Ford Galaxy is voted least satisfying car

THE FORD Galaxy is the least satisfying car to own, according to an authoritative survey of drivers published yesterday. The people carrier, at one time the must-have vehicle for New Labour families, came bottom out of 114 in a survey of 25,000 viewers of the BBC's motoring programme Top Gear.

Cars were evaluated 36 different ways, covering fields such as vehicle performance, service costs and customer care. Ford Galaxy owners reported high problem levels and dealers received low ratings for their ability to fix them quickly.

The Subaru Impreza topped the table and its sister model, the Legacy, came second. Subaru was also voted the best car maker, for the second year running, followed by Jaguar. Vauxhall was bottom of the table of car makers, despite a nine-point improvement from previous years, with Rover and Ford also below the industry average. While Subaru scored 158 points, Jaguar 154 and Skoda 152, Vauxhall got only 88.

The poll of viewers, who are owners and drivers of P-registered cars, found new cars are getting more reliable and satisfying to drive. As many as 26 of the 32 car companies surveyed showed a year- on-year improvement.

Kevin Blick, editor of Top Gear magazine, said: "Let's not get complacent - the companies at the bottom of the survey still have cars which are well below par and leave a little room for improvement."

Dave Sargent, of JD Power, which carried out the poll, said: "There is no doubt that new car quality is getting better, with much of the credit due to customers' ever-increasing demands on the manufacturers."

Vauxhall said that although the company had recorded an improvement it had remained at the bottom of the table because all manufacturers improved at the same rate. A spokesman said the table was distorted by people's expectations. "People who have chosen a Skoda will be more tolerant of its faults," he said.

A spokesman for Ford said its research of 200,000 customers found much high satisfaction levels. He said 12,233 people bought a Galaxy last year, which was twice the market share of its nearest rival. "We believe this indicates confidence in the Ford Galaxy package," he said.

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