Six years on from the end of MG Rover as we knew it, the cars’ owners and enthusiasts seem as energised about their products as they ever did – and an excellent showing in the Auto Express Driver Power 2011 survey proves that. The overall results might have been a whitewash for Skoda, with the Superb topping the poll and two of the next three spots being taken by the Czech firm’s other models, but Rover, MG, MINI and Jaguar Land Rover all performed admirably well.
Top placing for AROnline’s fleet is the Jaguar XF, in third position, which continues its excellent performance in the Driver Power. It’s the third time the XF has finished in the top three in as many years and the Auto Express readers voted it number one for performance, braking and ease of driving – truly a impressive achievement given the strength of its opposition.
Next up, in 13th, is the Rover 75, down from seventh last year. Given that the 75’s been out of production for six years (discounting the MG7/Roewe 750 in China), this is an incredible performance, once again proving the longevity of the big-Brummie. It came first in the ‘Ride Quality’ and ‘Comfort’ categories (beating the Jaguar XF in both), with an overall approval rating of 87.84%.
Rounding out AROnline’s top three is the Land Rover Freelander, in 16th place overall. Given the frightful performance of the company’s products in the past, this is an excellent turn-round and one which bodes well for the Evoque during the months to come.
Honourable mention should also be given to the MINI, which rocketed up into third position in the handling category, falling in behind the Mazda MX-5 and RX-8 but beating the much-lauded Audi TT and Volkswagen Scirocco. The older R50 generation MINI also scored well in eighth position.
Overall, the Brits scored acceptably well, with Jaguar proving to be the highlight, but the Rover 75/MG ZT’s 13th position vindicates the view that its customer base is highly enthusiastic. According to recent results from the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) there are still nearly one million MG and Rover cars on the road in the UK. These figures demonstrate the longevity of MG Rover cars and the continued success of parts specialist XPart in keeping these highly regarded vehicles on the road.
Some models recorded a decline of just 1% from 2009 to 2010. XPart is proving extremely successful in enabling MG Rover owners to keep their cars on the road. With 92% part availability and programmes such as the write-off avoidance scheme Close Call, the company has provided MG Rover owners with the parts and servicing necessary to preserve their vehicles.
However, for AROnline readers, the main point of interest in future Auto Express Driver Power surveys will be how the MG6 and the other new MG models scheduled for launch during the next few years perform…
Auto Express Driver Power 2011
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.