Warranty Direct reprised the title sponsorship of the What Car? Car of the Year Awards for the fourth year running, at a prestigious ceremony at the Grosvenor House hotel in London during January. Nineteen awards were up for grabs at the ceremony which saw the Audi A4 3.0 TDU 218 Sport take the top honours for Car of the Year.
According to What Car? the Audi motor earned the top accolade by bringing a new standard of “refinement, interior quality and technology to the compact executive class.” The Audi A4’s awards tally for the night doubled as it also won the Compact Executive Saloon of the year.
The awards for the Audi A4 were part of a very successful night for owners the VW Group. The motor manufacturer dominated the awards by winning nine out of the nineteen categories. Despite a turbulent year for VW Group, which included the emissions scandal, the German automaker is still considered to be producing some of the best cars on sale today.
Other awards were won on night by the Ford Fiesta ST-2 (Hot Hatch award), the new Mazda MX-5 (Convertible award), Volvo XC90 (Safety award), the Nissan Qashqai (Small SUV award) and the Land Rover Discovery Sport (Large SUV award).
In addition to being the headline sponsor, Warranty Direct also sponsored the individual City Car Award category, revealing the best new city car currently on the market. This award was given to the Hyundai i10 1.2 87 SE for its practicality and drive.
Warranty Direct has sponsored the highly regarded Car of the Year Awards since 2013, working with What Car? to support the judges with invaluable insight on car reliability and running costs.
Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said: “The What Car? Awards represent one of the most important celebrations on the calendar for all those who work in the automotive industry.
“The Awards honour the accomplishments of individual car manufacturers, which then creates the substance from which expert advice can be offered to any consumers considering their next purchase.
“Warranty Direct always keeps close watch on the Awards success stories, because we then update our unique Reliability Index*, which analyses cars and measures their overall reliability.”
* – Any new cars released this year, which are contenders for the 2016 Awards sponsored by Warranty Direct, will not appear on the company Reliability Index until 2019.
Need a small family car? It has to be either a posh VW Golf or a hardworking Ford Focus.
No one ever made a mistake by choosing a VW Golf. Even now, after the diesel scandal, these are still regarded as well built, practical and reliable. The Ford Focus has a bit more of a twist, it is still practical and cost effective to run, but it is also fun to drive. Many buyers like that.
The 2004-2009 Golf is regarded as the period when the model returned to form. They have decent safety equipment and the SE is the best spec. The all-new Focus had a tough act to follow, but it is stylish, spacious and reliable. LX specification has air conditioning.
Are they reliable?
The Golf has proved to be very trustworthy, the trouble is that fixing the Golf is always more costly than the Ford, by some margin. Also, Warranty Direct makes it clear that overall the Focus has proved to be the more reliable buy. So for cost and overall reliability the Focus wins.
How much do they cost?
It is now possible to buy high mileage examples from 2004 to 2005 at below £2000. Late examples are now around £8000, usually the high spec sporty ones. The focus is often discounted and around in large numbers so prices start at just over £1000 rising to £7800 or so.
Sum Up: Golf means style and quality, but it will cost more to run. The Focus means low running costs and reliability, the sensible choice.
Average Repair Cost: £306.97
Axle and Suspension: 19.41%*
Warranty Direct Rating: Average
* Failure rate
Average Repair Cost: £280.83
Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average
* Failure rate
Ford is now rated as reliable as BMW by 74,414 Ford and BMW owners. Owners also rated Ford better on fuel economy. Over 536,778 car owners have been involved in rating virtually every make and model on British roads on a review site in the last 14 months.
Ford ratings have steadily increased and now the American owned world car brand is as reliable as BMW in owner’s eyes.
WeLoveAnyCar.com spokesman said, “Soon Ford could overtake BMW overall. The BMW ‘Overall’ rating is just 0.1 ahead of Ford and the trend for Ford is up.”
