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Lexus tops satisfaction survey
Lexus takes line honours in its first inclusion in the JD Power customer satisfaction survey
18 Apr 2001
By JUSTIN LACY
THE UK's biggest customer satisfaction survey, conducted by car industry analysts JD Power and Associates, has produced a first time out victory for Lexus as the top manufacturer - the first year its sales volumes have allowed it to be included in the survey.
It was the only manufacturer to finish in the top 10 in each of the four sections that JD Power monitor and its vehicles were considered the most reliable and most liked.
The Japanese car-maker's three models - LS400, GS300 and IS200 ? had a stranglehold on the top five finishing first, third and fifth respectively.
"This mirrors owner experiences in the US market where Lexus has been placed at the top of the rankings for a number of years," JD Power and Associates director of European operations Dave Sargent said.
Jaguar finished runner-up for the third year in a row, suffering from a bad ranking for ownership costs to keep it out of the top spot. The XJ-Series managed a top 10 finish while the XK-Series came home in 36th place.
BMW achieved its best result since the surveys began in 1994, taking third place overall behind Lexus and Jaguar. Its 7 Series and 5 Series models both rank in the top 10 while the 3 Series slips into the top 30 in 29th place.
The Rover 75 was its standout car in 2001 no doubt evidence of BMW's manufacturing influence on the model when you compare its performance with the rest of the Rover range.
The 400 Series was the next best Rover model finishing in 98th place, while the British manufacturer also had two models in the 10 worst performing cars - the MGF and Mini.
Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Land Rover and Citroen also fill positions at the bottom end of the scale. Despite the regard in which the survey is held within the industry, these major manufacturers have yet to act on the results as a way of increasing standards.
Ford, Renault and Volkswagen have improved their results from previous years to now be considered average overall.
The survey monitors cars registered between August, 1998, and August, 1999, that sold more than 1000 examples. Their age and mileage mean faults might have started to show, as well as giving owners an overall experience with the car and dealer support.
This year the survey ranks 182 different models, up from 115 models in 2000, with 38 brands represented covering over 99 per cent of UK car market sales.
The survey looks at four key areas of car ownership - vehicle quality, vehicle appeal, dealer service and ownership costs.
Vehicle quality is categorised into interior, mechanical and exterior sections while vehicle appeal is divided between performance and interior and exterior appeal.
Each model is rated for customer satisfaction across the eight different aspects with respect to quality and reliability, running costs, dealer service and likes/dislikes about the car itself.
A five-star rating system ranges from Very Good - where almost all owners are very satisfied - through to Quite Good, Average and Below Average to Lowest Rating, where many owners are disappointed.
TOP 10 MANUFACTURERS 1. Lexus 2. Jaguar 3. BMW 4. Toyota Equal 5. Porsche Equal 5. Skoda 7. Mercedes-Benz 8. Subaru 9. Audi 10. Honda TOP 10 MODELS 1. Lexus LS400 - 89 (out of 100) 2. Toyota Yaris (Toyota Echo in Australia) - 88 3. Lexus GS300 - 87 4. BMW 7-Series - 86 5. Rover 75 - 86 6. Lexus IS200 - 86 7. Jaguar XJ-Series - 86 8. Mercedes-Benz E-Class - 85 9. BMW 5-Series - 85 10. Toyota Camry - 85 BOTTOM 10 MODELS 173. Rover MGF - 73 174. Ford Explorer - 72 175. Nissan Serena - 72 (Not sold in Australia since early 1996) 176. Rover Mini - 72 (Old model, not the BMW-designed model soon to go on sale in Australia) 177. Kia Sportage - 71 178. Fiat Ulysse - 71 (People-mover not sold in Australia) 179. Vauxhall Frontera - 71 (Holden Frontera in Australia) 180. Alfa Romeo GTV/Spider - 70 181. Mercedes-Benz V-Class - 70 (Vito-based people-mover not sold in Australia) 182. Vauxhall Sintra - 67 (Not sold in Australia)
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