The cars you love and hate
By Martin Pratt
Which cars have the most and least satisfied drivers? We reveal the ones that have most pleased or frustrated their owners - find out if your car is on the list.
Each year, we put hundreds of new cars through our comprehensive road and lab tests. With each undergoing an identical range of assessments, we’re able to give accurate and consistent buying advice, no matter what sort of car you’re looking for.
However, when it really comes to understanding a car’s foibles, there’s nothing better than living with it day in, day out. That's why we use our Which? Car Survey to ask tens of thousands of people to tell us what their cars are like to live with - what they like, what they don't like and whether they'd recommend their car to someone else.
We collate the results to reveal which cars have the most satisfied owners, as well as those that could do better.
Below, you can see the models that ranked top and bottom for satisfaction in each class according to our latest survey.
They may be the smallest cars on the road, but that’s no excuse for poor passenger space. The best city cars are also reliable, cheap to run and fun to drive.
Most satisfying city car
This impressive little city car not only impresses in our comprehensive lab and road tests, but has proved popular with owners, too. It’s relatively generous amount of space, effortless driving experience and frugal engine make it perfectly suited to urban driving. It’s doesn’t feel too out of its depth on longer journeys, either.
Least satisfying city car
This city car is behind the curve, and owners have noticed. It’s ranked the least satisfying city car model in our survey (including cars up to eight years old) thanks to an underpowered engine, middling fuel consumption and poor practicality. The weak heater also came in for particular criticism – not what you’d expect from a new model.
Small cars are expected to be compact, easy to drive, reliable and inexpensive to run. Which car is top of the heap and which is languishing in last place?
Most satisfying small car
This supermini is a firm favourite with Which? members, and it’s now topped the satisfaction rankings for small cars. Aside from low running costs, it impressed with its quality, refinement and comfort. It also delivers on the practicality front, with a unique rear folding seat system.
Least satisfying small car
This small car falls just within our age range for used models – and its advancing years are telling. Owners were cheesed off with poor fuel economy, sluggish performance and an unrefined driving experience. There are far better used small cars on the market.
The bread and butter of the family-car market, medium cars need to be a jack-of-all-trades, offering decent practicality, economy and an entertaining drive. Find out which kept its owners happiest.
Most satisfying medium car
With the potential for very low running costs, and some high technology, it’s not hard to see why this model is the most satisfying medium car. However, it was the more fundamental issues such as decent levels of comfort and refinement that pleased owners most.
Least satisfying medium car
It may be quite popular, but this mid-size hatch rubs owners up the wrong way. So much so, in fact, that it’s the least satisfying medium car according to owners. Sluggish performance, poor visibility and manoeuvrability were the main complaints and aren’t issues you should be facing in a car that’s meant to be easy to drive and live with.
The best large cars offer plenty of lounging space and the latest technology. They should also be economical and easy to drive.
Most satisfying large car
Least satisfying large car
A conservatively stylish saloon from a premium manufacturer should be an ideal motoring companion, but owners feel they’ve been let down. Of particular concern are emissions issues. A dull driving experience and difficulty parking it, seals this model’s fate as the least satisfying large car in our survey.
The best estate cars will give you load-lugging versatility, reliability, great handling and efficient engines. Find out which models miss the mark, below.
Most satisfying estate car
Least satisfying estate car
Expensive luxury cars should offer the best motoring experience, with sumptuous interiors and cushion-soft ride quality. Find out which models provide this and which aren’t worth the price premium, according to owners.
Most satisfying luxury car
Least satisfying luxury car
The best MPVs offer comfort, practicality and bags of interior space. They should also produce low running costs and long-term reliability.
Most satisfying MPV
Least satisfying MPV
On the face of it, this model is the same as the best MPVs, with a versatile interior with seven seats. However, sluggish performance, tricky manoeuvrability and poor visibility dent its ease of use. This generation has also been extensively recalled for serious issues.
The best small SUVs and crossover cars combine practicality, fuel efficiency and reliability with a great driving position.
Most satisfying compact SUV
Least satisfying compact SUV
A modern large SUV should be no more taxing to drive than a small hatchback. They should be practical, refined and shouldn’t guzzle fuel, either.
Most satisfying large SUV
This model’s superb blend of abilities hasn’t been lost on owners, who are very happy with its long distance comfort, performance and quality. The brand’s traditional driver appeal hasn’t been lost in this SUV, either, as one owner commented: ‘It’s simply a great drive!’
Least satisfying large SUV
On the face of it, this rugged off-roader holds plenty of appeal. Having lived with it, though, owners are cheesed off with quality issues, poor fuel economy and problems with dealers. They also felt basic equipment was lacking for what is an expensive, premium car.
As single-minded as some sports cars may be, there’s still no excuse for atrocious practicality, or visibility that leaves you wincing at every junction. Here are the zeros and heroes according to our members.
Most satisfying sports car
Least satisfying sports car
This model’s appearance as the least satisfying sports car is surprising, given its popularity. However, small back seats and a stiff ride take the shine of its appeal on a daily basis. The layout of the cabin and operating the on-board tech also proved frustrating for some.
To see the cars that excelled in the Which? test lab and are recommended by our car experts, see our round-up of the best cars for 2019.