Honda 1st Last year's position 1/35 Cars needing repair work 10% Average repair cost £361 Best model HR-V ('98-'06) Worst modelAccord ('02-08)
For the seventh consecutive year, Honda tops the reliability charts. All its models score under 48 on the RI. The number of Hondas needing work has risen 1% since 2011, but the manufacturer is still 7% clear of second-placed Toyota.
Average costs are higher than some, but you'll find fail rates of no more than 14% across all its models, making Honda the most dependable manufacturer in the 2012 Warranty Direct Reliability Survey.
Toyota 2nd Last year's position 2/35 Cars needing repair work 17% Average repair cost £385 Best modelAygo ('05-) Worst model Previa ('00-06)
Nine top-10 finishes, an average repair cost of £385 and just 17% of cars needing work mean Toyota takes a well deserved second place.
The Corolla ('01-'07), Auris ('07-) and Prius ('03-'09) all feature in the small family category top 10. The Aygo is Toyota's most reliable model, going wrong just 9% of the time. Ten models received an RI score of less than 100 this year.
Lexus 3rd Last year's position 3/35 Cars needing repair work 18% Average repair cost £433 Best model IS ('05-) Worst modelGS ('97-'05)
As a manufacturer of more expensive luxury cars, Lexus's average high repair cost of £433 isn't really a surprise.
You won't have to fork out often, though, because its cars fail just 18% of the time. The best model, the IS ('05-), beats that, failing just 11% of the time and putting it second in the executive category top 10.
Suzuki 4th Last year's position 3/35 Cars needing repair work 19% Average repair cost £265 Best modelAlto ('97-'06) Worst modelSX4 ('09-)
Suzuki loses the joint third place it shared with Lexus last year, but still records a very strong fourth.
Its Alto ('97-'06) has an excellent RI score of 8, and the little city car fails only 10% of the time. No Suzuki exceeds a 31% fail rate, and the marque has the fewest cooling and heating problems in the survey.
Subaru 5th Last year's position 7/35 Cars needing repair work 20% Average repair cost £337 Best model Legacy ('03-) Worst modelForester ('02-'08)
Moving up two places, Subaru has two of its models in the category top 10s, with the Legacy ('03-) taking first place in the family car sector. It fails just 15% of the time and has a fine RI score of 40.
Subarus suffer more axle and suspension problems than any other manufacturer.
Hyundai 6th= Last year's position 8/35 Cars needing repair work 21% Average repair cost £325 Best model Coupe ('02-'07) Worst modelSanta Fe ('01-'06)
Hyundai can be proud to jump up from eighth to sixth. Brakes are an issue across all models – more than any other manufacturer, in fact – but the failure rate of just 21% and average repair cost of £325 make Hyundai ownership relatively painless.
The Coupé ('02-'07) is best, with an RI score of 22 and a 17% fail rate.
Mazda 6th= Last year's position 6/35 Cars needing repair work 21% Average repair cost £435 Best modelMX-5 ('05-) Worst model RX-8 ('03-)
Two generations of MX-5 ('05-) and ('98-'05) lock out the open-top sector.
The '05- MX-5 in particular has excellent figures, including an RI score of 8 and a failure rate of just 4%. Mazda's rotary-engined RX-8 is different; average repairs can reach £557, with a 36% fail rate.
Mitsubishi 6th= Last year's position 3/35 Cars needing repair work 21% Average repair cost £424 Best model Space Star ('98-'06) Worst modelShogun Sport ('00-'08)
Mitsubishi has kept its sixth position. The Space Star ('98-'06) is still the best model, proving that age doesn't have to mean cost.
No Mitsubishi exceeds a 27% fail rate, even if average repair costs are quite high.