The best people to tell you what a car is like to live with are its owners. That’s why, for the past decade, we’ve been working with JD Power to bring you the views of real car buyers – almost 18,000 of them this year, in fact.
Between them, they drove almost 360 million miles to give you the lowdown on their cars’ reliability, practicality, desirability, dealer service standards and, crucially, how much of a dent buying them made in their bank balances.
Covering 10 classes of car, from city runabout to large SUV, and 118 models, the 2012 Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study is a vital tool in any car-buying armoury.
How old were the cars in this survey? The vehicles in the survey were registered between January 2009 and December 2010. The survey was conducted between December 2011 and January 2012, making all cars from one to three years old.
What was assessed? The survey was split into four sections: vehicle quality and reliability, vehicle appeal, service satisfaction and ownership costs. The first section allowed owners to comment on any problems their cars suffered; the second recorded what they thought about design and functionality; the third concerned the quality of service dealers provided; the fourth covered how satisfied owners were with the cost of running their cars.
How was the overall score decided? Each category was weighted according to how important owners rated it. The total scores awarded by owners were split as follows: vehicle quality and reliability (22%), vehicle appeal (31%), dealer service satisfaction (22%) and ownership costs (25%).
Why isn’t every new car on the market here? Each questionnaire received was assessed as clean or spoiled, depending on how well and how completely the respondent had filled it in. For a car to qualify for the survey, at least 50 clean questionnaires for that model were required. However, all clean questionnaires received were permitted to contribute to the manufacturer’s overall score.
Why isn’t there an award for every category? A category was eligible for an award only if the models rated covered 67% or more of the segment market volume, and there were at least four models with a minimum of 50 returns.
Who was surveyed? Owners who took part represent all ages of UK car buyers, from 18 years and up. The survey was conducted online.