TopGear Survey 2006 ended and now is time to see the result. Which are the winners, the loosers, the best cars to drive and the worst in class.
The Survey was applied to 56000 owners and 152 models of car. And the winner was Honda, again, with the S2000.
- Honda S2000 - For the third year in the trot, screaming VTEC power wins
- Honda Jazz - Honda’s yin and yang at the top of the table. Sensible, but great
- Skoda Octavia - Old-gen Octavia, a masterpiece of dependability
- Skoda Fabia - No fluke for Skoda, the Fabia is cheap and charming
- Lexus RX300 - Pseudo-SUV is so solid, and perfectly sorted by dealers too
- Lexus IS200/300 - Owners of the old-style IS are still smiling about Lexus service
- Skoda Superb - Stretched Passat ranks 67 places above the original
- Fiat Panda - A long awaited return to tiny car form for Fiat. Ciao bambino!
- Mazda MX-5 - The one before the MX-5 grew up on us. Still did the business
- Jaguar XK - All-aluminium XJ6 and 8 justify every penny of owners’ outlay
- Renault Laguna - Last year’s fourth from bottom car staggers up the table
- Ford C-Max - Owners of Ford’s other sports MAV say they’re treated like dirt
- Mercedes A-Class - Quite a claim: the old-shape A-Class is the UK’s worst car to drive
- Mercedes M-Class - Bottom placed two years ago, very nearly as miserable now
- Peugeot 407 - One of the newest cars in the survey falls at the first hurdle
- Citroen C8 - Near-identical twin MPV to the Peugeot 807, only just better
- Renault Megane - A cute backside isn’t enough distraction for the Megane’s owners
- Peugeot 307 - No area of fit, finish or reliability ranks above awful for this heap
- Renault Espace - As before, big MPVs like the Espace get the strongest kicking here
- Peugeot 807 - Falls down in every area. As satisfying as a dose of dysentery
Best/worst to drive
The Lotus Elise scooping first place and Vauxhall’s VX220 taking second. Mitsubishi’s Evo (4rd) edges out its traditional rival, the Subura Impreza (8th), while there’s a strong showing from Japanese roadsters in the shape of the Honda S2000 (3rd), Nizzan 350Z (6th), and (7th) and Mazda’s RX8MX5 (10th).
The Mercedes A-Class is officially the worst drive. The Peugeot 807, 307, 406 and Citroen C3 are on the same list.
Best/worst for reliability
The BMW X3 took first place, with owners finding the SUV’s engine and gearbox as sturdy as a rhinoceros bouncer. The Porsche (the 911) was placing just 48th and the Audi TT can only muster a best placing of 63r.
Seven of our ten most reliable cars hailing from Japan. Three Hondas - the Jazz (3rd), S2000 (7th) and CR-V (8th), join the Toyota MR2 (2nd), Lexus RX3000, Suzuki Ignis (5th) and the Mazda 3 (10th) in the upper echelons of the customer satisfaction league.
Eight out of the ten least reliable cars come from across the Channel, with the Peugeot 807 propping up the table: two further Peugeots (the 307 and 407), a pair of Citroens (C3 and C8) and a trio of Renaults (the Megane, Espace and Scenic). The Range Rover and Ford S-MAX are on the same list.
Best/worst for buld quality
Sixteen of the 25 worst-built cars in the survey are the spawn of the unholy Peugeot-Citroen-Renault triumvurate, and it’s no surprise to find the Peugeot 807 propping up the list again.
On the best-built cars the Honda S2000 tops the list, with slightly obsessed owners revelling in the tactile ’feel’ of the mechanical components and, perhaps a touch worringly, the pleasant smell of their roadster.
The top ten also finds room for a pair of Audis - the A2 (4th) and old TT (8th) - and the Porsche 911 (10th), while Skoda’s Superb achieves an, erm, superb finish in ninth place.
Best/worst for runing cost
Fiat Panda is the car with the best running costs. In the same top we can find the Suzuki Alto (8th), Honda Jazz (9th) and Toyota Yaris (10th), the Honda S2000 (5th) and also the Toyota MR2, Vauxhall VX220 and Mazda MX5 are in the top twenty.
But the cheap-as-chips award (in a good way) goes to Skoda, with three cars - the Fabia, Octavia and Superb - in the top six.
On the other corner there is the Renault Espace, Citroen C8 and Peugeot 807 all languish in the bottom ten next to the Volvo XC90, Land Rover Disco and Merc A-Class.
Best/worst in class
The Honda S2000 canters to victory in the sports car category, closely pushed by a pair of Mazdas (the MX5 and RX8) and brace of Toyotas (the MR2 and Celica). Smart’s tiny Roadster is officially the worst sports car around and the next one is Merc CLK.
The Lexus IS200/300 is the top luxury car around. And though the Jaguar marque is languishing in the doldrums, owners haven’t been deterred with the XJ and S-Type both recording strong positions. The Mercedes E- and S-Class bring up the rear, with poor reliability causing the problems again.
Lexus RX300 is the best SUV on the market. Second place for the Kia Sorento is a great result for a model aimed at the budget end of the SUV market. Mercedes manages to avoid the wooden spoon in this category, but only just - the utilitarian Jeep Cherokee proving even worse than the M-Class.
The Seat Altea take the crown in the MPV category, while at the other end is the Peugeot 807.
It’s been a good survey for Skoda. The Czech company has flourished under Volkswagen’s ownership, and this top-two finish for the Octavia and Superb helps Skoda edge past Lexus as the best manufacturer overall. It’s not a category that makes good reading for the French, though, with Peugeot’s 406 and 407 joining the Renault Laguna in the relegation zone.
It’s the celebrity media-appeaser of choice, and it seems the rest of you are keen on the Toyota Prius too. The hybrid tops a Japan-dominated category, beating off strong competition from the Mazda 3 and Honda Civic. Z-list status goes to the Peugeot 307, Renault Megane and Merc A-Class.
The Honda Jazz nipped past Skoda’s Fabia and the Fiat Panda to scoop the big prize in this category.