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What Keeps You Loyal To A Brand?

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,860
Not arguing brand vs brand here, but just the types of things that make you keep buying the same brand and not switching. (If that's what you do)

We've been buying Datsun/Nissan since 1979, mainly because the cars haven't done anything to us to make us look hard elsewhere. I suppose that falls under reliability.

Maybe it's more along the lines of direction of styling or some other factors.

What keeps you brand loyal?

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  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    Based on brands I have owned in the past:

    - Brands that tune more towards light and nimble (Honda/Acura, Mazda) or solid, hefty and built like tanks (MB)
    - Offering a range of manual gearboxes
    - Proven, high resale values (Honda/Acura, Benz)
    - Past positive ownership

    I'll look past the lack of incentives and higher MSRP if all of the criteria above are met.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,711
    I was going to post the holy grail of posts on that other discussion, one that would change the world for the better, one that would have had people discussing it for eons. but since you closed it down so quickly I guess I won't. :P

    Anyway, I have never been much of a "brand loyalty" type person. I buy what I like if the price is right. All all the new car purchases I have had I never bought two of the same make. With the exception of one car that I replaced with the same model after someone made a left turn in front of me when I only had the car less than two years. Other than that I have brand hopped.

    That being said I currently have a 2000 Elantra as a daily drive. I have had the best experience with it and I do like what Hyundais been doing since then, that may keep me in their fold for the next car. But hopefully my next car purchase won't be for another 3+ years so who knows what will happen by then.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    And a solid safety record, as I experienced first hand a couple of years ago when I got rear ended on the highway in our Acura MDX. Guy in a Taurus hit us at full speed (probably 60mph), actually pushed our SUV off the road from the impact. The fact that we walked away without so much as a bruise sold us on safety being a top priority. Honda's solid reputation for safety and the industry first safety ratings on the window stickers really means something to us.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,593
    Exterior and interior quality, styling, safety, subjective driving feel, low frequency of breakdown (not maintenance, which I have conditioned myself to deal with).

    Of course, I don't know how much brand loyalty means when one doesn't see the point of buying brand new to begin with.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    we closed down several popular threads so we could open up a thread about brand loyalty that every survey says is almost extinct in the year 2006?

    Uh huh, OK....

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,226
    i think you can be brand loyal and never buy a new car. Means the same thing, in my book.

    As far as my loyalty ... I don't think I have any. Up until recently, when I leased my Accord, I had never owned 2 vehicles from the same brand. (unless you count the 2 cherokees that were never more than parts cars and never driven on the road.)

    As snake said, I look for the best car at the best price at the time. I also like trying different things, so 2 from the same brand would probably have to be very different.

    I'd LIKE to own another volvo, but the horrible resale value has kept me away from new ones. Maybe I'll have another used one someday.

    What I look for is I think a combination of things that have been posted here already ... good reliability, good fun, good power, manual transmission, good value, and a good bit of luxury/technology. Good gas mileage is becoming more and more important to me, too.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • Really not much of anything. For me every new car purchase starts off from scratch by identifying my wants/needs and going on from there. Companies change over time as do I. Right now there are brands I don't consider at all either because of poor personal experience or road test info from the car mags. Times change. 30 years ago I wouldn't have taken an Audi for free. I have an A4 now that has been very nice. Most likely I will look elsewhere in a few months when I send it packing. Really good cars I just keep for a long time
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's easier to define why people leave. A bad ownership experience, which could be due to a lack of reliability, poor service, poor resale values, or poor longevity.

    I've had a bad experience with Ford (and Ford Credit), and so did my father, so I doubt I'll be back.

    Mazdas have been mixed for us. Our 626 was problematic but my Miata is perfect.

    Our Subarus have been great, so now there are 5 in my family. It sure helps when you see a pattern of reliable cars in the family. It would probably put Subaru at the top of the list, though any vehicles we shop would still have to meet other criteria.

    -juice
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,154
    ...keep me loyal to a brand. First of all, if I've had a good track record with a certain make, I'll stick with it such as Buick. My first two cars were Buicks - a 1968 Special Deluxe and a 1979 Park Avenue. Both were excellent cars. I currently own a 1988 Park Avenue and my girlfriend has a 2005 LaCrosse. Both are excellent, attractive, reliable cars that deliver phenomenal fuel economy and in comfort.

    Styling also has a lot to do with it. I have always loved the look of Cadillacs. As far as I'm concerned, Cadillacs have always had the best styling of any car in the past or present. I have always desired to own a Cadillac since I was very young and have been fortunate to achieve that goal. Turns out, it wasn't in vain as Cadillac delivers on that promise. I am currently on my 4th Cadillac and am looking forward to a 5th.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I find it funny when I read about someone who loves Honda, Kia, Toyota, pick your make, and then they say that they've bought 8 (pick your brand) in the past 10 years and they all have been trouble free...well if you buy any car and keep getting new ones every two years you'll probably have really good luck with any make. I'd rather hear about car loyalty from someone who has kept a car for at least 5 years.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I've had my Forester for 9+ years. So it should be no surprise that my wife now drives a Legacy. :shades:

    -juice
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,154
    Well, I've had my 1989 Cadillac Brougham for nearly 18 years and my 2002 Cadillac Seville STS is going on its fifth.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You win. :D

    Dad has an '01 Outback, sis has an '03 Forester, and my brother has an '04 Legacy.

