JD Power customer satisfaction poll '08 - MPVs

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These cars must be more flexible than a gymnast and tougher than a Tonka toy. VW takes two of the top four spots, but it's Honda which swoops in to grab the win.

MPV results table

1. Honda FR-V
Score 84.3%
Overall ranking 7th

A new entry and straight into the number-one spot, the Honda FR-V delighted owners and was rated as excellent in five out of the eight areas examined.

Owners were particularly pleased with the car itself. The cabin space and flexibility got high marks, but the way the FR-V looked got the biggest thumbs-up of all.

Dealers helped to make owners feel even more smug, earning great scores for the way they handled service and repairs.

As far as reliability went, FR-V owners found the car to be extremely dependable and had little to complain about.

So, what held the FR-V back from making it into the top five in the overall league table? Running costs. FR-V owners are only likely to have a grumble if you ask them about their fuel bills.

2. Volkswagen Golf Plus
Score 83.3%
Overall ranking 13th

Golf Plus owners found little to fault with the car. They loved the comfort and space inside, and also rated the looks highly.

Engine performance was also good, as was fuel economy.

Dealers were fine, but there were a few reliability problems. Issues with the ride, handling and braking system were the most common cause of complaint.

3. Toyota Corolla Verso
Score 81.0%
Overall ranking 38th

The service from dealers and the reliability of the Corolla Verso secured it third place in the MPV class.

Owners said they were very pleased with the way they were treated by dealers, and were also impressed with the cost of service and repairs.

Interior controls like the locks and windows were dependable, as was the bodywork, but there were faults with the steering, suspension and brakes.

While owners liked the look of the car and the space inside, they were less taken with the driving experience, engine and, crucially for an MPV, seats.

4. Volkswagen Touran
Score 80.9%
Overall ranking 40th

The Touran was awarded average or above-average scored in all areas, helping it to fourth spot in the MPV class.

Touran owners said they were big fans of the space inside, the seats and the layout of the controls. The least popular part of the car was its heating and ventilation system.

Most faults were reported with the engines, but transmissions also played up a little.

Touran drivers weren't as pleased as Golf Plus owners when it came to dealer service, giving an average score.

Only the Golf Plus drank less fuel than the Touran, though, and Touran owners were also happy with insurance and servicing costs.

5. Hyundai Matrix
Score 80.6%
Overall ranking 42nd

The engines in the Hyundai Matrix were a weak link, with some of the poorest scores given for performance, refinement and economy.

With nearly one in three owners reporting a problem with the engine, this was the least reliable part of the car.

The dealership experience gave the Hyundai a real shot in the arm, however. Not only were Matrix drivers pleased with the way they were treated, they were also happier than any other MPV owner with the cost of service and repairs.

Insurance premiums were also low, but fuel bills were too high.

6. Seat Altea
Score 79.8%
Overall ranking 55th

Gremlins invaded the cabin of the Seat Altea in a big way. It was plagued by problems with the air-conditioning and heating, which affected more than half the cars surveyed.

The stereo and other interior controls also went wrong.

Mechanically the Altea was on much firmer ground - owners said they liked how the Altea felt to drive.

The space and comfort of the cabin won the most votes, and while its styling scored well, a quarter of cars had exterior build-quality problems.

7=. Citroen Xsara Picasso
Score 79.5%
Overall ranking 59th=

The kindest words for the Xsara Picasso were reserved for the space inside the cabin and the low fuel and insurance costs. Owners also rated the car's styling and the dashboard layout quite highly.

Reliability was a headache for Picasso drivers, with lots of problems generated by the air-con and heating, as well as the remote locking, mirrors and alarms.

A quarter of owners said something went wrong with the seats, too.

Dealer service was okay, but the price of servicing and repairs was below average for an MPV.

7=. Ford Focus C-Max
Score 79.5%
Overall ranking 59th=

Focus C-Max owners have more fun behind the wheel than most, but a third also said that their cars suffered some sort of fault with the steering, suspension or brakes.

Reliability has improved, but interior niggles still affected a quarter of cars.

It was easy to get the car booked in for a service, and staff were friendly and attentive. However, owners thought the facilities and service were below par.

Even so, the price of service and repairs was considered fair, as were insurance and fuel costs.

9. Kia Carens
Score 78.6%
Overall ranking 73rd

This is a slight improvement for the Carens this year, but still a poor result overall.

Owners were unhappy with engine performance, and more than 40% of cars had problems under the bonnet.

The seats were comfortable, but more than a third went wrong, and bodywork complaints were common, too.

Dealer service is a double-edged sword for Kia when it comes to Carens owners. They praised the lack of hassle, plus the quality of work, facilities and staff, but felt they paid too much for it.

Insurance costs were high and fuel bills average.

10. Citroen Berlingo
Score 78.3%
Overall ranking 82nd

Yes, the Berlingo offered a great deal of space for passengers and luggage, but owners also found it to be poor to drive and short of style.

There were other causes for complaint with the exterior and interior, too.

The Berlingo had the worst record for bodywork quality of any MPV in the survey, and the second-worst score for features and controls such as the remote central locking system, the electric windows and windscreen wipers.

Berlingo drivers thought that the quality of service and repair work carried out by dealers was generally good, although dealership facilities were below average and bills too high.

Insurance costs were also a little on the steep side, but at least the low fuel bills brought a weak smile to the face of owners.

11. Renault Scenic/Grand Scenic
Score 77.8%
Overall ranking 88th=

Scenic and Grand Scenic owners faced massive reliability problems - the Renault had some of the worst results across the board.

The suspension and braking systems played up, as did the engine and air-conditioning, as well as controls such as the wipers and locks.

As for dealers, owners said the booking and collection set-up, staff and facilities were all below par, and that costs were too high.

They also didn't like the performance of their cars or the way they drove, but thought the seats were comfortable.

12. Vauxhall Zafira
Score 76.9%
Overall ranking 91st

The Zafira has suffered a big slide since last year and now has a place in the bottom 10 overall as a result.

What's changed since 2007? More mechanical glitches were reported - the suspension, steering, brakes and engine were the most problematic areas. More bodywork issues emerged, too.

Drivers were also less satisfied with the performance of their cars, the quality of service from dealers and the cost of running the Zafira.

It's difficult to find anything that owners were happy with, except that they said the seats were sturdy.

13. Kia Sedona
Score 72.5%
Overall ranking 100th

This is the last car in the MPV section and plumb last overall - it gets no worse for the Sedona.

A staggering eight out of 10 owners had problems with the suspension, steering and braking systems, while 64% said the heating and air-conditioning played up.

Controls such as the wipers, locks and windows also went haywire, and there were bodywork headaches, too.

Owners didn't arrive at dealerships in a terribly good mood, then, and slated the service they got.

To cap it off, they were the least impressed of all MPV drivers with the bills dealers gave them for servicing and repairs, and also thought that fuel and insurance costs were too high.

MPV results table

Table: results by model

Table: results by manufacturer

JD Power customer satisfaction poll '08 - 4x4s


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