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Top ten best cars to own

The best cars to own in 2011 - rated by you

Passat CC - a large family saloon

Passat CC scores top marks for owner satisfaction

Volkswagen Group cars dominate in the customer satisfaction top rankings, with Skoda’s a particular favourite.

The Which? Car Survey is the biggest and best in the UK. And the 52,563 people who took part last year have helped us to rank the cars that gave the best customer satisfaction.

The range of models is surprising, with four 4x4s, two sports cars, a couple of large cars and, perhaps surprisingly, only one luxury model in the list.

Read on to find out the top ten cars for owner satisfaction, according to the 2011 Which? Car Survey.

Fill in the 2012 Which? Car Survey

You can help raise standards in the car industry – or simply get some car-related complaints off your chest – by telling us about your car in this year’s survey. It doesn’t matter what car you own – supermini or medium hatch, a saloon, estate, sports, MPV or off-roader – we want feedback on them all.

Fill in the 2012 Which? Car Survey and you’ll be in with a chance of winning £10,000. It takes no more than 15 minutes for each car you own, and is your opportunity to have your voice heard.

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Top ten cars for owner satisfaction

1. Volkswagen Passat CC (2008-)

Owner satisfaction score 96%

Scores highly in several key categories

Volkswagen Passat CC

The Passat CC isn’t what you might expect from the name (it is not a Coupé Convertible!), but it is a very competent large family saloon. Owners really rate its ride quality, handling, driving position, dash layout, styling and enjoyability (all five stars). They were less keen on visibility for parking and space in the rear (both still reasonable, but only three stars).

If you own one and disagree with the results of last year’s survey, you can only contribute to the outcome of this year’s survey by taking part.

2. Skoda Yeti (2009-)

Owner satisfaction score 96%

Both fun to drive and reliable

Skoda Yeti

The Yeti is the top performing Skoda for owner satisfaction and is the second of no less than five VW Group cars in the top ten for satisfaction. It’s a compact 4×4, making its name in an increasingly competitive market that includes cars like the Ford Kuga, Kia Sportage and Honda CR-V. Owners love almost everything about this car, only marking it down for a lack of space in the rear, and for poor storage capacity. 

3. Land Rover Discovery 4 (2010-)

Owner satisfaction score 95%

Scores highly, despite poor reliability

Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover recently celebrated the millionth Discovery to roll off its Solihull production line. Now in its fourth generation, Discovery really pleases its owners and, despite its poor reliability, they haven’t rated any of the 14 performance categories we ask about in the survey below four stars, with no fewer than eleven categories earning five!

4. Skoda Superb Estate (2010-)

Owner satisfaction score 95%

It's exactly what it says on the tin

Skoda Superb estate

Owners of this car think its name describes it perfectly – Superb! It scored five stars for performance, ride quality, driving position, space throughout, heating and ventilation and finally, for its enjoyable drive. For everything else its scored four stars.

5. Mazda MX-5 (2005-)

Owner satisfaction score 94%

Long-established favourite - and reliable too

Mazda MX-5

The long-established favourite, the Mazda MX-5 is the modern-day MG Midget, but with the added benefit of excellent reliability. Owners rate its handling and enjoyability with five stars, while its handling, ride quality, interior layout, build quality, heating and ventilation and styling get four stars. Perhaps unsurprisingly for an open top two seater, it also gets marked down for space and noise.

6. Skoda Octavia (2004-)

Owner satisfaction score 92%

Five stars for load space

Skoda Octavia

Skodas score consistently well for owner recommendations in our surveys – and the Octavia is no different on 92%. Owners gave it five stars for loading and storage, and four stars for almost everything else. It was downgraded for ride quality on the diesel versions (three stars) and for noise (two stars for diesel, three for petrol), and owners weren’t so impressed with its styling (three stars). 

7. Nissan X-Trail (2007-)

Owner satisfaction score 91%

Plenty of space in the front and for luggage

Nissan X-Trail

The X-Trail is unusual among compact 4x4s in that owners give it five stars for load space and storage. It scores the same for space in the front, but those sitting in the rear feel the squeeze, where it gets  just three stars. Most other categories get four stars, with the exception of the car’s handling, visibility for parking and its styling (all three stars) and its heating and ventilation, (on just two).

8. BMW 5 Series (2010-)

Owner satisfaction score 91% 

Refined, with excellent build quality

BMW 5-series

The 5 Series has always been hugely popular among buyers of large executive cars thanks to its blend of luxury and driving ability. Owners rate it highest for its refinement (noise) dash layout and build quality (all five stars). Everything else gets four stars, except for parking visibility which gets just three stars.

9. Hyundai ix35 (2010-)

Owner satisfaction score 91%

Styling and enjoyability are top-rated

Hyundai ix35

A direct competitor for the Skoda Yeti, the ix35 rates very well with owners for space in the front, heating and ventilation, styling and enjoyability of the drive (all five stars). They downrate it for its handling, the noise levels, visibility when parking, build quality and loading and storage (all on three stars). Everything else is rated at four.

10. Audi TT (2006-)

Owner satisfaction score 90%

Really high ratings for performance an enjoyability

Audi TT

The Audi TT is a sports car with attitude, and its owners appreciate this, giving five stars each for its handling, layout, styling, build quality, performance and enjoyability of the drive. As might be expected of any true sports car, space in the rear is lacking (just one star) while space in the front and noise are both awarded just three stars. 

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