JD Power survey 2012 - Superminis part 1
1 Honda Jazz
Overall ranking 7th
Honda has definitely got the formula right with its smallest car, and continues to reap the rewards, with the Jazz holding pole position for the ninth year in a row. It even bettered last year’s overall 10th place ranking.
As usual, owners struggled to find fault with this car. The biggest number of complaints were about windows that mist up easily – but still no more than average for this vehicle class. They also found it to be a little more sluggish on the motorway than they would have liked, but were full of praise for the slick gearchanges.
It’s difficult to focus on just one outstanding area for this car, because owners loved pretty much everything about it. Space was perhaps its biggest asset, with plenty of leg- and headroom for both front and rear passengers. Cleverly thought-out storage also found favour. Comfort generally was praised, with plenty of seat adjustment making it easy to find the perfect driving position. All the dashboard controls were within easy reach, too.
Boot space was highly rated. Owners particularly liked the way the rear seats could be configured, reserving special praise for the double-folding rear seats that can be collapsed with just one hand.
The Jazz’s relatively low purchase price was also kind to the wallets of owners, who gave it an excellent score for fuel economy. Low insurance costs were also appreciated.
Pointing to exceptional service, Jazz owners reckoned Honda dealers to be the friendliest, saying that service advisers went out of their way to explain repair work.
When it came to paying the workshop bill, Jazz owners were the happiest in the supermini class – yet more praise that will be music to Honda’s ears.
2= Nissan Note
The Note was a clear front runner despite never scoring better than average, which perhaps says more about this class than the car. Owners liked the Note’s accessibility, space, rear comfort and visibility. They also felt safe changing lanes.
2= Skoda Fabia
Skoda’s all-rounder scored for its space and its smooth engine and transmission. Some interior touches were felt to be a little basic, but the responsive steering was well liked, as were the fuel economy and some of the class’s lowest running costs.
4 Toyota Yaris
An uneventful survey for the Yaris, with few problems reported. Owners wished for a better demist function, but in the main they found the car comfortable, with extra praise for its safety. Ownership didn’t hit their wallets too hard, either.
5 Alfa Romeo Mito
Mito owners rated it the prettiest supermini, but reported more than twice the industry average number of problems, with the CD player, hands-free system and parcel shelf all cited. Still, the car’s handling thrilled on twisty roads.
6 Volkswagen Polo
Not much changes for the Polo, but at least it’s moved up a place from seventh last year. Owners weren’t blown away by the performance, but they gave full marks for exterior appeal and were also pleased with the size of their bills.
7 Ford Fiesta
The Fiesta performed just above average across the board. Going against the grain in this class, Fiesta owners were pleased with the Quickclear windscreen, and said their view of the road was enhanced by the car’s slick wipers.
8 Mini hatchback/Clubman/Convertible
Style and pace were the key Mini attributes. Owners loved its premium retro chic. Back-seat passengers were too snug, and the tiny boot niggled, but problems were restricted to complex audio controls and ill-fitting mats.
9 Suzuki Swift
Suzuki will enjoy the Swift’s 10-place leap up the index, especially as it picked up an extra star. The Swift’s looks scored, unlike noisy brakes, clutch and starting problems, and an unusually high number of remote keyless entry glitches.
10 Peugeot 207
Satisfaction continued to improve for the 207, pushing it up four places. Reliability was better, too, with braking problems seemingly a thing of the past – although there were a higher than average number of engine warning light reports.
11= Ford Fusion
The ageing Fusion falls one place in the rankings. Owners were less than kind about its styling, picking out the front end for special criticism. However, it was highly rated for space and its palatable service and repair costs.
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