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What are the best car manufacturers in the UK?

What are the best car manufacturers in the UK?

The 2021 Driver Power survey provided detailed responses from vehicle owners and we’ve analysed the data to find out how the UK’s biggest brands stack up.

Our Driver Power survey has been updated to mark its 20th anniversary, and our brands section includes similar changes to the new-car results. That means more questions about tech, a new assessment for value for money, and even greater rigour when it comes to data processing. We’ve also included a percentage score based on the number of owners who said they’d had a problem with a specific maker’s cars. Our brands survey is therefore a great tool, because it can tell you which manufacturers are best equipped to offer you certain characteristics if you opt for a particular marque.

What are the top 10 best manufacturers 2021?

1- Porsche – 93.20%:

Topping the tables of our brand rundown is Porsche. It’s a premium maker for sure, but here is a company with cars that more than justify their prices, according to your feedback. The German sports and luxury car maker won six out of the 10 categories our brands are judged on and, in doing so, blew the competition away.

It should come as no surprise that one of the most well established performance firms in the world won every single field in the ride and handling category, including driving pleasure and road handling; that’s an astonishing result nonetheless, though, and a feat we can’t remember any other maker achieving.

Owners also love the design and build quality of their Porsches, and the brand even scored well for practicality related matters such as boot space and seating versatility. Those results were no doubt bolstered by the Cayenne and Macan SUVs, but they indicate Porsche is meeting and exceeding owner expectations in many areas.

2- Kia – 90.14%:

A brilliant set of scores for Kia that never stray outside the top 10 in any single category. The Korean brand also beat its sister firm Hyundai, as well as every one of its rivals in terms of price and segment. Kia’s investment in research and development has paid off, it seems, illustrated by superb scores for overall reliability and build quality. Owners are hugely impressed by the quality of the materials used in their cars for the price, while value for money is another major strong suit.

3- Tesla – 89.39%:

We may not frequently find Tesla in our Driver Power survey, but the Model 3’s success has helped the all-electric US brand hit the ground running, and take the bronze medal.

You say no other brand’s cars have better powertrains, with Tesla top for acceleration. Owners also praise practicality, with big scores for boot capacity and interior storage spaces. You tell us your Teslas are very cheap to run, not just with ‘fuel’ savings, but also when it comes to servicing and insurance. Overall build quality could improve, though, while the reported fault rate is high.

Tesla is known for fitting its cars with lots of cutting-edge technology and driver aids, including its Autopilot adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping system.

4- Mazda – 89.38%:

Mazda gets a very tidy set of scores across the board. Owners are very positive about the way their cars drive, with road handling, driving pleasure and brakes standout areas, while ride quality and steering responsiveness are also praised.

Mazdas have brilliant overall build quality, your scores show too, with reliability a strong area. In addition you’re impressed by the materials used inside and out on your models, which also have excellent styling, you tell us.

Mazdas are considered great value for money by owners, and the brand also scores some wins in the infotainment area. No manufacturer was ranked better for the user-friendliness of its controls or for its smartphone connectivity, and you also tell us Mazda’s heating and air-con systems work effectively.

Finally, running costs are reasonable for Mazdas. You say insurance tends to be cheap and fuel economy is respectable.

5- Toyota – 88.00%:

We’re into the top five now and brands need to score extremely well and consistently to reach this point. Toyota has done just that, with owners having lots of positive things to say about the Japanese maker.

Toyota gets some high marks for the stereo systems, plus owners say there’s a great balance between physical and touchscreen controls for the infotainment, indicating things have improved a great deal in recent years for the brand.

6- Honda – 87.54%:

Honda achieves a fairly consistent set of scores across the various categories. The best area for the firm is practicality. You tell us Honda’s cars usually have excellent boot capacity, with flexible seating and plenty of interior storage spaces. Hondas are also extremely good on fuel, we’re told, and don’t cost much to service either, even though insurance and some other costs can be a bit high. The brand did pick up good marks for its steering and brakes, however.

7- Jaguar – 87.52%:

Seventh place in this survey is a big achievement for Jaguar and one it will be proud of, because it positions the firm ahead of its key rivals in the premium car market, including BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Volvo.

Jaguar’s strongest area is the way its models drive. Owners ranked them highly for road handling and steering responsiveness, while driving pleasure was also praised.

You tell us your cars have lots of safety features that work well and are easy to turn on or off. You also have good things to say about the build quality, and while reliability isn’t quite so well thought of, Jag finishes in the top half of the survey in this area, indicating when faults manifest, they may not be serious.

8- Mitsubishi – 87.38%:

Not only is Mitsubishi a small brand in the UK, but by the end of 2021 it will have become a purely aftersales service, having announced an exit from our new car market. That’s a shame, because owners clearly approve of the brand’s products.

Low running costs are a big plus for the firm’s cars: insurance and other ancillary costs tend to be cheap, as does servicing, while good fuel economy is achievable. You also say that your Mitsubishis are extremely reliable, with good overall build quality, too.

9- Volvo – 87.34%:

A strong result for Volvo here, partly led by the interior quality and practicality these premium Swedish cars offer. No brand has a better selection of cubbyholes in its cars according to respondents, and boot capacity is a strong area, too. Moving to the infotainment side of things, Volvos have excellent stereo systems, according to owners, but the overall user-friendliness of the set-ups needs to be improved, you tell us.

10-  Lexus – 87.11%:

t’s no small feat for a car maker to reach the top 10 of the Driver Power brands survey, but Lexus has a habit of winning, taking first prize in 2020 and several years before that. A drop to 10th place will be a disappointment for the Japanese firm, but the survey has undergone changes this year, such as the inclusion of two rival brands not normally featured, plus additional questions posed to respondents relating to value for money and infotainment systems.



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