Car owners were asked to rate their car out of 5. The results are clear:
|Fuel Economy rating||3.8||3.52|
BMW still managed to score higher on other factors and is ahead for comfort and driving experience. The overall score on the car review site combines all these factors and the margin between the two car brands is almost too close to call.
BMW has a higher rating when owners are asked; “would you recommend your car?” However at 4.38/5 they were only 0.08 ahead of the Ford owners score at 4.30/5.
Warranty Direct use their real claims data to put together the Reliability Index indicating that owners may be correct in this trend. While BMW lingers at 29th (http://www.reliabilityindex.com/manufacturer) in the manufacturer’s rankings Fords come in at 8th!
Following from the 2007 report from fish4cars (www.fish4cars.co.uk) which identified the Ford Fiesta as the most frequently searched car in the first half of the year, fish4cars can unveil the new “top ten” of the UK’s favourite makes and models for 2008.
In contrast to the results from the same time last year, we can reveal that the Ford Focus has overtaken the Ford Fiesta in popularity, and that the Ford brand has a staggering 4 makes and models listed in the top ten.
The fish4cars top ten by make and model between Feb and June 2008:
- Ford Focus 272,220 searches (+3)
- Vauxhall Corsa 240,626 searches (-)
- Volkswagen Golf 236,482 searches (-)
- Ford Fiesta 225,342 searches (-3)
- BMW 3 Series 218,003 searches (+2)
- Vauxhall Astra 213, 484 searches (New entry)
- Renault Clio 196,827 searches (-1)
- Peugeot 206 189,426 searches (-3)
- Ford Ka 168,407 searches (+1)
10. Ford Mondeo 153,448 searches (New entry)
Joe Slavin, fish4 CEO said. “The results clearly show that Brits love their small run-around, but it is good to see that people are still interested in the high performance cars like the BMW. Last year the Fiesta was the most popular searched for car on the site, this year the Focus has taken the helm. It is also good to see two new entries into the Top Ten – being the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Astra”.
Stewart Black, Head of Sales fish4cars said, “The statistics reflect the current market perfectly. With fuel prices rising and consumers having less disposable income, the popularity of the small economical car will continue to rise. With more and more dealers signing up to fish4cars we are in a strong position to offer a diverse range of economical run-arounds as well as high performance models”.
fish4cars offers the following tips for spending your money wisely when buying a 2nd hand car:
- Prioritise your needs – make sure you know what you will need your car for! Long journeys? For just yourself or a family? Shopping? Golf?
- Set a budget and stick to it – you can check your credit rating and get loan advice from the fish4 site.
- Research as much as possible and set up email alerts so that you get up to date information on the cars you like which are available. You can do this through your mobile too: http://mobile.fish4.co.uk
- Compare prices on vehicles you want to see – make sure they are competitive, and always see the car in good day light
- When viewing the car – check for rust and badly worn tyres as well as all the documentation. It is best to have someone with you for a 2nd opinion
- Test drive the car – and check windows, breaks, lights, tax disc, spare tyre, the boot as well as under the bonnet
Top 3 makes searched on fish4cars in key cities and regions:
London Volkswagen, BMW, Ford
Essex Ford, Vauxhall, Renault
Wales Ford, Renault, Vauxhall
Oxford Ford, Vauxhall, Peugeot
Glasgow Ford, Volkswagen, Vauxhall
Manchester Ford, Volkswagen, Vauxhall
Worcs Ford, Vauxhall, Renault
Birmingham Ford, Vauxhall, Peugeot
Gtr Manchester Ford, Renault, Peugeot
Brighton Ford, Peugeot, Vauxhall
Liverpool Ford, Vauxhall, Renault
Newscastle Ford, Vauxhall, Volkswagen
Wiltshire Ford, Vauxhall, BMW
Inner London Ford, Vauxhall, BMW
Southampton Ford, Vauxhall, Peugeot
Leeds Ford, Volkswagen, Peugeot
York Ford, Vauxhall, Renault