JD Power survey 2013 - MPVs
1 Mercedes-Benz B-Class
There might be a new B-Class in town, but owners of the previous-generation model told pollsters they were more than happy with their current car. They showed their approval by giving the compact MPV an almost full complement of five-star ratings, pushing the car into the overall top 10 for the first time.
Owners said that while the ride wasn't as smooth as they'd like, the B-Class was the sweetest-handling and smartest-looking car in its class. It was agreed to be mechanically sound, although there were a few complaints about odd noises from under the vehicle.
Inside, passengers were able to spread out and didn't have to ration luggage. They also enjoyed a quiet, unruffled ride, with little road and wind noise penetrating the cabin. The audio system was also given the thumbs up, although more than 10% admitted finding the controls difficult to get to grips with.
The highest praise went to Mercedes-Benz dealers for their clean, comfortable facilities, not that customers had to wait there long; they rated Merc technicians some of the quickest in class and they didn't cut corners, either, doing a thorough job and returning the car in good condition. Charges were deemed fair, too, and although servicing costs were considered the worst aspect of owning a B-Class, owners clearly didn't mind parting with their cash for a job well done.
2 Ford C-Max/Grand C-Max
A hike of 58 places means the C-Max takes a top-20 overall spot, after owners scored the Ford highly in every area. Some reported high fuel consumption, but overall the C-Max did Ford proud. Ease of access, driver comfort and refinement were cherished, while helpful dealers made workshop visits palatable.
3 Toyota Verso
An almost impeccable reliability rating pushed the pre-2013 Verso up the overall leader board. Only Mercedes B-Class owners reported fewer engine problems in this class. Easy access and spacious front seats gave the Toyota its best scores, while flimsy cabin materials, wind noise and foggy windows attracted most criticism.
4 Ford Galaxy
The Galaxy is the survey's second-biggest climber, up 67 places overall. Owners said a strong engine, smooth gears and responsive steering made it fun to drive, while the whole family was able to spread out comfortably. Boot space was deemed acceptable, even if it did score lower than rivals'.
5 Renault Scenic/Grand Scenic
Scenic owners appreciated the MPV's good cabin and boot access, and reported plenty of storage space and enough cupholders for all the family. Gripes included water leaks and the engine warning light, and some raised remote key entry problems. Otherwise, though, a pretty good showing for the Renault.
6 Citroen C4 Picasso
A reversal of fortunes for the C4 Picasso, as it leaps 58 places to the top half of the overall table. Owners were impressed with reliability and fuel economy, while most complaints concerned the CD player, glovebox and heater. Owners also worried that cabin materials weren't robust enough to cope with family life.
7 Ford S-Max
Drivers loved the S-Max's performance, and rated engine power best in class. They were also impressed with the amount of room in the cabin, and said rear-seat passengers were especially comfortable. The mammoth boot was also highly rated. Negatives included high fuel, insurance and servicing bills.
8= Citroen Berlingo
Owners downgraded the Berlingo mainly because of its unsettled ride. One in 10 reported wheel alignment issues, as well as abnormal noises from the engine. They were least happy with the audio system, but did appreciate the boot space and rear sliding doors, while running costs were rated acceptable.
8= Vauxhall Zafira
Gripes included steep fuel bills, windscreen wiper glitches and a heater that failed to clear window fog quickly enough. In fact, owners gave their lowest scores to the heating and ventilation system, which was noisy and sluggish. Their best scores were awarded to the boot for size and ease of access.
10 Volkswagen Touran
Overall ranking 94th=
Reliability wasn't to blame for the Touran's lousy performance; apart from noisy brakes, few mechanical issues were reported. Comfort was a different matter, with complaints about blustery heating and air-con, and infotainment problems. Owners also felt interior plastics weren't worthy of the VW badge, and they rated its looks worst in class. Top scores were for boot space and flexible seating.
Click the image below for a full breakdown of the results...
Name Natasha Thomas
Model Mercedes-Benz B180
Miles driven 36,000
'We have a three- and seven-year old, and our B-Class is brilliant for family life. The cabin is big, the boot takes our huge buggy and my husband and I love the legroom the high seats provide. The Isofix fixings are also easy and safe to use with the child seat. Even better, the awesome dealer experience at Brooklands in Surrey makes you feel special.'