* Driver satisfaction survey 2013 * Find out what fellow drivers think * Don't buy before reading this...
City cars winner
1 Volkswagen Fox
A fall of 10 places in the overall survey couldn't stop the Fox from taking number one spot in its class for the first time – a great performance for one of the car's final outings in the survey since it's been discontinued to make way for VW's new Up.
As in previous surveys, mechanical complaints were thin on the ground, although owners noted the biggest number of wiper and washer problems in class, a historical problem with this car. The audio system didn't do owners' music justice at high volume, either.
Mostly, though, there was little to complain about; owners' scores for passenger room, storage space and access blew the competition out of the water. Owners also raved about the car's refinement and strong engine. The dealer experience was also second to none, with prompt, slick service from helpful staff, and reasonable fees. Fox owners also found it easy to book their motors in at a convenient time, and there was little waiting around – cars were ready exactly when the service advisers said they would be. Running costs weren't wallet-draining, either, and owners even found insurance premiums acceptable.
So, as the Fox takes a bow out of the new car market, a word from the owners who've loved it: 'nippy and full of character' and 'great driving, fantastic road handling' were just two of the comments posted on whatcar.com.
2 Toyota Aygo
Running costs were a big part of the Aygo's appeal, with owners reporting low service, repair and fuel bills. Insurance premiums were reasonable, while build quality was also admired. The car lagged behind the competition on performance, while a quarter of problems related to the heating and ventilation system.
3= Fiat 500
Fiat 500 owners loved the car's retro styling and colourful trim. Quality materials gave it a well-built feel, and forward visibility was rated excellent. Low-level niggles such as a fiddly fuel cap and foggy windows were the worst of their frustrations, while they yearned for more overtaking power.
3= Smart Fortwo
Owners enjoyed being able to park the Fortwo in the smallest spaces, and they even rated the front seats best in class for spaciousness. Smart dealers got the thumbs up for plush facilities and helpful staff. The only letdown was the car's ride, which was deemed a little harsh.
5 Hyundai i10
Rave reviews from i10 owners propelled it 14 places up the leader board. They felt well looked after by their dealers, although they weren't quite so happy with the charges. There were few problems (foggy windows being the most serious), and owners said they were happy with the sprightly engine.
6 Kia Picanto
The introduction of the new Picanto couldn't improve the car's survey status. Owners complained the engine was short of punch, and criticised the heating and audio systems, complaining that their music sounded tinny. However, they did enjoy good customer service from courteous service advisers.
7 Citroen C1
C1 owners rated their cars best for fuel economy, but that frugality wasn't reflected in the service and repair bills at Citroen dealers. Unsurprisingly, given that the C1 has the smallest boot in class at a tiny 130 litres, cargo space was criticised, as were the noisy heater and underpowered engine.
8 Suzuki Alto
The Alto impressed owners this year and moves out of the league table doldrums. Owners wished they had more space, particularly in the boot, which they also found hard to load because of the high boot lip. However, the Alto was frugal and owners enjoyed great service from their dealers.
9 Peugeot 107
Peugeot's baby continues its descent down the charts, now languishing near the bottom of the rankings. The small boot prompted the lowest scores in the survey, the interior was dowdy and the ventilation veered between Arctic cold and Sahara hot. Happily, the little fuel tank didn't cost the earth to fill up.
10 Fiat Panda
The old Panda slides into the bottom five of the league table after owners said it was short of power and under equipped. Their strongest criticism was saved for the entertainment system, and not being able to connect iPods or play CDs. They did, however, rate the responsive steering and dealer service.
12 Chevrolet Spark
Overall ranking 116th
It's a miserable first survey showing for the Spark, entering the running at rock bottom.
What went wrong? Owners rated it below par in every area; body panel gaps, unyielding fuel caps, tyre wear and even some horn problems led them to question the car's quality, and they struggled to find anything positive to say about it at all.
Engine stalling, noisy brakes, seat rattles and wind noise were also reported. At least Chevrolet dealers were friendly, even if they did charge too much.
Name Glenn Morris
Lives West Midlands
Model Volkswagen Fox 1.2
Miles driven 20,000
'I have a Porsche that I use at the weekends, so was just looking for a small everyday car when I spotted the Fox.
'The Volkswagen badge attracted me first, but I was sold by the brilliantly smooth manual 'box – it's as if it finds its own gear. I went for the basic model and added electric windows, heated mirrors and remote locking. It's a lovely car.'
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