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Customer power with JD Power

There are many car industry awards, from the annual European Car of the Year, which is held by a number of motoring magazines across Europe, to smaller, more specialist awards, like Business Car of the Year. The awards have greater or lesser authority but for the most part they are awarded by a small number of journalists to new models.

There are many car industry awards, from the annual European Car of the Year, which is held by a number of motoring magazines across Europe, to smaller, more specialist awards, like Business Car of the Year. The awards have greater or lesser authority but for the most part they are awarded by a small number of journalists to new models. This has limited relevance to actual car owners and although the winning manufacturers might note the awards on their websites, the industry is not much bothered by them. Instead, the award that really has those motor marketing executives fidgeting nervously in their seats is the JD Power What Car? UK Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study.

This is a far more comprehensive and relevant survey and encompasses far more than the views of just a few well looked after journalists. Instead, the JD Power survey is made up by the opinions of the drivers who have actually splashed out their own cash and own the vehicles they are assessing: typically over three years of ownership. It is an extensive survey too, taking in the opinions of over 16,000 UK drivers and leaving manufacturers who don't do so well with nowhere to hide their blushes.

The results of the 2013 JD Power What Car? UK Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study have just been released and it is good news for UK marques. Jaguar has come first in the manufacturers' league table for the second year running, while Land Rover also performed well, rising 6 places from 12th to 6th and in the process becoming the most improved manufacturer. Some of the names at the bottom of the satisfaction list have long had issues with quality. The likes of Fiat, Peugeot and Alfa Romeo are regular visitors to the bottom reaches of the survey, but they are joined in 2013 by relative new boys, Chevrolet. Mitsubishi, a manufacturer renowned for excellent build quality, will not be happy with their third bottom finish in 25th place.

The JD Power survey also scores individual models, with the Skoda Superb taking first place and the Skoda Yeti second. The Chevrolet Spark was the worst car and the Alfa Romeo Mito took second last place. The survey also scores cars by category, with the winners as follows: Volkswagen Fox, best city car; Citroen DS3, best supermini; Toyota Prius, best small family car; Skoda Superb, best family car/compact executive; Jaguar XF, best executive car; Mercedes-Benz B-Class, best MPV; Skoda Yeti, best compact SUV and the Lexus RX, best large SUV.
 

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