The happiest motorists drive ... a Skoda

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The Independent Online
OWNERS OF best-selling cars from Rover are among the most dissatisfied motorists in Britain, while nearly everyone with a Skoda Felicia would recommend it to a friend.

Drivers of Rovers of all sizes were among the least likely to recommend them, a survey for the Consumers' Association found. The Which? report, covering 12,000 motorists, showed two out of 10 owners of the "super- mini" Rover Metro would trumpet its virtues and just over three out of 10 who drive the Rover 800 executive model. Only four out of 10 would recommend the Rover 400 and Rover 600 family cars.

The Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa were ranked near the bottom, and fewer than two-thirds of drivers of some top-selling family cars, including the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Vectra and Toyota Avensis, declared their satisfaction.

Drivers of the Skoda Felicia were most enthusiastic of all, with 98 per cent of owners saying they would recommend it to a friend. They were satisfied with almost every element of the car except the steering.

Helen Parker of Which? said the survey showed buyers should shop around and take a closer look at the seemingly less popular vehicles.

Metro owners had nothing good to say about it. In particular they criticised the room inside, luggage space, ride comfort and interior design as poor.

Which? concluded that while a motoring journalist who "zoomed around a test track" might be able to tell consumers a few things about the car, owners' opinions usually revealed more detail.