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The Independent Online

"Schadenfreude" is an ugly word. It is also an emotion that all right-thinking people would deeply reprehend; the misfortunes of others should never be the subject of our satisfaction, even if those others are Anthea Turner or George W Bush.

"Schadenfreude" is an ugly word. It is also an emotion that all right-thinking people would deeply reprehend; the misfortunes of others should never be the subject of our satisfaction, even if those others are Anthea Turner or George W Bush.

But, in truth, we must confess to battling with a bit of a twinge - successfully, of course - over the results of a car reliability survey published in the current edition of Which? magazine.

For it does seem that the price and, dare we say it, the swank of your car is no guarantee against that increasingly irritated dashboard finger-drumming on the hard shoulder with the hazard lights on. Jaguar, Land Rover, BMW, Audi: all were up there at the top of the unreliability list, while the cars causing the least trouble seemed to be all those little Japanese ones and, almost inevitably, the Skoda Felicia. Time, then, to meditate, without a trace of a slight smirk, on the compelling truth of that wise old saw, "All that glisters is not gold."

Curiously, though, the survey also found that most Jaguar-owners seemed to be satisfied with their cars, despite the high breakdown figure. Perhaps that's because it gives them an opportunity to mention their car. Whoops, sorry.

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