New data exposes our love-hate relationship with our wheels.

Simon Hacker reports

Crack open the champagne! Car satisfaction has broken out all over the UK, according to the latest probe on how happy we are with our wheels.

AutoExpress has drawn up a fresh top ten of the new cars that please most of the people most of the time, with results showing the thumbs up ratings are higher than ever.

So does this mean everything's rosy for new-car buyers? Not quite...

Despite the feel-good factor that surrounds this top-ten, the number of new-car owners reporting issues with their cars has shot up from 12.15% in 2017 to 14.36% in the 2018 data.

The Driver Power survey is now in its 16th year and with 80,000 responses on board, it's the biggest car satisfaction study in Britain. Drivers with models up to 24 months old are questioned on all aspects of ownership, including acceleration, steering, storage and infotainment.

But what's fascinating about these results is that, despite some cars getting haloes, many retain a shocking percentage of negative feedback for reliability - suggesting that while we have issues with our cars we often continue to love them.

Peugeot's 3008 SUV came out in poll position, followed by Kia's all-new Niro hybrid SUV. Significantly, both scored more than 11% for issues. But take a look at Alfa Romeo's Giulia, placed third in the results by virtue of its performance and looks. It comes out with a whopping 40.3% rating for headaches. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Alfa issues focus chiefly around electrical issues.

Here's the top ten winners, with their satisfaction index AND fault ratings in brackets.

1 Peugeot 3008 93.88% (11%)

2 Kia Niro 93.07% (11.7%)

3 Alfa Romeo Giulia 93.06% (40.3%)

4 Toyota Prius 93.04% (6.1%)

5 Lexus RX 92.99% (19.3%)

6 Lexus NX 92.9% (6.6%)

7 Kia Sorento 92.85% (23.5%)

8 Toyota Verso 92.83% (13.7%)

9 Honda Civic 92.5% (9.3%)

10 Skoda Octavia 92.45% (7.3%)

The survey reflects we're a pretty forgiving nation, often showing loyalty even when our car kicks us in the wallet. Let us know if this all sounds familiar... and if you wonder why so many buyers love the Giulia, to the left we have a taste of the 510hp Quadrifoglio.