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Toyota Prius is the new car that makes owners happiest


The Toyota Prius is a firm favourite among eco-conscious celebrities and cabbies – but a new report suggests more of us should be considering the hybrid-powered Japanese model.

That’s because it has been voted the most satisfying new vehicle to own in an industry-leading survey of 30,000 UK car drivers.

Prius drivers gave their motors a 93.22 per cent rating in the latest edition of Auto Express’ Driver Power study – more than any other new car reported on.

Vauxhall’s Astra – a model that’s suffered a slowdown in popularity in recent years – took the unwanted crown of being the least satisfying new model to own. 

Hybrid happiness: The Toyota Prius has been named the UK's most satisfying new car to own in a new survey

Hybrid happiness: The Toyota Prius has been named the UK’s most satisfying new car to own in a new survey

The world’s best-selling hybrid car was voted the model most likely to make motorists happy.

While it’s a common sight on UK roads, many are being used by taxi firms and Uber drivers thanks to its green credentials.

The £24,245 family car is claimed to return between 58.8 and 67.2mpg and emits just 85g/km of carbon dioxide in official tests thanks to its combination of petrol engine and electric motors. 

Incredibly, six of the top ten finishers are available as hybrid, plug-in hybrid or fully-electric models, indicating that once drivers make the move away from models powered solely by internal combustion engines, they are very happy indeed. 

Auto Express' Driver Power 2019 poll of drivers found that the eco-friendly Prius was the new model that made owners happiest

Auto Express’ Driver Power 2019 poll of drivers found that the eco-friendly Prius was the new model that made owners happiest

The Prius narrowly beat the Lexus IS, another hybrid option available from Toyota's luxury car brand

The Prius narrowly beat the Lexus IS, another hybrid option available from Toyota’s luxury car brand

Steve Fowler, editor at Auto Express, said: ‘Satisfaction with hybrid cars is at an all-time high, with buyers enjoying the fuel economy benefits and relaxed driving experience they offer. 

‘Toyota and Lexus has consistently backed hybrid technology, and these results show it was the right decision.’

10 most satisfying new cars to own 

1. Toyota Prius – 93.22%

2. Lexus IS – 93.19%

3. Alfa Romeo Giulia – 93.00%

4. Kia Sorento – 92.98%

5. Lexus RX – 92.87%

6. Skoda Kodiaq – 92.75%

7. Peugeot 3008 – 92.69%

8. Hyundai Ioniq – 92.67%

9. Lexus GS – 92.64%

10. Kia Niro – 92.63%

Source: Auto Express Driver Power 2019 survey 

Toyota GB president and managing director Paul Van der Burgh added: ‘It’s wonderful that more than 20 years after Prius arrived, kick-starting the electrification revolution, this latest version of the world’s best-selling hybrid is the Driver Power New Car of the Year in 2019. 

‘A huge thank you to all the Prius owners who helped it achieve such brilliant scores. It’s a testament to Toyota’s constant innovation combined with a relentless focus on quality, and we couldn’t be more proud.’

The Prius only just managed to take the accolade, though.

It narrowly beat the Lexus IS saloon to top spot in the satisfaction standings in Driver Power 2019 by just 0.03 per cent.

Lexus, which is the luxury arm of the Toyota, dominated the ratings with three models placing in the top 10 most satisfying new cars to own. 

Surprisingly, it was an Alfa Romeo that took third spot for the second year running.

The Giulia saloon was given an overall satisfaction score 93.00 per cent to take the final place on the podium – a fine result for the Italian brand that is infamously synonymous with producing unreliable cars. 

Last year’s winner, the Peugeot 3008 SUV, slipped to seventh place overall, with a 92.69 per cent satisfaction score.

The Alfa Romeo Giulia saloon was the third best-rated new model for owner satisfaction - a fine result for a brand with an infamous reliability track record

The Alfa Romeo Giulia saloon was the third best-rated new model for owner satisfaction – a fine result for a brand with an infamous reliability track record

Last year's winner, the Peugeot 3008, slipped to seventh in the standings

Last year’s winner, the Peugeot 3008, slipped to seventh in the standings

The survey uses feedback from keepers of cars that are no more than 24 months old.

Almost 30,000 drivers gave a verdict on their machines having been quizzed by the motoring title about all aspects of ownership.

They were asked to provide a rating across 31 areas that combine to make up nine voting categories, varying from boot space to quality of in-car tech, fuel economy, ride and handling, and – most importantly – reliability. 

The Vauxhall Astra propped-up the table with the lowest owner satisfaction score of all new models reported on by keepers

The Vauxhall Astra propped-up the table with the lowest owner satisfaction score of all new models reported on by keepers

Propping up the rankings was the latest generation of the Vauxhall Astra family hatchback.

The British-built model – assembled at the firm’s Ellesmere Port facility – is still a UK favourite based on sales (31,567 in 2018 making it the 13th most-bought new car of the year), but is drastically becoming less popular.

10 least satisfying new cars to own 

1. Vauxhall Astra – 89.25%

2. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 89.32%

3. Audi A4 – 89.35%

4. Dacia Duster – 89.39%

=5. Jaguar XE – 89.41%

=5. Audi A5 – 89.41%

7. Audi A3 – 89.44%

8. Citroen C1 – 89.46%

9. Fiat Panda – 89.48%

10. MG ZS – 89.51%

Source: Auto Express Driver Power 2019 survey

Owners gave it an 89.25 per cent satisfaction score, placing it in 75th spot – dead last. 

That said, the score is less than four per cent shy of the victorious Prius, suggesting motorists are very happy with their new cars.

Shockingly, there were a number of cases of premium brands featuring low in the standings.

This was due to the number of faults encountered by owners – especially large SUV models – which would not have been appreciated by anyone who had spent big sums of money to purchase a luxury car.

For instance, more than half (52 per cent) of BMW X3 Mk2 owners reported faults since taking ownership, ahead of 44 per cent of Mercedes GLC owners. 

Around a third of Land Rover Discovery Sport (33.8 per cent), Jaguar XE (31.4 per cent) and Jaguar F-Pace (30.4 per cent) owners said they’d experienced problems with their cars.  

Full results of Driver Power 2019 are available at autoexpress.co.uk/driverpower.

Some 70,000 owners of cars of all years completed the survey this year.

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