11 Ford Fusion Rating 79.9% Overall ranking 47th= The Fusion is the top Ford, both in this class and overall, after a rise of more than 2% in its rating since last year's survey. It finished with above-average ratings in two of the categories and nothing was classed as below average.
Central to the score was a good rating for the dealers, owners saying it was easy to book the car in and that the work was good. They also liked the practical cabin and the excellent ventilation system, but thought the dash layout was below par.
12 Vauxhall Agila Rating 79.7% Overall ranking 51st= If you're looking for a reliable, well built supermini, the Agila seems to fit the bill: there were few mechanical problems, and the build was no worse than average. Likewise, owners rated the dealers as above average and had no complaints about the running costs.
Trouble is, they didn't like the car. Its looks were rated as poor, and the drive, stereo and ventilation as below average. All they liked was the practical interior.
13 Fiat Panda Rating 79.4% Overall ranking 54th= Like the Fusion and Agila, the Panda turns in its maker's best score in the whole survey. True, its score has dropped by almost 3% since last year, but it's still a respectable result.
The only category in which it scored below average was for the appeal of the car's interior, with owners saying it could have been more practical, and that the stereo, in particular, was below par. On the other hand, owners liked the low fuel and insurance costs, as well as the good mechanical reliability.
14= Ford Fiesta Rating 78.9% Overall ranking 60th= Unsurprisingly, the Fiesta's score is very similar to the Fusion's, with which it shares much mechanically. The only major difference is that the Fiesta scores lower marks for practicality, although that's only to be expected from what is a smaller car.
Otherwise, the Fiesta and Fusion were almost identical, with no below-average scores. The top rating was for Ford's dealers, but Fiesta owners found no problem with the car's quality, reliability or running costs. They also liked the ventilation system, if not the dash layout.
14= Vauxhall Meriva Rating 78.9% Overall ranking 60th= It was the clever and versatile seating system that most impressed Meriva owners, so much so that the Honda Jazz was the only supermini to score more in this respect.
However, the rest of the cabin – its comfort and fittings – were rated as no better than average.
There were no major complaints about the dealers or how the car drove, either, but owners did report a lot of problems with the heating system, and said that fuel consumption was too high.
16 Renault Clio Rating 78.7% Overall ranking 64th The Clio's relatively lowly position belies a perfectly acceptable performance, rated as at least average in every respect. The Renault picked up its best scores for its smart styling, but owners also rated the engines, ride and handling as above average. Few problems from either the engine or transmission were reported, too.
Generally, owners were happy, and the only complaints concerned a shortage of practicality in the interior and some problems with the dealers: it was difficult booking the car in, and both the facilities and staff were below par.
17 Mitsubishi Space Star Rating 78.6% Overall ranking 65th= Apart from owners not liking the Space Star's looks and slating the running costs – particularly for insurance and servicing – the Mitsubishi could have emulated its 10th position in the class last year.
In most respects, owners were quite happy. They said the dealers were above average, for example, and that mechanical problems were few and far between, with the engine and transmission proving particularly sound.
The Space Star also rated as one of the more practical superminis, although owners weren't so keen on the dash layout or the stereo.
18 Suzuki Alto Rating 78.4% Overall ranking 70th= The Alto is another car that doesn't appeal to the heart so much as to the head – and the wallet. Its owners were particularly pleased with its fuel consumption, had no complaints about Suzuki's dealers and said that the car was mechanically solid.
However, the interior quality was less good, with the switchgear a weak point. The stereo, heating system, seats and design all came in for heavy criticism, too, as did the Alto's comfort and practicality. To cap it all, no other car scored less for its looks.
19= Citroen C3 Rating 78.1% Overall ranking 75th= The C3 may have climbed from its 25th place in the class last year, but Citroen still has work to do – the car was rated as below average in half of the categories.
It's also clear where the work needs to be done. First, the dealers were criticised, with the staff, the facilities and work rated as below par. Secondly, mechanical reliability needs to improve – both the suspension and engine gave a high number of problems. At least there were no complaints about the interior.
19= Suzuki Wagon R+ Rating 78.1% Overall ranking 75th= It's only natural that the Wagon R+ and Vauxhall Agila should have been given similar ratings, because they are effectively the same car. However, the most obvious common ground is that owners of both models really don't like the way that their cars look.
On the other hand, the Wagon R+ proved as mechanically sound as its Vauxhall sister, but there were more problems with the bodywork, and Suzuki's dealers were rated as merely average. What's more, the Wagon R+ wasn't popular to drive, and owners also criticised the dash layout and, especially, the stereo.
