RAC Cars News


What car can you actually rely upon?

By raccars Published


What car do you think comes out top in the reliability stakes?

Recent research suggests that British buyers are convinced that German cars will be reliable, but warranty data shows that not to be the case. Japanese cars are regularly found at the top of reliability surveys. Reliability research is usually based upon two factors: the frequency of reported faults and breakdowns and the average cost of repairs. Japanese brands tend to perform well in both categories.


The fifth most reliable brand is actually Korean. Hyundai offers a reassuring five year warranty at mid-range prices. Not only are its cars reliable, but they also offer decent driving dynamics. Average repair costs are about mid-range too at £577. The brand is aiming upmarket by turning its luxury Genesis model into a distinct sub-brand, planning to give customers an alternative to the likes of Audi.


Mitsubishi is putting its faith in plug-in hybrids as the powertrain of the future, thanks largely to the success of the Outlander PHEV SUV. In the meantime, Mitsubishi is growing fast in the UK, with rising sales and a good reputation for reliability. Repair costs let the brand down slightly however, as on the rare occasion that something should go wrong with your Mitsubishi, you're looking at an average £833 to get it fixed.


The brand's reputation for dependability was shaken somewhat when its Celerio city car was recalled due to brake failures before any customer deliveries had even been made. Fortunately Suzuki has a history of reliability, the car buying public is quite forgiving and the Celerio is now performing well. The new Vitara is another winner for the company, particularly with average repair costs of £424.


The world's largest car manufacturer is also the second most reliable, despite what seems an inordinately high number of recalls. Toyota claims that this is because it is extra vigilant to ensure that its products can be depended upon. With the Prius, Toyota has shown that even new technology such as hybrid powertrains can be reliable and affordable. The average repair cost is £592.


Just beating Toyota thanks to slightly lower average repair costs at £535 is Honda, which makes the most reliable cars in the world. The Honda line-up covers most market segments and any one of its models should allow you to sleep peacefully at night and give you years of happy motoring.

What car model is the most reliable?

According to the Reliability Index, Honda also makes the most reliable model with the Jazz hatchback. The Mitsubishi Lancer is the second most reliable model and the Chevrolet Kalos is third. The Ford Ka is the fourth most reliable model with the Mazda MX-5 fifth, the Mercedes-Benz CLC sixth, the Citroen C1 seventh, the Kia Picanto eighth and the Toyota Yaris ninth. The Ford Focus rounds out the top ten most reliable models list this year. The Ford Fiesta is Britain's best-selling car by far but doesn't quite manage the most reliable top ten list, coming in eleventh place.

The Honda Jazz records average repair costs of £151.74, while the second place Mitsubishi Lancer also enjoys the lowest average repair costs among the top 100 most reliable, at just £69.30. In fact all of the top five most reliable models cost less than £200 to repair on average.

Shockingly, premium brand cars make up the majority of the least reliable cars list, which is headed by the BMW M5, followed by the Nissan GT-R and the Bentley Continental GT.

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