JD Power survey 2012 - Sports and cabrios
1 Volkswagen Scirocco
Overall ranking 17th
It was a case of oh so close for the Volkswagen Scirocco in the 2011 survey. In its first year in JD Power it lost out by just 0.4% to the category winner (the Mazda MX-5) to take a solid second place.
This year it went one better, claiming the top spot in the sporting cars category. One clincher, perhaps unsurprisingly, was its visual appeal, with the Scirocco scoring impressively highly both inside and out. Owners were also rather taken by this coupé’s practicality, with the seats and storage coming in for special comment.
The rear seats were about the only element that drew anything other than high praise, with head-, leg- and footroom not finding universal favour.
Practicality isn’t the Scirocco’s main strength, though; drivers preferred to concentrate instead on the responsive steering, and on having fun putting the car’s nimbleness to the test on country roads. Drivers also appreciated the Scirocco’s overtaking ability at motorway speeds, and its smooth gearchanges.
By and large, owners were able to enjoy their Scirocco without interruption, although there’s still room for improvement here.
The heating, ventilation and engine performed particularly well, although owners did report a surprisingly high number of issues with the tailgate.
Only Mazda MX-5 owners recorded fewer overall problems with their sports cars, but the Scirocco’s strong all-round performance means it gets top billing for 2012.
2 Mazda MX-5
A surprising drop in the popular roadster’s overall score means it loses its Sports Car title this year. Owners remained taken with its reliability, driving ability, looks and servicing, but this enduring Mazda fell down on running costs.
3 BMW Z4
Z4 owners reported a few issues with their cars’ audio systems and dashboard displays, and they were less than impressed by the competence of their service advisers. On the plus side, they loved the car’s interior, seats and handling ability.
4= Audi TT
Reality bites for the TT as it drops to joint-fourth (final) place. Pace and handling were praised, but a higher-than-average number of battery and clutch problems brought the score down. Insurance, fuel and service costs were all criticised.
4= Mercedes-Benz SLK
A disappointing lowest score for the second year in a row for Mercedes’ sporty SLK, albeit shared with the Audi TT. The car also suffered a fall of 27 places in the overall satisfaction index, after last year’s problems reared their heads once again for owners.
Squeaky seats, irritating floor mats that wouldn’t stay still and problems with the speedo were just some of the reported issues that took the edge off the ownership experience, while high car-collection charges by the dealerships were unpopular as well. The SLK’s classy interior won praise, though, as did its looks.
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