Compact SUVs

* Driver satisfaction survey 2013 * Find out what fellow drivers think * Don't buy before reading this...

Compact SUVs

Compact SUVs winner
Skoda Yeti

1 Skoda Yeti
Not only does the Yeti make its survey debut as the number one compact SUV, but it has also emerged as the second- most-loved car in the entire field. Owners didnt hold back in showing their delight with the quality of this value-for-money motor, and all agreed that the Yeti delivered everything it promised: space, comfort and practicality in spades.

The car was easy to get in and out of, the seating was flexible, and the boot big enough for owners needs. Meanwhile, great all-round visibility made parking and lane-changing a doddle, and the well-positioned instrument cluster and media display allowed drivers to focus on the road ahead.

Owners also reported a pleasurable driving experience, with suspension discreetly mopping up bumps and potholes. The cars handling was rated best in class, and owners raved about the slick gearshift while enjoying rapid acceleration and a satisfying purr from the engine.

Skodas dealer network also came in for praise, with owners showing appreciation for their friendly manner and responsiveness. Few mechanical defects were reported, but when work was necessary it was done well.

The most common problems included paint imperfections, while more than one in 10 complained about the ineffective heater.

2 Kia Sportage
Last years survey winner is relegated to second place in category and 13th overall. Owners reported a cacophony of noise from the engine, brakes and heater, as well as door panel problems. The car was still deemed attractive, though, while dealers worked quickly and were reported to be particularly friendly.

3 Volvo XC60
Practicality was the XC60s best asset, with owners rating it top for boot space and ease of loading. Quality materials and switchgear also impressed, and owners said they enjoyed a quiet ride and top-notch audio system. The heater consistently kept occupants warm, while air-con was also perfectly pitched.

4 Nissan Qashqai
Is the Qashqais honeymoon period over? The Nissan fell seven places this year, although it performed admirably against rivals and suffered few mechanical problems. Gripes included a sluggish heater, with owners impatient for windows to demist and defrost. Cabin materials were prone to scuffing, too.

5 Volkswagen Tiguan
Engine, heating and handbrake problems concerned Tiguan owners the most, as well as high insurance premiums. However, on the whole owners were pretty satisfied, enjoying a good relationship with their dealer and, going against trend, reporting the second-lowest fuel costs in the class behind the Skoda Yeti.

6 Honda CR-V
Owners improved the CR-Vs ranking this year, thanks primarily to great dealer service. Workshop teams were courteous and helpful, explaining work thoroughly. They didnt charge the earth, either. Fuel economy was a bugbear, while complaints included brake and wind noise. Battery failure wasnt unusual, either.

7 Toyota RAV4
RAV4 owners spent the least amount of time at the dealer compared with those of other compact SUVs. Ill-fitting floor mats and problematic wipers drew most complaints, but there were also reports of strange noises from under the car. Labour rates were steep, but owners found dealers friendly and thorough.

8 Hyundai ix35
The ix35 was given average scores in most areas, but its looks were rated higher than most of the competition. Owners liked the interior, too, especially the upholstery and the attractive instrument panel. High fuel and servicing costs were highlighted, while complaints were made about the door locks and sat-nav.

9 Land Rover Freelander
The Freelander was rated for its high, comfortable seats and visibility, especially when overtaking. Almost one in 10 reported seeing the engine warning light, but there were few other mechanical complaints. Fuel and servicing costs disappointed, but owners had no problems with dealers comfortable facilities.

10 Mini Countryman
The Countryman put on a poor show compared with rivals. Owners loved the retro styling and were impressed with their dealers professionalism and fair charges, but complained about excessive fuel consumption, and engine and heating and ventilation problems. More than one in 10 struggled with the audio controls, too.

14 BMW X1
Overall ranking 108th=
A worst-in-class performance in more than 80% of categories dumped the BMW X1 into overall bottom place. Owners rated it least practical: the boot was small, the cabin cramped and storage limited. They also found it difficult to park. Their worst scores were reserved for running costs, but wheel alignment problems and engine hesitation were also reported. Owners did like the high seats and overtaking power, and after a spell in the workshop cars were returned in good condition.

Full results
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Name John Wilson
Age 59
Lives Yorkshire
Job Telecoms/network engineer
Model Skoda Yeti 2.0 TDI CR 110 SE 2WD
Miles driven 1000
I felt comfortable the instant I sat in the Yeti. Our car has lumbar support and height adjustment on both front seats, so its perfect for my wife, whos five feet three, and me, at six feet.

Reliability is excellent over the course of 30,000 miles our previous Yeti had no mechanical problems at all and the removable rear seats are proving to be invaluable.