MPVs 1-8

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What Car? Staff
19 June 2009

MPVs 1-8

Our MPV of the Year went straight to the top of the tree in this category, with owners loving its great mixture of low running costs and distinctive, stylish looks.

1: Citron Grand C4 Picasso

Vehicle owner satisfaction score: 80.2%
Overall ranking: 27th
Our three-time MPV of the Year goes straight in at number one, proving owners love the Grand C4 Picasso just as much as we do.

Owners gave top marks for interior and exterior appeal. They loved the looks, superb visibility, and the air-conditioning and stereo/navigation systems. They were also happier with ownership costs (fuel, insurance, and servicing and repair bills).

However, if it weren't for average dealer service and iffy reliability, the Picasso would have finished higher than 27th out of 100 overall. Apart from troublesome seats, few drivers had interior issues the audio and navigation system were particularly trouble-free. However, owners were much more damning about exterior gripes. Mechanical woes were also noted (although not with the engine or gearbox).

2=: Citron Xsara Picasso

Vehicle owner satisfaction score: 79.3%
Overall ranking: 41st=
A one-two for Citron in the MPV class, and a much better result than last year for the Xsara, whose seven-year production run will end soon. Owners didn't wax lyrical about the five-seat MPV, but consistently rated it average or above average in every single area.

All ownership costs were praised, and mechanical problems were few and far between. Dealer service was rated highly, and owners were impressed with the engine and gearbox although a little less so with the driving dynamics.

2=: Seat Altea/XL/Freetrack

Vehicle owner satisfaction score: 79.3%
Overall ranking: 41st=
Like last year, interior problems marred an otherwise fine performance for Seat's smallest MPV. Mechanical issues were rare, and owners were largely impressed with the Altea's on-road performance, including its engine, gearbox and driving characteristics.

Drivers found the Altea affordable to run, and liked its sexy styling. Interior appeal and comfortable seats helped make up for the few exterior problems, and average interior storage and space.

4=: Citron C4 Picasso

Vehicle owner satisfaction score: 79.0%
Overall ranking: 51st=
Yet another Citron in as a new entry at number four. This is the five-seat version of this year's class winner, the seven-seat Grand C4 Picasso. It finished lower down the list because owners were less impressed with the car's interior storage and space, and complained about interior problems particularly with the audio, navigation and air-conditioning systems.

On the positive side, drivers reported few problems with the engine and gearbox, and all aspects of dealer service were rated above average or excellent.

4=: Toyota Corolla Verso

Vehicle owner satisfaction score: 79.0%
Overall ranking: 51st=
A sturdy interior and excellent dealer service meant the Verso finished fifth a couple of places down on last year. Most other areas were rated as average, including engine and gearbox performance, and driving dynamics although there were a few above-average marks, for items such as the air-conditioning system and seats.

Insurance was the most unpopular running cost, although this still scored average marks. The only real let-down was the Verso's frumpy looks.

6: Volkswagen Golf Plus

Vehicle owner satisfaction score: 77.8%
Overall ranking: 62nd=
The Golf Plus won top marks for mechanical reliability and, according to owners, it was almost as dependable in other areas so how come it finished in such a lowly position?

Well, high insurance costs took the gloss off things, and the appeal of both the interior and the exterior also came under fire. The big gripes, though, were interior storage and space, and the audio/navigation system. Dealer service and vehicle performance were both rated as average.

Overall, it's a disappointing result, considering last year's 13th place overall.

7: Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Vehicle owner satisfaction score: 76.8%
Overall ranking: 70th=
Poor mechanical reliability as well as high servicing and repair costs spoiled an otherwise fair result for the B-Class. Owners rated their cars as above average for exterior looks and visibility, and heaped even more praise on the reliability of the air-con system, and dealer service facilities.

However, average marks for vehicle performance, interior storage and space, fuel economy and insurance sealed Merc's worst result in this year's survey.

8: Renault Grand Scenic

Vehicle owner satisfaction score: 76.6%
Overall ranking: 76th=
This was Renault's best result in this year's survey, but still left it languishing in the bottom quarter overall. There were no real shockers, with only interior problems (particularly the seats) and exterior electrical issues letting the seven-seat Scnic down.

That said, owners weren't raving about anything, either. Most areas were rated as average, although owners did like the interior mainly for its good storage and space, and fine stereo and low insurance costs. Visibility scored well, too.