Cape Town - The annual Ipsos vehicle quality awards has been revealed. The research shows the most "reliable" cars, bakkies and SUVs in South Africa, based on problems reported.
Ipsos researchers, based on vehicle scores, revealed the most common problem areas per segment, of which there are 16 covering cars and LCVs.
According to Ipsos: “The quality of the cars and light commercials sold in South Africa has improved to such a degree in recent years that Ipsos SA, which has been tracking the automotive industry in this country since the early 1990’s, has revamped its scoring system for the annual Vehicle Quality Survey.”
How it works
Facts and figures obtained from telephonic interviews conducted in 2015 with more than 8000 owners of 17 participating brands were used in compiling the detailed survey. The brands involved equated to 77% of the total number of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles sold through retail dealer channels in that year. It was made up of 71% of car sales and 90% of the LCVs retailed.
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This means that the latest round of scores, for 2015, can no longer be compared with previous years. For instance, the average PP100 score is now 64, whereas it was 37 in 2014 and 39 in 2013. Adding in the design issues aspect of the measurement the average combined vehicle quality score moves up to 81.
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Biggest vehicle problems
The main problems experienced by vehicle owners, says Ipsos, in each of the segments relate to the exterior of the vehicle, from windows, boot lids, bonnets, vibrations, wheels and tyres to locking and paint.
Engines are generally the second most common source of complaints, with noise, performance and consumption the problem areas. Some of the segments highlighted air-conditioning and heaters, as well as infotainment, driving and braking as the source of problems.
The third most common complaints were largely around driving and braking, as well as infotainment, engine (noise and performance), and transmission.
Audi scored seven Gold awards in the survey followed by Toyota with five gold awards. Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz and Nissan earned two golds awards each followed by Volvo (one gold).
More than one Gold award was made in some of the categories when two or more vehicles qualified for the Gold rating in terms of the points scored.
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Audi won Gold as the Best Luxury Car Brand Overall, as well as Best Top Hatch (A1 and A3 Sportback), Best Medium Sedan (A4 and A5 Sportback), Best Top Sedan (A3) and Best Sports Coupe (A5 coupe).
Toyota won its five Passenger Car Gold awards for the Best Small Hatch (Yaris), Best Top Hatch (Auris), Best Small Sedan (Corolla Quest), Best New Volume Passenger Car (Corolla Quest) and Best Volume Passenger Car Brand.
Volkswagen won two golds for Best Small Sedan (Polo) and Best New Volume Passenger Car model (up). Nissan’s two golds came from the Best Entry Level Car (Micra) and Best Volume Passenger Car Brand overall. In addition, the Nissan Micra, with an index of 49, was also the highest-rated passenger car overall in the extensive survey.
Mercedes Benz collected gold for the Best Top Executive (E-Class) and Best Multi-Purpose Vehicle (B-Class). Volvo earned Gold for the Best New Luxury Passenger Car (V40), while the General Motors SA plant in Port Elizabeth won Gold for the Best Passenger Car Plant in the country in terms of the quality of the products that it manufactures there.
Toyota made a virtual clean sweep of Gold awards in the LCV category with seven including the Best LCV Plant gold award for its facility in Prospecton. Next best was Nissan with two Golds. And General Motors with one in this category.
Toyota’s Hilux collected Golds for the Best Petrol Single-Cab, Best Diesel Single-Cab and Best Diesel Double-Cab. The Hilux was also the best One-Ton Single Cab Commercial Vehicle Brand and the Best Double Cab Commercial Vehicle Brand, while Toyota was the Best Light Commercial Vehicle Brand overall.
The best quality rating for LCVs overall was achieved by the Hilux single cab petrol with an index figure of 37.
Nissan won Gold for the Best ¾-ton Pick-up (NP200) and the Best New Light Commercial Vehicle (Hardbody petrol single cab). GMSA took Gold for the Best Diesel Single Cab with its Isuzu KB.
Recreational vehicle category (SUV)
Volvo also won two Gold awards in the Recreational Vehicle Category (SUV), being for Best Small Recreational Vehicle (XC60) and Best New Recreational Vehicle (XC60), while Audi won Gold in the Small RV category (Q5).
Volkswagen took Gold for the Best Large Recreational Vehicle (Touareg). The Touareg, with an index score of 22, was also the vehicle with the highest product quality rating overall.