1: Honda Accord
Vehicle owner satisfaction score 83.7%
Honda's Accord has ousted the Toyota Prius from the top spot the hybrid has held in this sector for the past three years. The Accord also takes fifth place overall, making it Honda's highest-placed model.
Owners love their Accords — from the exterior styling of the car to the design and layout inside. They find the seats comfortable and the car a joy to drive, and they were also thrilled with the quality of service they received — and even the cost of ownership didn't provoke many grumbles. Visibility and driving safety were also commended, and the controls and instruments were easy to use.
Only in a couple of areas were problems reported: the Accord's Bluetooth hands-free phone system riled owners, while the car scored only average points for the class for rear passenger space. Otherwise, this is an exemplary showing for Honda's big family car.
2: Toyota Prius
Vehicle owner satisfaction score 83.4%
Owners love the reasonable costs of running a Prius, with insurance, fuel and servicing bills all rated well. There were few complaints about reliability, but the driving experience wasn't so popular, with a few grumbles about noisy brakes and excessive or uneven tyre wear. Owners didn't like their cars' exterior styling, but it seems its tip-top performance elsewhere left little else to complain about.
3: Volvo S40
Vehicle owner satisfaction score 82.4%
Volvo S40 drivers are a happy bunch on the road, handing their car top marks for its responsive handling and comfortable seats. Getting started proved a problem for some, however, with stalling and battery faults reported. There were reliability issues with the radio and hands-free system, and the boot space fell short for many.
Dealer service was rated very highly and owners praised the S40's looks.
4: Toyota Avensis
Vehicle owner satisfaction score 80.6%
Toyota's service standards pull up an otherwise average performance from the Avensis. While owners had few complaints about the reliability of their cars' bodywork or internal controls, driving the Avensis was another matter. The brakes came in for most criticism as being noisy, dusty and having too little stopping power.
Owners were happier with the car's running costs, but less taken with its looks, giving it a 'below average' rating.
5: Mazda 6
Vehicle owner satisfaction score 80.4%
Disappointing dealer service lets down an otherwise good score for the Mazda 6 — owners didn't always feel the job had been done thoroughly enough. High fuel consumption was another bugbear for owners, but they enjoy driving the car.
6: Volvo 50
Vehicle owner satisfaction score 80.2%
Although the V50 was rated very well for reliability, criticism of its running costs dragged it down to an overall 46th place. Owners considered both insurance and fuel bills to be too high, but service and repair costs prompted the most complaints.
They were pleased with service standards, however. Other grumbles related to rear passenger space and the layout of storage spaces.
7: Ford Mondeo
Vehicle owner satisfaction score 80.1%
It's not surprising that a big car like the Ford Mondeo scores highly with owners for storage space, or that many found it difficult to judge the scale of the car when parking. The seats, heating system, looks and drive all got the thumbs up, however.
Mondeo owners were annoyed by water leaks and boot problems, while service standards and ownership costs were only average.
8: Volkswagen Passat
Vehicle owner satisfaction score 80.0%
VW Passat owners were pleased with their cars' fuel consumption but complained that they got through too much oil. Boot storage space was given top marks but problems with the glovebox plagued too many owners. The other big reliability issue related to handbrake problems.
9: Citroen C5
Vehicle owner satisfaction score 78.8%
If only the Citroen C5's reliability score matched the high ratings given to its styling, seats and driving performance, it would appear much higher up the table. Problems were reported with the car's doors and tailgate, noisy brakes and steering.
Owners gave running costs and servicing average marks. Dealers were rated better for their courtesy and responsiveness than for the quality of their work.
10: Vauxhall Vectra
Vehicle owner satisfaction score 77.3%
The Vauxhall Vectra might offer owners reliability, but it hasn't won their hearts with either its looks, driving appeal or the service meted out by dealers. A good score for boot space was outweighed by below-average marks for the stereo, seats and interior quality. The few reliability complaints included issues with the heating system.
11: Renault Laguna
Vehicle owner satisfaction score 77.1%
The only area in which the Laguna scored more than two stars was for the appeal of the car's exterior — hardly a ringing endorsement. Owners experienced a range of problems inside the car, from operating the stereo successfully to faults with the door locks, and weren't impressed with the service they received at dealerships.
12: Peugeot 407
Vehicle owner satisfaction score 76.8%
The 407 was rated below average in most areas. The build quality came in for criticism: loose moulding and faults with the doors were reported. Inside, owners had problems with the tyre pressure monitor system and found the audio systems difficult to use. The engine caused few issues but service standards were ranked below average.
Family cars league table
Click the image for a larger view.
Name Alan Beale Age 50 Lives Broomfield, Kent Job Accountant
Model 2.0 petrol Mileage with car 110,000
‘I’ve had my Accord for around five years now and it’s been great to own. I wanted something reliable that would be comfortable for my motorway commute and offer a bit of poke when required and it does the job perfectly. I use a Honda dealer and service hasn’t been bad at all. My only gripe would be that the headlamps could be brighter.’