21 Suzuki Ignis Rating 78.0% Overall ranking 77th= The Ignis sits next to the Wagon R+ here, but there were some interesting differences. In particular, Ignis owners were much happier with their dealers, rating them consistently as above average. Although the Wagon R+ scored more highly for the practicality of its interior, it was the Ignis whose looks, drive and stereo were much more popular.
The Ignis also scored well for the quality of its build, but less welcome were reports of a high number of problems from the suspension, engine and transmission.
22 MG Rover 25/ZR Rating 77.9% Overall ranking 79th= The 25/ZR may have risen slightly this year, but the same problems kept it in the lower half of the table. In particular, build quality let it down, with the switchgear and fittings inside adding to the quality problems with the bodywork.
In most other respects, though, the car fared reasonably well. Mechanically, it was pretty solid, and owners had no complaints about the car's looks or its running costs. Despite the demise of the MG Rover network, owners reported no problems getting their cars serviced.
23 Renault Modus Rating 77.8% Overall ranking 81st It was the practical and versatile interior, along with the cabin's layout, that proved most popular with Modus owners. They also has few problems with the suspension, although the engines were a little more problematic and the interior build quality left a lot to be desired.
There were no major complaints about the car's ride and handling or its running costs, but Renault's dealers were less well received. Owners reported problems getting the car serviced and said the work was not good enough.
24 Chevrolet/Daewoo Kalos Rating 77.2% Overall ranking 84th The badge may have changed in 2005, but the story remains very much the same. Pretty much all that owners liked were the low servicing costs, although these were offset by poor fuel consumption and high insurance costs. The service offered by dealers was rated as poor, too.
Likewise, owners didn't like the car's looks or its drive, and criticised the dash layout and ventilation system. To cap it all, there were too many problems from the engine, suspension and stereo.
25 Seat Ibiza Rating 77.1% Overall ranking 85th= The Ibiza's lowly position is sealed by its poor quality. No other car had as many problems with its suspension or its bodywork, and the switchgear was another weak point.
Owners also thought that the car wasn't terribly practical or well laid out inside, and said that the car's fuel economy was not good enough and servicing was on the expensive side. Dealers also came in for heavy criticism, with both the staff and the quality of work rated below par.
26 Vauxhall Corsa Rating 77.1% Overall ranking 85th= Above-average running costs and a below-par experience at Vauxhall dealers were part of the reason for the Corsa dropping down the table after a good improvement last year.
However, the high number of problems with the suspension and engine certainly didn't do it any favours.
On the other hand, the interior of the car proved sturdy, and owners said they had no major complaints about the instruments, heating system or stereo.
27 Chevrolet/Daewoo Matiz Rating 77.0% Overall ranking 87th Just like the Kalos, the Matiz basically has just one thing in its favour – low running costs. In fact, no other car scored such a high rating for its servicing costs.
However, very few cars scored so little elsewhere. Owners hated driving the Matiz, and disliked the cramped interior, uncomfortable seats and feeble stereo. No other car had as many problems with its ventilation system, only one had a lower rating for the quality of its switchgear, and the mechanical reliability was below par, too.
28 Peugeot 206 Rating 76.8% Overall ranking 89th= Like the Corsa, the 206 has suffered a disappointing drop back down the table after an improvement last year, putting it into the bottom four in its class.
However, there was no single area that really let it down, and it actually rated as average in five of the eight categories, including quality and reliability.
However, owners thought that its running costs were too high, didn't enjoy driving it, and complained that the interior was not very practical. On top of that, the seats were uncomfortable and the ventilation system was poor.
29 Fiat Punto Rating 74.9% Overall ranking 106th The Punto may be just behind the 206 in the listings, but it is well adrift of the other superminis. It's also well behind the other Fiat in this group, the Panda, having achieved just one rating not below average – for its running costs.
The Punto scored poorly across the board, but its real Achilles heel was its quality and reliability: every part, from the switchgear to the seats and stereo, caused an above average number of complaints, and the suspension and engine were particularly weak points.
30 Citroen C2 Rating 74.7% Overall ranking 107th For the second year running, the C2 is second from bottom in the supermini class. All the Citroen had in its favour were that owners enjoyed driving it and thought the fuel and insurance costs were acceptable.
However, they also thought it costly to maintain, and said every aspect of the service they received from their dealers was poor – from booking the car in, to the staff, facilities and quality of the work. To cap it all, the suspension and seats caused too many problems.
31 Ford Ka Rating 74.4% Overall 110th Bottom of its class and third from bottom overall, the baby Ford has precious little in its favour other than reasonable build quality.
An otherwise fair showing for mechanical reliability was upset by a large number of problems with the suspension, and the running costs were criticised. Owners also disliked the way the car drove and said the interior was a complete let-down, cramped, badly laid out and with a poor stereo and ventilation system. Even the car's styling received a definite thumbs-down.