Most scores for the Mazda 3 were average. Owners of the car said the 3 had few bodywork blemishes, and the audio controls were highly praised, but seat comfort and squeaks, shuddering brakes and poor rear-seat space and economy were all areas where the vehicle was criticised by drivers.
Slightly better news this year: Seat’s previously maligned dealer service is now rated around average. Thumbs up for the styling, driving dynamics and audio system, but there were problems with the radio, side windows and door mirrors.
Mixed reports mean a below-mid-table result for the Auris. Owners reported few body problems and were generally positive about dealer service. Complaints concerned noisy brakes, squeaky seats, the steering and the manual gearbox.
Numerous interior problems dogged the C4, said owners. There were complaints about the glovebox, seat quality, front-window fogging and a weak, noisy heater. There were fewer-than-average mechanical problems, and praise for the audio systems.
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2007 1st Family car class 2008 1st Small family car class 2009 1st Small family car class 2010 2nd= Small family car class 2011 1st Small family car class
Winning car, winning service The Skoda Octavia has starred in JD Power survey results in recent times, winning its category in four of the past five years and finishing second equal (behind the Kia ’d) in the year it didn’t take top spot.
A look back through the past five years of ownership reviews for JD Power reveals that the Octavia has been adored by owners for its fuss-free, low-cost motoring; in many ways it is the standard-bearer for today’s money-conscious buyers.
It’s also notable that owners have scored the Octavia highly for its dynamic talents as well as its dependability. It has consistently been rated highly for driving pleasure, especially on the motorway, and for its ride and handling. Problems have always been few and far between: over five years the biggest grumbles have been about radio reception and minor cabin faults – hardly the stuff of nightmares, especially when dealer servicing has always been rated as excellent when anything has needed fixing.
The Mégane was again judged to be mechanically strong, but problems with water leaks, side windows and door-lock breakages vexed many owners. Radio reception was poor, as was the quality of cabin materials; and rear seats were cramped.
Another lowish ranking for the Focus. Owners didn’t especially praise or criticise any one area, and the car kept comfortably ahead of its arch-rival, the Astra. Drivers liked the look inside and out, but there were issues with uneven tyre wear.
Close-to-average or poor ratings for the 308. Problems included brake and clutch issues and fluid leaks. Interior gripes focused on misaligned mouldings, low-rent materials, breaking CD players, and weak air-con and heating systems.
Astra owners reckon it has close-to-average mechanical and interior problems – then it was criticism all the way. Poor economy and repair and insurance costs were highlighted, plus problems with the front doors, wipers, horn and water leaks.
Bottom of the class again, and rated as below average in almost every area. Fogged-up windows, poor heaters, noisy fans, loose mats and tricky fuel caps were highlighted. Engine and clutch warning lights indicated problems.