury and mainstream brands, respectively.

JDP’s U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, based on a survey of more than 70,000 owners and lessees, measures customer satisfaction with service at franchised dealers or independent service facilities for maintenance or repair work on vehicles ranging from one to five years old.



12 new vehicles to test drive

If you’re shopping for a new vehicle, Autotrader’s “Must Test Drive Awards” are for you.

The winners are a dozen vehicles – cars, SUVs, a truck and a minivan – that the car-shopping website says are “so unexpectedly good that they will change the way a consumer perceives not only that particular model, but even the entire segment or brand.”

Autotrader limited its list to vehicles available for $75,000 or less, offer some unexpected benefit or feature, provide good value, and are available to the general public for purchase. Read about the most affordable vehicles – half are priced under $40,000 – with commentary provided by Autotrader.



10 brands shoppers love most

Many Subaru owners will tell you how much they love their vehicles.

Even if they didn’t, it apparently shows.

For the second consecutive year, mainstream automaker Subaru has earned the title of Best Overall Brand in the Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards. Subaru also was named Most Trusted Brand and Best Performance Brand, two of 10 awards besides the overall honors.

Meanwhile, Ford claimed the top spot as Best Overall Truck brand for the fourth year in a row and eighth time in nine years, while Lexus was named Best Luxury Brand for the second straight year.



Why many don’t heed recalls

Americans have a vehicle-recall problem.

And it’s not necessarily the number of recalls – although that has been rising in recent years.

A big problem is that millions of vehicle owners don’t get their vehicles repaired for reasons ranging from the expectation that dealerships will try to sell additional repairs to not knowing whether the recall applies to their vehicle or who to contact after getting a recall notice.

“There is general recognition of the problem of low response rates,” according to Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).



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