    My cousin had a '99 Outback but she was forced to trade it in for a van when they had child #3. :surprise:

    -juice
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,154
    ...I had a 1994 Cadillac DeVille I drove for 8 years.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,860
    We've avereaged about 175,000 miles per vehicle and my '96 Sentra, purchased new, just cracked 234,000 :P

    That counts, I assume!

    Seriously, in the 27 years we've been with Nissans, all have been manual trannies. Not a single tranny issue over 1.4 milion combined miles. Only major issue I had was a head gasket on my 4x4 at about 80,000 miles.

    if things had started going wrong, if I was being nickel and dimed to death, I'm probably out of there. :P

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  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    And how much money in repairs/maintenance has everyone put in these cars over the past 5, 10 or 18 years they've owned them?
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    That's good to know. I'm considering a Nissan Versa (over a Honda Fit) but I was concerned over Nissan quality as compared to Honda.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let's see...mostly just regular maintenance on my '98 Forester. Fluids, brakes, tires, stuff like that. Nothing has ever really broken on it (I'm knocking on wood as I type this).

    There was one recall but that didn't cost me a dime.

    I did have to replace the spark plug wires but that doesn't count because a chip munk actually chewed the wires up!

    -juice
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I did not think too much about what I was getting with my first car, which had a manual transmission, no A/C. After a few years I traded it for a higher end car that had an automatic and A/C. The A/C was an automatic climate control system, which I ended up liking so well that I looked for this in the next car. So I did get another car of the same make.

    My third car was bought with fuel prices in mind, and had a diesel engine. It also had a semi-automatic climate control system, which in the long run was not acceptable. My fourth car was a return to the second car's make. The fourth car did have a manual transmission again, a mistake.

    Since then I have drifted from make to make, but have retained the fully automatic climate control system and automatic transmissions.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,711
    I am with you on that. Its much more telling if someone has a car for 10 years then one who has had buys a new car every two years.

    FWIW going on its 7th year with almost 140K miles outside or normal routine maintence had an exhaust manifold replaced at 120k miles (under warranty) and a sensor at the same time that ran me about $200. So far real happy with it.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,711
    I did have to replace the spark plug wires but that doesn't count because a chip munk actually chewed the wires up!

    Now thats a story. Actually I would put spark plug wires under "Fluids, brakes, tires, stuff like that" as they normally need periodical replacement (that is unless your replacing them every 25K miles or something like that).

    But a chipmunk chewing through them is an interesting story (FWIW my mom had a furry little creature storing corn in her car).

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I usually keep cars I don't like about three years, and cars I do like about 4 or 5 years. So, for the last few cars that I have owned, the original equipment tires have still been good when I traded the car in. My current car has the first cracked windshield ever.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I took pics, this is some of the damage he (she?) did, along with the actual chip munk since I photographed it in my back yard.

    -juice
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,711
    I never had a car I really didn't like, or at least couldn't tolerate. I usually keep cars until they either stop running, to costly to repair or start becoming unsafe. That means I will keep a car well over 150K (used to take me 4-5 years to do that).

    Since I used to travel a lot on gravel roads tires losing tread faster than normal and cracked windshields were a more common occurance.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    My first car, 1969 GTO (Pontiac, not Holden), was OK and a lot of fun, but the 4 speed manual transmission never shifted very well. Finally, something broke, which the repairman said was my fault, but it did shift better after that.

    I traded for a used 71 Riviera, which was a nice car. I drove it till the radiator needed repaired for the third or fourth time and traded for another Riviera. The second Riv ate oil (1 qt/700 miles), then the coolant started to disappear too, and gas went over 1 $, so I got a used diesel (Olds).
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I guess I've been worse off.

    I had a '91 Escort that went 180,000 miles before someone totaled it while it was parked on the street. I had to replace a water pump and alternator at about 110,000 miles.

    I currently own a '99 Cougar that has 125,000 miles, and I've put in 3 alternators and an A/C compressor. I also did the normal 100,000 mile maintenance (plugs, timing belt, etc). This is the car I'm planning on getting rid of for a Nissan Versa or Honda Fit as my commuter car and primary car backup. The Cougar is a poor backup car now that I have a family.
  • Price, style and reliability is all that counts to me. I got my Lancer Sportback used with 8k miles on it for $11,200 and that was just right. Not only was it a wagon but I liked the interior, style (wagon!) and overall value. Reliable too. No complaints.

    However, my previous Corolla, though reliable, was very, very boring and cost too much considering.

    My Acura Integra was a total headache and it has ruined the brand for me permanently.

    The Buick before that was great for the money and virtually trouble-free considering, so I'm on decent standing with one of the GM brands I consider worth my time.

    Some day, I'd like to buy a pre-Ford Volvo. The new ones don't really interest me.
  • I haven't had a bad experience with a car in recent history. My folks had a K-car that sucked but was redeemed by a Caravan that was fantastic. Haven't had a major issue with Ford, Chevrolet, Mitsubishi, Honda, Isuzu, Subaru or Pontiac (not saying others are good or bad, just no experience). I will buy the car based on my needs at the time, reguardless of manufacturer.
  • atlvibeatlvibe Posts: 109
    I don't have brand loyalty. My purchases are impulse. It's just random choice. For example, last year I purchased two new Fords and then traded them back for two new GM products. In the year prior it was two new Toyota's and Ford. Which means I should be posting this in the chronic car buyers anonymous forum. Styling and appearance are a concern, as is resale. Toyota has treated me better with resale than the domestics. But loyalty to one specific brand does not exist for me. It all about my excitement for the product.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    you sound like a dealer's dream!
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