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Best and worst medium cars revealed

Rated by you - the UK's most satisfying cars of 2012

The medium car class is packed with talented contenders. But they’re very far from being equal, as owners have revealed in the latest Which? Car Survey. 

The Which? Car Survey asks car owners to report not only on their cars’ reliability, but also on how satisfying they are to own. Both are vital aspects to consider when buying a new car

Here we reveal the medium cars that were voted the best and worst for owner satisfaction.

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The best medium cars for owner satisfaction

Toyota Prius (2004-2009) – 92%

The second-generation Prius hybrid has proven to be very reliable over the years. It makes most sense if you’re a city-dweller, as it’s very fuel-efficient in town, but markedly less so at motorway speeds. The switch from the electric motor to the petrol engine while you are driving is seamless.

Inside, the Prius is roomy in both the front and back, and despite the battery pack under the floor, there’s still a reasonable 280-litre boot with the seats up, and decent space with the rear seats folded.

Toyota Corolla (1997-2002) – 91%

Toyota’s reputation for unrivalled reliability stems from the hugely successful Corolla. According to drivers, this isn’t the only thing going for it, as the Corolla takes second spot for owner satisfaction.

You can only buy this car used now – the latest-generation Corolla was discontinued in 2006. If you want to buy a new Toyota, check out its replacement – the Toyota Auris.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta (2010-) – 88%

While Alfa Romeo rarely sets the reliability charts alight, the Italian firm certainly knows how to make striking cars. The Giulietta’s arresting looks are truly ‘new decade’ and make most competitors look distinctly dowdy.

Owners certainly appreciate this, and the Giulietta’s dynamic performance also helps its cause, with owners voting it the third most satisfying car to own overall.

The worst medium cars for owner satisfaction

Peugeot 307 (2001-2008) – 63%

While the 307 is pleasant enough to drive, and has a roomy, versatile cabin, owners really aren’t that happy with it in daily life. Perhaps that’s something to do with the shakes and rattles in the cabin we noticed during our testing. Or maybe it’s the average annual repair costs, which are considerably higher than more reliable cars in this class.

Renault Mégane (2002-2009) – 61%

Renault’s second-generation Mégane was a pretty radical-looking car at its launch in 2002, and it still stands out from the crowd today. However, it’s proven very unreliable and owners gave it just one star for build quality, relegating it to second-lowest in our satisfaction league table.

Citroën Xsara (1997-2004) – 56%

The aging Xsara gets some things right – a comfortable ride, for example – but ultimately it’s below par in too many areas. Safety levels are way off modern standards and parts and servicing costs are very high for a car this size.

More on this…

  • Which? Car Survey – read the full results from our latest survey
  • Top 10 medium car tips – check out our top tips to buying a new car
  • Hot Car Deals – find out how you could bag yourself a bargain
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