JD Power customer satisfaction poll '08 - Executive cars

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Drive an executive car and you should be pampered by the car and the dealers - something Jaguar S-type owners certainly are. Mercedes E-Class drivers are also a happy bunch.

Executive cars results table

1. Jaguar S-type
Score 84.6%
Overall ranking 6th

The Jaguar S-type has put in consistently strong performances in this survey over the past few years, but this time it's come out on top, with excellent ratings in five of the eight categories studied.

The rating owners gave the dealer service was head and shoulders above the scores rivals got.

They were also over the moon with their cars, heaping praise on how comfortable the seats were and how well laid out the cabin was, even if they felt it was a bit small.

However, although performance and economy were good, almost a third of owners reported problems with their car's engines.

Jaguar owners were happier than any other executive car driver when it came to repair bills and servicing costs, and fuel economy and insurance premiums were also considered very reasonable.

2. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Score 84.2%
Overall ranking 8th

If Mercedes owners had got better service from dealers, the E-Class would have sailed past the Jaguar S-type into first place.

It was more reliable than the Jaguar, and owners took a far greater shine to the car itself, especially with the way it looked, and the cabin and boot space.

It wasn't the quality or cost of work by dealers that let the E-Class down - the issue was the inconvenience owners faced when booking cars in.

Engines were the most likely cause of trouble, closely followed by electrical gremlins with the remote locking and alarm. The stereo and air-con, however, were reliable and highly thought of.

3. Audi A6
Score 82.5%
Overall ranking 22nd

Owners reckoned the A6 was spacious and comfortable inside - and that it looked the business, too.

Controls were simply designed, well put together and well laid out, according to owners, but problems with the interior - from dashboard issues to faulty gauges - were the most common gripe.

A quarter of A6s suffered failures like these - much higher than other executive cars here.

Owners reported far fewer problems with the air-conditioning, however, and had few complaints with the exterior of their cars.

Dealer service and bills were average, but owners were very happy with their A6s' fuel efficiency.

4. Volvo V70/XC70
Score 81.3%
Overall ranking 34th

The Volvo V70 and XC70 impressed with their comfort, spaciousness and exterior styling, but owners weren't as happy with the ride, handling and braking.

Four out of 10 cars also suffered failures with the suspension, brakes and steering.

Although the performance of the engines didn't set hearts on fire, they were twice as reliable as the industry average.

Volvo drivers complained more than almost every other executive car owner about the cost of refuelling and insuring their cars, and were the most unhappy of all with servicing and repairs bills.

5. BMW 5 Series
Score 80.2%
Overall ranking 46th

The service provided by BMW dealers attracted more criticism from owners than any others in the executive class.

The look of the car, and the way it drove, got the most praise, with excellent ratings in both areas.

Despite that, problems with the ride, handling and braking were by far the most common difficulties reported - 42% of 5 Series had problems.

The stereo also went wrong more than twice as often as in other cars in this sector.

Features and controls like the wipers, windows, locks and alarms played up, too, but owners said the 5 Series was otherwise reliable.

Owners were the least happy about the cost of fuelling and insuring their cars, and second only to Volvo drivers in their unhappiness over the size of servicing and repair bills.

Executive cars results table

Table: results by model

Table: results by manufacturer

JD Power customer satisfaction poll '08 - MPVs


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