JD Power survey 2012 - Sports and cabrios

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  • Driver satisfaction survey 2012
  • Find out what fellow drivers think
  • Don't buy before reading this
Winner VW Scirocco
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.

JD Power 20122 Mazda MX-5
Overall 48th=
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.

JD Power 20123 BMW Z4
Overall 57th=
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.

JD Power 20124= Audi TT
Overall 87th=
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.

JD Power 20124= Mercedes-Benz SLK
Overall 87th=
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.

Full results
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JD Power 2012

JD Power 2012Case study
Name Will Pearce
Age 25
Job Police community support officer
Lives Towcester
Model 2.0 TDI 140 GT
Miles with car 8000
‘My Scirocco suits my needs perfectly. Aside from being stunning to look at, it’s very comfortable on long journeys and versatile around town, never delivering less than 50mpg. There’s more than enough power and torque and, with the adaptive chassis control, it sticks to the road like glue.

‘I’ve no problem fitting family and friends into it, and find the boot space more than adequate. I had a problem with a squeak from the rear of the car, but VW sorted it in a day under warranty.’

JD Power survey 2012 - MPVs


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