Best car of 2012

The results are in, and we name our Driver Power 2012 champion


Finishing at the top of the pile in Driver Power is no mean feat. Your number one had to shine in every category to achieve the top ranking, and when those categories are as diverse as performance and practicality, you know that owners believe our winner offers something special. In fact, our top three can all be commended for delivering consistently strong results across the board.

And while there has to be a last-place finisher in our top 100, at least that title holder can take pride in the fact that enough owners got in touch to give it a place on our chart in the first place.

Read the highlights below, or click here for a full rundown of the results from 100 to one.


1. Skoda Yeti

In only its second year in the Driver Power survey, the Skoda Yeti has been crowned the Driver Power 2012 champion – after finishing second last year. The crossover 4x4 beat last year’s champion the Skoda Superb with an overall score of 92.47 per cent. Amazingly, it also won three individual categories: reliability, ease of driving and handling. The only aspect owners criticised was ride quality, although it still performed well here, with a 12th-place finish.

2. Skoda Superb

The Superb came out on top last year, but was pipped at the post in 2012 with a score of 92.35 per cent. It performed extremely well in the performance, reliability and braking categories, but crucially didn’t come out on top in any single one, with third-place finishes in each. Its worst result was in the handling category, where it finished 16th.

3. Mercedes E-Class

Relatively speaking, there’s quite a large jump between the two Skodas and the Mercedes E-Class in third. While the Skodas scored more than 92 per cent, the Mercedes managed 90.03 per cent overall. Still, that’s well above the average of 84.61 per cent for the top 100 cars in our survey. It finished highly in most categories, but disappointing results of 44th for running costs and 30th for ease of driving dented its overall score.

Last place: Land Rover Defender

Look at the category breakdown, and it’s no surprise that the Defender finished last in our top 100. The design is almost 30 years old now, and it got the wooden spoon in the braking, handling, practicality, comfort and ease of driving categories. Its best finish was 94th place for build quality. It’s renowned for its rugged off-road ability, but based on this result, it looks like Land Rover’s planned replacement for the Defender can’t come soon enough.

How are our results calculated? 

Our survey asks drivers to rate their car out of five in 10 key categories. An independent data processing company then crunches the numbers to provide the overall average scores.

Why doesn’t my car feature? 

Not all models can be included, due to the sheer number of cars on UK roads. Plus, to ensure our results are reliable, we need a large number of replies from drivers of each vehicle.

See the results for previous years…

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