MINI #1 in J.D. Power Rankings of Dealer Service Experience

Moving up from last year’s fifth place finish, MINI sits atop the J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 Customer Service Index Study in the category of dealer service in the mass market segment. Lexus topped the Luxury category with MINI parent company BMW down in seventh place. The study covers the first three years of ownership, measuring owner satisfaction regarding visits to dealers for service, maintenance and repair work. The survey covers five main areas: quality of work done, ease in getting appointments, the performance of the service adviser, the facilities themselves, and the experience of receiving your vehicle again. Congrats to MINI for coming out on top. Full table of results after the break.

J.D. Power 2011 U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) study
Customer service index ranking for mass market brands Customer service index ranking for luxury brands
MINI805 Lexus846
GMC803 Jaguar837
Buick799 Cadillac830
Chevrolet792 Acura828
Kia784 Average819
Hyundai783 Lincoln817
smart783 BMW814
Volkswagen779 Porsche814
Ford773 Mercedes-Benz810
Honda765 Infiniti801
Average758 Audi794
Mitsubishi754 Volvo788
Mazda750 Land Rover785

Now I’m sure lots of folks have had some sort of negative experience at their MINI dealership. I know I have, but if these results demonstrate anything, it’s that the good experiences so often outweigh the bad ones. That’s definitely been my experience with the two MINI dealers I’ve dealt with in owning my R53. Yet when the service is perfect, we’re often much less likely to be vocal about it. Does your local MINI dealer go above and beyond? Tell us your satisfaction story in the comments.

Big thanks to Matt for sending this in.

  • !

    Hum, MINI of San Diego…. My daughter had nothing but bad experiences in the pictured dealership. She now uses an independent.

    Glad to see them at the top but wonder how these polls are taken… anyone here get polled? I surely didn’t.

    Until Asseal MINI was taken over by some other group, now called MINI of Monrovia, it was horrid. I’ve had nothing but good things happen, even a new windscreen, free.

  • Dwight Walhood

    My experience with MINI of San Diego is just the opposite. Everything was top notch and the same goes for anyone I know who’s had their MINI serviced there.

  • Alexandre

    That awesome, but our favorite brand is still very low ranked on the initial quality study and the vehicle dependability study in 2010. Let’s hope it gets better in 2011.

  • JON M

    I absolutly agree with the voicing of opinions. I know I would be more apt to voice a bad experience, than a good one.

  • This is basically a study of how well the company is taking care of service clients. I know that one of my local dealerships (Stevens Creek MINI, formerly MINI of Mountain View), wouldn’t be at the top of the chart. What is enouraging is that they are doing better than they were.

    Now, if MINI were ranked in the luxury category (after all, isn’t MINI a premium small car?), then it would have ranked after MB, and above Infinity.

    But like all JD Powers studies, take them with a grain of salt… What’s more important than the absolute numbers is that both the industry has improved, and that MINI has improved, using the same “ruler” so to speak.


  • !

    @Walhood… that’s great. Maybe I had the wrong dealership it was called Brecht?

    My daughters experiences were about 2-3 years. I personally had to deal with them on a clutch issue, for my daughter on her ’03 Cooper, and found them less that professional or even courteous, again 2-3 years ago.

  • beken

    I’ve been having MINI Yaletown in Vancouver service my MINI and it was their service treatment of the customer that attracted me to consider getting a BMW as a family car. MINI Yaletown’s service to me was a big eye opener of what I’ve been missing after almost 4 decades of owning cars. I find it hard to consider even owning a different brand of car.

  • Hendrick MINI in Charlotte, NC won the MINI motoring cup for the year 2010 for the best customer serviceof any other MINI dealership. If these other MINI dealerships are anything like them, then I am sure J.D. Power is right…

  • m8o

    If this rating was based on the tooth-pulling I had to do to get my saleswoman to throw-in some rubber floor-mats for free on the loaded ’09 JCW I bought priced near $40K, Mini would be near the bottom! [big grin]

  • I went to the JD Powers site and here’s the link to the full press release, as well as a PDF, if you all are interested…


  • JON M

    And there goes the sense of entitlement, why should a $40k MINI owner get more, when the dealer hardly makes any more money off of it compaired to a 25K. I agree it shouldnt be like teeth pulling, but telling us it’s $40k does not change anything.

