2021 Driver Power new-car survey finds Auto Express readers’ favourite is the Hyundai Kona

Published at: 28th July 2021

  • Driver Power new-car ownership survey celebrates 20 years
  • Hyundai Kona tops the poll of owners’ favourite cars
  • Detailed insights on 75 new cars
  • The UK’s most comprehensive survey of its kind boasts a revamped format, new questions, and an even more rigorous approach to data analysis
  • Revealed exclusively in this week’s Auto Express magazine, and online at autoexpress.co.uk/driver-power

Auto Express’ Driver Power survey, the UK’s most comprehensive and respected survey of its kind, has today marked its 20th anniversary by crowning the Hyundai Kona the best new car on sale. The Kia Rio supermini finished second in owners’ rankings, with the Mazda CX-5 SUV in third. 

Driver Power is the most comprehensive and respected car-ownership satisfaction survey in the UK. Each year, thousands of motorists rate their cars in dozens of areas and provide us with valuable quotes, all of which help to build an accurate picture of what new cars are really like to live with.

Today’s announcement marks an exceptional performance for the Hyundai Kona, which also scooped a best-in-class award in the small SUV category, while the Kona Electric was voted the best EV, ahead of rivals such as the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3. The Kia Rio, meanwhile, was readers’ favourite supermini, and the Mazda CX-5 took the crown in the competitive mid-size SUV class. 

Owners graded each of the 75 cars in the survey across 10 categories, assessing areas such as reliability, practicality, handling, performance, and infotainment, over a series of 35 questions, generating tens of thousands of data points from thousands of respondents.

For 2021, the Driver Power survey saw a raft of improvements, including the introduction of new questions regarding the effectiveness of in-car safety systems and the ease with which these systems can be switched on and off. A question asking owners how happy they are with the balance between touchscreen inputs and physical controls is also new for this year, while a new value for money category has also been introduced.

The 20th anniversary of Driver Power also marks a more comprehensive, rigorous approach to data analysis. Working with the automotive experts from market research agency Simpson Carpenter, data has been more closely analysed than ever before, while also being weighted to ensure its representativeness of the UK population in terms of gender and age.

The top 10 cars in the 2021 Driver Power new-car survey are as follows:

  1. Hyundai Kona
  2. Kia Rio
  3. Mazda CX-5
  4. Toyota C-HR
  5. Skoda Karoq
  6. Skoda Kodiaq
  7. Vauxhall Grandland X
  8. Volvo XC40
  9. Kia Sportage
  10. SEAT Ateca

The Driver Power 2021 new-car survey is in the latest, 28 July issue of Auto Express. It’s the first of a suite of surveys covering all aspects of car ownership, being followed by the Driver Power new-car brands survey results on 4 August, a rundown of the best new-car dealers due for release on 8 September, and the Driver Power used-car survey results due in October.