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The 10 Cars & Trucks Most Loved By Repeat Buyers

Updated May 26, 2018

Making a repeat car purchase is a impenetrable blend of emotion and mental math. Here are the 10 car most repurchased by owners. Be prepared to be shocked.

Experian, the same company that determines your creditworthiness also collects highly detailed data about new car sales transaction. One result they’re able to pull from their database is the percentage of owners of a vehicle come back into the dealer and purchase the same (but newer) vehicle. Like we said, there are few surprises in here.

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10. Subaru Forester
It’s not so much surprising to find a Subaru on this list, what’s more surprising are some of the cars further up the list. But we’ll get to them in a moment. Subaru has consistently enjoyed some of the top brand loyalty in the industry, and that applies to the popular Subaru Forester crossover SUV brings owners back into showrooms at the rate of 41.1% (my own father has bought two!).

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9. Kia Soul
There’s no better proof that Kia is attracting empty-nesters with its Soul than the hip young crowd it had hoped than its place on this list. Like the Honda Element before it, it was rejected by hipsters and adopted by the grey hair set, as it’s  practical and affordable, and can be loaded up with  features the AARP crowd appreciate like a heated steering wheel and heated/cooled front seats. Young people who would purchase a Soul as a first car would trade it in on something larger and/or more expensive, which leaves older buyers to account for the 42 percent repeat customers.

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8. Hyundai Genesis
Genesis will soon represent an alternative to Lexus and Infiniti owners, at least Hyundai hopes so. Originally launched as the Genesis sedan, the South Korean company has taken the name for its expanding luxury car line-up. So now the Genesis becomes the Genesis G80.  Brand or model, Hyundai is doing something right as Genesis has earned 42.5% consumer loyalty.

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7. Lexus RX 350
A perfectly ordinary mid-sized, two-row crossover SUV with the Lexus names and Toyota reputation. Available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, the RX 350 is based on the Camry “K” platform. Regardless of its origins, the Lexus RX 350 brings buyers back into showrooms at the rate of 42.7 percent.

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6. Ram 1500

You knew there would be a pickup truck on this list, but I’ll bet you didn’t think it would be a Ram (instead of a Ford or a Chevy). Even though the Chevy has a much higher resale value, Ram buyers keep coming back to their Dodge dealers at a rate of 42.9 percent.

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5. Nissan Leaf

Nissan is having a tough time with the Leaf. Even though sales of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids have dropped (largely due to cheap gas – doesn’t anyone consider it’s going to go back up again?) the Leaf has lost more ground than any of its competitors. Nissan’s even brought back the old “free gas” promotion with a twist – two years of charging at selected public stations with a Leaf purchase. At least the current Leaf owners remain loyal, returning to buy another at the rate of 44%.

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4. Mercedes-Benz 2500 Sprinter Van

If you’ve never driven a Mercedes-Benz 2500 Sprinter, it’s hard to understand their popularity. I had the opportunity to borrow one for an IKEA run (90 mile round trip). The engine was surprisingly quiet with plenty of torque climbing hills, and it sipped diesel like it came through one of those tiny cocktail straws. Plus the seats were very comfortable and it ate what we assumed was a large load of semi-assembled furniture with room to spare for several crates of meatballs and lingonberries. These attributes explain the Sprinter’s  44.8 percent loyalty rate. Similar models from Ford and Ram debuted in recent years but trust me, they have a high bar to meet.

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3. Lincoln MKZ

Called me surprised by this one. Built on the same CD4 platform as the Ford Fusion, the MKZ had been subjected to some peculiar styling. It’s pretty much driven most customers away (enough so that it’s 2017 redesign makes it look like a Jaguar) but at a 44.8 percent return rate, the affordable luxury (made more affordable by boatloads on incentives) carries the day.

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2. Mercedes Benz S-Class

Not much to say here. If you’re Mercedes-Benz, and you have an established All Star with decades of goodwill, you better deliver on a positive ownership experience. And they have, with a customer return rate of 46.6%. And besides, where are these going to go anyway?

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1. Land Rover Range Rover

Here’s perhaps the biggest surprise on the list, the Land Rover Range Rover. Let’s face it, Land Rover products are not well-regarded for their reliability, and some of their lower-priced models had been real dogs. Now you and I would expect Swiss watch precision from a vehicle that lists for $84K to $173K. But we’re not their customers. Their customers are the Beckhams, who have people who work for them to deal with cars. Personally I think that Land Rover is due for a rude awakening when real European high-end luxury competitors start to launch and eat away at their 48.2 percent repeat business (after all, the bar’s not that high).

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Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. GearHeads.org gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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