Although J.D. Power recently declared Hyundai as the brand with the most loyal customers in 2011, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) seems to disagree, as their recent report picked Toyota as the top brand.
The research firms used different data points to come to their conclusions, which accounts for the discrepancy. J.D. Power primarily interviewed buyers before September, which didn't account for Toyota selling more vehicles after it fully recovered from the Japanese earthquake. KBB, which issues its reports quarterly, had Hyundai as the top brand for most of the year, but says Toyota edged out the South Korean automaker in the fourth quarter. Both measure loyalty by seeing if a driver goes to the same brand twice in a row, but KBB only requires that the buyer consider the brand while shopping on its website to qualify as "loyal."
In the end, KBB found that Toyota and Hyundai were separated by just 0.4 percentage points, but the Japanese automaker was at the top. Ford placed third overall, followed by Kia and Honda, the latter of which jumped past Subaru to get back into the top five.
Whether you plan on going back to the same brand or want a completely new model, auto maintenance for your current vehicle is important. Taking care of car repairs before you visit the dealership can increase the value of your trade-in.