Hybrids and small SUVs rated most reliable types of car while luxury SUVs suffer highest number of faults
The UK’s most and least reliable new and used cars have been revealed in the 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey.
Feedback from more than 16,000 car owners was analysed to find the country’s most dependable 178 models and 30 brands, from nearly new cars to those aged up to five years old.
This year, a record six models achieved a score of 100 per cent: the current versions of the Audi TT, Mazda CX-3, Mini Convertible and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, and the previous-generation Dacia Sandero and Honda HR-V.
At brand level, Lexus and Dacia models were hailed as the most dependable for new and used buyers, while Fiat and Land Rover achieved the lowest scores.
Lexus gained an overall rating of 98.7 per cent and none of its vehicles scored lower than 98.4 per cent.
Budget brand Dacia also impressed with a 97.3 per cent overall rating, demonstrating that you don’t have to break the bank to buy a dependable model.
In contrast, Fiat had the least reliable cars, gaining an 82 per cent rating from owners, while Land Rover and Ford were second and third worst for reliability.
Hybrids were rated as the most durable type of car, with an average class reliability score of 96.9 per cent.
The best performing hybrid was the Lexus NX (2014 – present), which managed a 99.8 per cent score, while hybrid variants of the BMW X5 (2018 – present) were rated least reliable, with 89.7 per cent.
Luxury SUVs performed the worst in the study, achieving an average class rating of 88.8 per cent, although the Porsche Macan (2014 – present) bucked the trend, managing a creditable 97.9 per cent.
The Land Rover Discovery (2017 – present) received the lowest score in this class with a 72.1 per cent result.
Owners were asked whether their car had gone wrong in the past 12 months, how long repairs took and how much they cost, with the overall score expressed as a percentage.
Of the 16,328 drivers surveyed, 20 per cent had experienced a fault with their car in the past year, with 85 per cent of faults repaired free of charge.
For 7 per cent of drivers, the repairs cost between £101 and £500, while 2 per cent had to pay more than £1500 to get their car back on the road.
A third of cars remained driveable and were fixed within a day, while 25 per cent could be driven but took more than a week to repair.
What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: “The UK’s used car market is currently booming, making it all the more important that people know which models will be reliable.
“With feedback from more than 16,000 owners, the latest What Car? Reliability Survey highlights the brands and models with the best and worst records.
“Our latest study also shows that a high price tag isn’t always a guarantee of reliability, because some of Britain’s cheapest cars are among the most reliable.”
Most reliable brands
Least reliable brands
- Land Rover
- Alfa Romeo
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