  • Rixter

    I wonder what the sample size is for the CSI? Like BEKEN, I’ve had very good results locally with MINI Yaletown. It’s interesting how “milage” does vary so much across dealers and even between customers at the same dealership. But then I’m sure MINI is no different than any other dealership in that regard

  • Hoover

    East Bay MINI in Pleasanton, CA (Northern CA). Absolutely no issues with this dealership so far. There were one of the few dealers that did not mark up their cars. They usually have a number of “strippers” (their term, not mine) in stock. No-option (or very lightly optioned) cars for those looking to get into the brand. Great way to afford a fun car and take advantage of good financing rates available to stock on hand. In a few years we will be buying a Countryman from them to replace our CR-V. Had my first service a couple of weeks ago on my ’10 R56. Fixed an annoying rattle in one of the vents. Tires rotated for free, and the rims were scrubbed clean. I know that dealers routinely wash cars, but my car was returned exceptionally clean. I had intended to get some work done while waiting for my car, but I spent a good amount of time chatting with my Motoring Advisor about the Countryman, the Coupe, and the Rocketman concept.

    And, although we have heard that MINI USA does not intend to bring anything like the Rocketman to the US market, my MA let me know that MINI USA has solicited response to the concept from the dealer network in the US. And, he follows MotoringFile. So, here’s a shout out to George M.

  • john

    I have had nothing but good experiences with Rasmussen Mini in Portland, Or. But they are 110 miles away. Not good for the west and northwest. Only go back when I have to.

  • Dr.Love

    My Mini dealership is the only one in the state. (Sandia MINI) Nothing is perfect, but they have taken good care of me & my MINI

  • Arthur

    We live in London, Ontario (Canada) and we have one MINI/BMW dealership in the city. So far I can only say that the service is great. We bought our first MINI in 2008, in a second month since London’s MINI dealership opened, and I can say until now it is one of the best automotive service experiences I had in my 30+ years of car ownership.

  • SFRedMCc

    I also bought my 2008 Clubman at East Bay MINI since they were the only Bay Area dealer without a “dealer mark-up”. I now have it serviced at SF MINI; however, and the only “problem” I’ve had was when I took it in one morning without an appointment and they weren’t able to even look at it that day. Luckily it was only for a “yellow” engine check light, and when I picked it up it had “mysteriously” gone out, so didn’t even need to bring it back. They said something as minor as putting the gas cap on wrong could cause that light to go on.

    The latest Consumer Reports now “Recommends” the MINI Cooper, but says the Cooper S is “too unreliable”. What’s confusing to me is they also rated my 2008 MINI Cooper Clubman as one of the worst used cars, and to avoid buying one. And I’ve had no major or minor complaints with my ’08 or the dealer(s).

    My Clubman will be 3-years old in June (with only 20K miles) and the only service so far has been an oil change and new front brake pads. The only problem besides the check light was a large bolt in a run-flat, which was replaced for free since I had purchased a “tire hazard” warranty for around $650. They said the tire alone would have been $400 if purchased through them.

    They also told me the run-flats only get around 20K miles, so I’m about due for some new tires. Does anyone have suggestions on what I should get for replacements, run-flat or not? Luckily the “5-year tire hazard warranty” I bought is extended to the replacement tires.

  • SFRedMCc

    PS: My Clubman looks just like the all-red one in the front row. That’s the only other one I’ve seen like it, besides an all-red Cooper S Clubman.

  • Fillip

    @JON M: “why should a $40k MINI owner get more, when the dealer hardly makes any more money off of it compaired to a 25K”

    Well…. they do make more on the $40k car. The margin on a new MINI is just shy of 10%, so an extra $15k on the sticker means that the dealer has an extra $1500 of gross margin.

  • Wings

    Here in the Dallas/Ft Worth area, Moritz and MINI of Dallas have done a great job with customer service. MoD even supports our local club by offereing quarterly DIY days in their service facility. Talk about customer service!

    Now we have a third dealer opening next month and that organization is known for exemplary service. Last fall their GM came to one of our meeting and surveyed our club members to find out what we wanted in a dealership. They hosted our club meeting this weekend and we found out that many item on our ‘wish list’ are being put in place. MINI of Plano is going to be a welcome addition to DFW MINI scene.

