2016 – 4WD and SUVs Ratings

You are viewing the archived 2016 ratings for 4WD & SUVs. Go to the current 4WD & SUVs ratings.

Do you want to get adventures with a brand new SUV or four-wheel drive? Compare brands to find the right vehicle for your needs.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Toyota leads the way in SUV/4WD satisfaction


Australia is famous for adventure, whether it’s on beaches, the open road or rough terrain. So it’s no surprise that many of us choose to go supersize with our new set of wheels. Owning an SUV or four-wheel drive opens up all sorts of driving possibilities and also makes getting about town a whole lot more comfortable and convenient. If you’ve recently made a trip to your local hardware or furniture store, you’ll know exactly what we mean.

But with so many major brands flexing their muscles in the bigger car department, how do you which way to turn? To help you find your way, Canstar Blue surveyed more than 600 motorists who have purchased a new SUV or 4WD in the last three years, to find out how they rate their vehicles across a range of important categories, including service, reliability, driving experience and value for money. There were some strong performances across the board, but only Toyota achieved the most important five-star rating of all, for overall customer satisfaction.

Toyota is comfortably the biggest selling car brand in Australia, with figures from November 2015 showing the Japanese manufacturer sold almost double the number of vehicles as its closest rivals. Our results are based purely on satisfaction scores, not market share, but it’s interesting to find that what is clearly the most common brand is also the highest rated, with the Toyota LandCruiser, Prado and Kluger proving hugely popular in the SUV market.

Why buy an SUV/4WD?

There are numerous reasons why someone might want to buy an SUV or 4WD. Of the owners who took part in our survey, we found that 29% did so because they have a large family, while 13% admitted they just wanted to feel powerful on the road. And what about the adventurous types? We found that 62% of owners have gone four-wheel driving in the last 12 months.

What drives SUV/4WD satisfaction?

The SUV/4WD owners we surveyed spent an average of $40,074 on their latest set of wheels, but what are the most significant factors when it comes to determining their satisfaction? We found the drivers of satisfaction for SUV/4WD owners to be as follows:

  • Driving experience: 33%
  • After sales service: 25%
  • Point of sale service: 19%
  • Value for money: 15%
  • Car servicing experience: 5%
  • Vehicle reliability: 3%

It’s interesting to find that driving experience is a more significant factor for owners of SUVs and 4WDs than it is for owners of sedans or small cars, for whom vehicle reliability is hugely important. Larger vehicles tend to be more of an aspirational purchase for many motorists who are simply looking to ‘live life to the max’ with their SUV/4WD, while drivers who own a smaller car are perhaps more concerned about getting around town without any problems.

If you’re in the market for a new SUV or 4WD, we hope that our star ratings are helpful at the start of your journey. Click here to find out which brand topped our overall new car satisfaction ratings.

Frequently asked questions

Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 9,000 Australian consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have bought a brand new SUV or four wheel drive from a dealership in the last three years – in this case, 668 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

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