If the 1999 Top Gear/J D Power Customer Satisfaction Study was the Oscars, Toyota would be the ‘film’ that scooped the most awards.
The Starlet was voted the most satisfying small car; the Celica came out top coupe and the Picnic was voted as the best MPV. Toyota’s customers are also happy off-road as the Land Cruiser and RAV4 were voted as the best of all the four-wheel drives, suggesting the best 4×4 by far is not made in Solihull.
This is the first time the Starlet and Picnic have appeared in the results as both were new models in 1996, the year examined by the latest JD Power Survey. As well as being the best small car, the Starlet was second equal overall, tied with the Jaguar XJ and Subaru Legacy, on a satisfaction index of 156.
The Picnic scored an index of 150 while the UK’s best selling MPV, the Ford Galaxy, scraped a mere 59 points. Perhaps a lot of the people can be wrong a lot of the time after all.
So, clearly a Starlet is a great second-hand buy. Good job too – it’s not on sale anymore! That is because the Starlet is being replaced by an even better small car from Toyota called the Yaris that goes on sale on 8 April.
And what about the previous four-time overall winner, the Corolla? Well, it has slipped in the rankings to just outside the top 10 (13th equal on an index of 141), but it is still, according to those who replied to JD Power’s questionnaire, more satisfying to own than either a BMW 3 series, 5 series or Z3.