  • Dwight Walhood

    That sounds more like Blecht. Somehow they got worse since you were there!

  • m8o

    RE: why should a $40k MINI owner get more, when the dealer hardly makes any more money off of it compaired to a 25K.

    I’m quite skeptical of that.

  • JON M

    I can see your skeptical, however, I work for MINI, so I know this to be true. 🙂

  • Zign8tr

    MINI of San Diego just opened. Can’t be responsible for said repairs ! is talking about, even just a few months ago. They may not be perfect, but they have gone so far out of their way to do the right thing, correct issues that they even did not do and step up when they could have done better. MoSD brings a hole new level of service back into play that MINI will be on top of this list for many more years. Rock on MoSD! Nice pic too!

  • Jim C

    I’m on MINI #3. Ralph Schomp MINI has been great. They have fixed and/or replaced everything that was wrong with the MINI’s. I will always go to them.

  • Ian

    I had a great buying experience at MINI of Peabody (though this was back in 2006, so several JD Powers ago), and was really pleased with the service work at Herb Chambers MINI. If my experience is any guide, the Boston-area dealers had a lot to do with the good rating.

    I can’t help but comment about this now because I just joined a friend who was trying to buy a Wrangler at a Jeep/Dodge dealership. Watching all the BS they pulled trying to wangle more money out of him on the sale, I became all the more thankful for the decency of my MINI dealer experiences.

  • MINIme

    Cincinnati MINI and MINI Orlando both have quality service departments.

  • Aurel

    For 8 years in a row; nothing but good things to say about Habberstad in Huntington, NY

  • RLS8114

    I have to disagree MINIme, Cincinnati MINI is terrible. They try to pick pocket you with every chance they get.

  • GregW

    Most of the survey points are pedantic moans. Dealers do not make a fortune on selling a new car. You can get a bad report for trivial reasons. Even the human body and it’s practioners are not perfect. What’s the difference? Are cars supposed to be even better than the human body?

  • I don’t get it… The report tries to evaluate how well dealership service departments meet the needs of the customer. This includes lots of facets of the experience, including did they fix the car the first time, a pretty important point, if you ask me.

    But whatever, the same criteria are used to judge all the dealerships in the survey. If one is really interested in how many people participated (97,300+), covering cars from 2006-2010, and other details, read the full press release in the link I posted above.

    Anyway, take the survey for what it’s worth…


  • gkp

    I have had my MINIs serviced at four different dealers in the New York tri-state area (NY, CT, NJ). In fact, I spent yesterday at Prestige MINI in NJ which is the best car dealer of any brand that I have ever dealt with. On the other hand, two of the four dealers I would rate poor, at best. The fourth I was only at once, and they were very good. So, like anything else, there is the good and the bad. The flip side of the coin is: Why do MINIs need so much servicing?

  • !

    The best dealership I’ve ever encountered was MINI of Peabody when I came out from LA to buy my daughters ’03.

  • Frogberg

    They must not have polled customers of Global Imports in Atlanta.

  • m8o

    @JonM RE: I can see your skeptical, however, I work for MINI, so I know this to be true. 🙂

    I then stand edjamacated. Surprised, but I’ll have to take your word for it.

  • MINIme

    Sorry you have had bad experiences with Cincy. My service experience has been great but purchasing was a pain in the ass. They tried to jerk me around like no other and I custom ordered my car… Would not buy there again, but they offered my great service on my R53.

  • Hoover

    I hate to even mention this, but the danger with a post like this is the potential for bogus reviews. I see the usual suspects on here, but a few new folks, too. Nothing to be done about it–I would just view some of these with a healthy dose of skepticism.

  • The assumption would be that the bogus reviewers would be evenly spread among the brands, so all would be tarnished similarly.

    These types of studies are not the gospel truth, but the are good “guides for the eye” to see trends and the like.


  • Hoover

    @Dr Obnxs: I was speaking more specifically about the comments here, not the survey instrument.

  • Ian

    I believe the ‘bogus reviews’ thing Hoover was referring to is not in the data posted, but in the comments thread. Like, someone who works for MINI of Peabody reads this, puts in the name ‘Ian,’ and says how great MINI of Peabody is. It’s certainly plausible.

  • Ian

    oops. hoover already said that.

  • You mean everything I read on the internet may not be true?!?!?!?! 😉