The Opel Adam has walked away as the best quality passenger car in South Africa’s 2017 Ipsos Vehicle Quality Survey (VQS), followed by the Honda Civic sedan and the Audi A3 sedan.
At the bottom of the 50-vehicle-strong pile are the Datsun Go Plus, Renault Kwid and Ford Focus ST hatch.
The research data used in the survey was obtained from more than 7 000 customers from 16 participating brands, with these brands representing more than 73% of new vehicles sold through the dealership channel in South Africa during the course of 2017.
The Ipsos survey looks at new-vehicle sales, interviewing owners about their new vehicles after roughly 90 days of ownership, not only in terms of defects, but also perceived design flaws.
Combined, this data produces a VQS score. The lower the score, the better. The score is provided as problems per 100 vehicles (PP100).
The Adam has a PP100 score of 23, and the Datsun Go Plus a score of 147.
Participation in the survey is open to all vehicle manufacturers present in South Africa.
Brands that do not participate include BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Havel and Kia.
The top two recreational vehicles in the 2017 survey, of a list of 22 models, are the Volkswagen Touareg (10 PP100) and the Toyota RAV4 (33 PP100), with the Renault Duster (90 PP100) and Renault Captur (92 PP100) at the bottom.
The best light commercial vehicles are the Toyota Hilux petrol single-cab bakkie (30 PP100), as well as the Isuzu KB extra-cab bakkie (56 PP100).
At the bottom of the 19-model list are the now discontinued Chevrolet Utility (128 PP100) and the Nissan Hardbody diesel double-cab bakkie (107 PP100).
Poor fuel consumption emerged as the major gripe from customers in the 2017 survey for most categories (11), with the only exceptions ‘inadequate performance’ in the entry, compact car and extra-cab bakkie segments; ‘information system malfunction’ in the sport and luxury segment and ‘road-holding’ in the multipurpose vehicle segment.
Here there is probably some element of manufacturers publicising fuel consumption at a lower level than experienced by the consumer, but there is definitely also some sensitivity owing to the fuel price, says Ipsos automotive director Patrick Busschau.
“However, consumers are also sometimes not realistic in their expectations of a vehicle.”