JD Power survey 2012 - MPVs
1 Mercedes-Benz B-Class
Overall ranking 11th
While some cars in this year’s survey won their class by excelling in one particular area, the B-Class owes its success more to decent feedback across the board.
Owners were most impressed by the Mercedes’ interior. They loved the quality feel of the materials and the quiet cabin.
Although the B-Class isn’t the largest MPV in this category, owners were more than content with its load-carrying capability and gave it a selection of four-star scores. Storage in the front gathered particular praise. The boot was agreed to be usefully spacious, with the ease of loading and unloading also categorised as impressive.
We’ve long criticised this car for its poor ride. Owners agreed. They felt it was harsh over bumps in town – in fact, it was the joint-worst performer in class, sharing bottom spot with the Citroën C4 Picasso. Out-of-town performance was more highly rated, with steering described as agile and the brakes sharp and responsive.
Owners loved the looks inside and out, and were very impressed by the stereo system. Polite and courteous service picked up more decent scores for Mercedes.
Overall, the B-Class is a strong performer in a competitive class populated by a demanding set of owners. The new model that has just gone on sale may go some way to ironing out lingering issues with the ride, but it’s shorter and more hatchback-like in its dimensions, so we’ll need to wait until next year to see how that goes down with buyers.
2 VW Golf Plus
The Golf Plus is based on the standard small family car, so it came as no surprise that owners liked the engines’ performance. Even so, there were reports of a few problems with stalling and of the ‘check engine’ light illuminating.
3 Peugeot 3008
Peugeot 3008 buyers raved about their cars’ exterior and interior appeal and performance. However, there were a few gremlins concerning the handbrake, while several owners felt the pedals were too close together.
4 Ford S-Max
If you want an attractive MPV, go for the S-Max – it was ranked as the most visually appealing car in the class. Owners loved the storage on offer as well. On the downside, the hands-free system and radio were criticised.
5= Citroen Berlingo
The Berlingo’s low scores on vehicle appeal weren’t enough to prevent it emerging as the joint-highest-ranked Citroën MPV. Practicality boosted its score, as did storage space and the overall service experience.
5= Citroen C3 Picasso
Last year’s class winner has taken a tumble, with windscreen washer problems the biggest single cause of complaints. Owners also had issues with the heater and steamed-up windows, although visibility and storage were popular.
7 Renault Scenic/Grand Scenic
Scénic and Grand Scénic owners were most unhappy with their cars’ noisy and inefficient heating systems. However, speedy and helpful dealer service staff buoyed up the ownership experience.
8 Volkswagen Touran
The Touran received praise for its handling, just like its stablemate the Golf Plus. The dealer experience let the package down slightly, though, and owners indicated that they would like a little more from the luggage compartments.
9 Toyota Verso
A three-star score and 64th place shouldn’t be a cause for celebration, but it marks a massive improvement on the Verso’s bottom place in last year’s MPV category. Owners still don’t like their cars’ engines, with fuel economy a bugbear.
10 Ford C-Max
The C-Max’s engine and exterior lights both caused it to lose points, but in compensation for that it was able to rely on decent service and repair costs, plus an impressive stereo system, to bump up its overall score.
11 Citroen Grand C4 Picasso
Given they drive relatively large cars, Grand C4 Picasso owners were quite pleased with their vehicle’s running costs. More of a problem were the inefficient brakes and a poor service experience at dealerships.
12 Vauxhall Zafira
Apart from a noisy and ineffective heater fan, the Vauxhall Zafira didn’t have many problems; irritations let it down. The interior controls didn’t give a sense of quality. Owners also complained about having nowhere to rest their arms.
13 Citroen C4 Picasso
Citroën C4 Picasso owners were less enamoured with their fuel economy than those owning the larger Grand C4 Picasso. They also experienced a few more problems, but they liked the storage and visibility.
14 Citroen Xsara Picasso
The Xsara Picasso might be showing its age, but it proved more reliable than its C4 equivalents. A few problems emerged with the instrument panels, while floor mats that wouldn’t stay still were an annoyance.
15 Ford Galaxy
The Galaxy’s sixth place in this category last year was sadly a one-off: it has plummeted nine positions to the bottom of the MPV class once again this year. Many and varied problems were reported, including excessive wind noise, glitches with folding seats, squeaky or rattling seats, malfunctioning air-conditioning, and strange and unexplained engine noises. In short, it’s a dismal performance from Ford’s large people-carrier, and one that resulted in owners stripping two stars off its 2011 score.
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