16th Apr 2010, 09:58

I note the 2010 Driver Power Ownership results show Skoda, Hyundai and Kia as being at the top of the league table and Chevrolet right at the bottom. The Kia I30 took top prize.

Not my opinion, I did not take part this year - just the opinion of thousands of actual car owners.

Rather backs up the earlier comments that over the last few years Skoda, Kia and Hyundai really upped their game, as stated and become much more desirable and Chevrolet did not; but as said before, they are now starting to release better cars than before (Cruze etc) that may rival the above three brands eventually.

See this weeks Auto Express.

17th Apr 2010, 05:11

Drivers of Kia, Hyundai, Skoda etc have had very little initial outlay and are usually easily pleased. In the same way that people that shop at Aldi and Primark are usually a lot easier to please than those that shop at M&S and Debenhams.

It's no surprise that they are happy with their 7-8K cars. Such cars are disposable if they go significantly wrong, as they are so cheap to buy in the first place. All those budget car drivers usually act smug because their cars were so cheap, and they're usually the first to take part in the surveys. 99% of the public don't even take part in the surveys, so to me they're largely irrelevant. The best indicator for a manufacturer's success is looking at their year-on-year sales figures, and I believe Chevrolet UK are doing pretty well in that respect.

As I said, I drive a BMW and I could grit my teeth and drive a Chevrolet, but there is just no way I would drive a Kia, Hyundai or Skoda regardless of what those cars are like.

17th Apr 2010, 06:29

Without being disrespectful, have you seen the sales figures for Hyundai/Kia and Skoda as opposed to Chevrolet?

Hyundai were the top performer under scrappage, and are now one of the best selling brands worldwide. Chevrolet in the UK are minnows compared. We are currently running on 09 plated Matiz 1.0 SE+ as a long term hire car (no choice given) and it is unspeakably bad - but as said before, this is an old model that goes back to 1999 and the Daewoo era, so is "old" Chevrolet, not "new" like the Cruze - which as I have said fairly is a reasonable car, even though not as good as the class leaders.

I think it is a valid point that you make that buyers of budget cars are more content than buyers of prestige brands with high expectations, however, the overall winner last year was the Jaguar XF, this year the I30, with the XF second. I would also agree that the stats are flawed for a variety of reasons - particularly of note is the fact that the survey covers a wide range of car ages, and cars generally drop down the charts as they age, due to reliability, so the winner is always a recently launched car. On the flip side, the MG ZT always does well, and that is old now - must have a loyal following.

I'm not here to knock the brand or try and sell another brand, but I do have experience of all of the budget brands, and I think anyone would agree that you could not, for example, ever rate a Chevrolet Matiz over a Hyundai I10, especially at the same price.

I know also there is brand snobbery, which I have absolutely no interest in whatsoever - but I rate cars on the joy of ownership v the hassle and inconvenience of ownership, with a loading for running costs.

I note BMW is well down the ratings, with drivers complaining about running costs and unexpected big repair bills, and having a few company cars, I would never buy one with my own money. Skoda do extremely well, with regular class wins (Octavia this year) and superb results.

I also really enjoy tripping up brand snob friends with our wonderful but £3 Aldi rose wine served out cleaned M&S bottles, plus serving a variety of wonderful foods. It is mostly down to perception, and the quicker I realised this, the more money I had. The older I got, the less I cared what others thought about my "image" and I started to enjoy life.

If I won the lottery, it would be a Skoda Superb on the driveway, never a BMW. If you have not driven one, don a suitable disguise and go over to the next county and test drive one - it may surprise you and no-one will ever know, bless you.

Incidentally, what was GM thinking when it brought the Chevrolet range to the UK? They had a strong and desirable brand image, which was annihilated by old Daewoo horrors like the Tacuma (HIDE or close your eyes, it will go away) and now has to really battle to regain credibility with the new range.

Again, I make the point that from UK brand launch up to the last year and the start of the new models, Chevrolet sold sub standard old Daewoos with old tech, high emissions, questionable safety etc, whereas the other budget brands made great strides and sold far superior cars. Matiz, Kalos, Lacetti etc v Picanto, I10, Fabia, Getz, I20, Cee'd, I30 etc etc. Chevrolet cannot contest these cars in any area; price, safety, desirability, emissions, depreciation, quality. The new Cruze is better, but the Spark is disappointing.

This 3,000 mile 20009 Matiz discourtesy car is so flawed compared to even a 2005 Picanto of same price/spec, and putting it against the I10 is like comparing a Wright brothers plane to a 737.

As this is a Kalos thread, I won't expand past the shocking quality, discomfort and pedals so offest you hit the brake instead of the gas after driving any other small car. It is like driving something from the mid 90s - perhaps explained by the ancient Daewoo design shared with all but the latest Chevrolets, unlike the modern designs of Hyundai, Kia and Skoda.

Buyers have voted with their wallets and voted on the survey - the results are clear to see.

I do wish Chevrolet well; it has the backing, R&D and part-sharing of GM, but is very late in the game making competitive budget cars - it was lazy to churn out old Daewoo designs and they have a very long way to catch up the other brands.

Enjoy your BMW - they are well engineered and bought by those wanting a good drive and also the image that goes with it.

I really don't get your allegiance to the Chevrolet brand as opposed to the class leaders because of this - it does make me wonder if you remember the old American Chevys and have had no dealings with the UK Chevrolet models before the Cruze. Come and have a go in the ratbox Matiz!

17th Apr 2010, 13:59

Well I've had a Chevrolet Matiz as a courtesy car, and although I found it somewhat small (who wouldn't), the rest of it seemed pretty unremarkable to me. Certainly I don't think you can get on your high horse against the Matiz if your daily driver is a Kia/Hyundai or a Skoda.

The Matiz is a city car for basic transportation. It's popular with hire car companies because of low cost, and it's less likely to make the users lip curl in the way a Kia Picanto or Hyundai would. In fact I thought the Matiz was the most popular city car of all manufacturers (in terms of absolute numbers on the road) and relatively mainstream as a result. The Matiz pretty much formed the city car segment back in 1998.

And yes I've seen the I30 - the interior looks like it's made from the grey plastic of an old school chair, and it still has the airbags fittings cut into the dashboard - a dated look, which most manufacturer's stopped circa 2004.

As for driving any Hyundai/Kia/Skoda, no I haven't, and if I was ever offered one as a hire car, I would actually significantly object.