Top Cars For 2014

Monday, 26. May 2014

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Auto Express have just published the results of their driver survey to end up with a top 150 cars as voted by the 50,073 car owners that took part in the survey. The top car manufacturer, up one place from last year was Skoda, who regained this position after losing out to Lexus last year. Not only were they voted top manufacturer they had the top three cars with the Yeti, Citigo and Superb.

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A truly excellent company, according to their customers. At position 2 was Jaguar, up a place from 3rd last year. Ride and ease of driving scored highly with Jaguar owners. Reliability and running costs were not so good, enough to prevent them from taking number one place. 3rd place was a new entrant, MG.

The revived badge was somewhat of a surprise. The MG6 was top of the pops for handling and a creditable 6th place in the overall model chart. It shaped up well for running costs although fuel consumption wasn’t so good, servicing costs did well. With only two models on sale MG have done well. In 4th place, dropping 3 from last years number one slot, is Lexus.

The score achieved this year is actually higher than last year but because of strong competition Lexus has been demoted to 4th. Nothing has actually gone wrong for Lexus who are still number one for reliability and build quality. It was also number one for in-car tech and runner up for ease of driving.

Very low places for practicality (always a problem when you only produce 4Dr saloons) and high running costs dragged the prestige car down. This was surprising as Lexus have become synonymous with hybrid technology these days. Another newcomer stormed in at 5th place, the Dacia brand.

However it is thought that this was due to very low expectations and the cars performing better than expected. Areas such as affordability and running costs helped the car up the rankings. But it wasn’t all about low costs as the cars came a creditable 3rd for reliability and 4th for practicality.

3rd place for in-car tech probably had more to do with the fact that some items included as standard were not expected in a budget car. Time will tell but well done Dacia. In 6th place was Porsche up from 13th last year. Impressive improvements have pushed them up a deserved 7 places with a score that would have pushed them up to 3rd last year.

High scores in performance and handling were obvious reasons why they did well but they also scored well in build quality putting them in 2nd place. Running costs and practicality didn’t help the manufacturer although ease of driving and seat comfort scored highly. 7th was Kia, staying in the same place as last year.

Kia cars are above average and scored well in all categories without excelling in any particular section. Consistent is the word to describe Kia. In car technology scored well as did running costs helped more by servicing costs than fuel consumption. Performance and ease of driving scored not so well and prevented Kia from doing any better.

At 8th was Mazda, down from 4th place last year. Generally the drivers of Mazdas are no less happy than last year, it’s just that other manufacturers have improved pushing the bar higher. Running costs were a little disappointing but there were no major deficiencies, the report should read, not a bad effort but could do better.

Mercedes dropped from 5th to 9th but still managed to see off its main German rivals. The results reflected a general satisfaction although owners were not exactly blown away. Ease of driving and build quality helped it past BMW. Running costs scored badly as did practicality. Finally at 10th place was BMW, up from 15th.

Good scores for performance and handling contributed to the improved position and with the 5 Series considered to be the best executive saloon the 10th place wasn’t surprising. For the positions of all 33 manufacturers please refer to Auto Express Driver Power results. By Graham Hill

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