The top 10 most reliable family cars in our 2012 Reliability Survey is a good place to start if you're looking to buy a dependable family car.
Japanese brands account for half the cars in the top 10. One of these is the Subaru Legacy ('03-'09), which takes first place and has a Reliability Index rating of 40. Its fail rate isn't quite the lowest, at 15%, but this is balanced by a low average repair bill of 256.
In second place there's another Japanese model, the Honda Accord ('02-'08). It has the lowest fail rate, at 11%, but repairs are on the high side, with an average cost of 431.
The Ford Mondeo ('07-) has a lowly fail rate of just 14%. The average repair bill is 333, which equates to a Reliability Index rating of 49; this is good enough to secure third place here.
There are mixed results for VW Group cars in this category. The Seat Toledo ('99-'05) takes eighth place, thanks to a Reliability Index rating of 77 and an average repair bill of just 180.
On the other hand, the Skoda Superb ('02-'08) is the worst-rated family car, with a Reliability Index rating of 252 and an average repair bill of 466.
Top 10 most reliable family cars (by Reliability Index rating)
1 Subaru Legacy ('03-'09) 40
2 Honda Accord ('02-'08) 48
3 Ford Mondeo ('07-) 49
4 Nissan Primera ('02-'06) 61
5 Mercedes-Benz B-Class ('05-'11) 66
6 Volvo V40 ('96-'04) 71
7 Mitsubishi Carisma ('95-'05) 77
8 Seat Toledo ('99-'05) 77
9 Toyota Avensis ('03-'09) 78
10 Peugeot 406 ('96-'04) 80
Skoda Superb ('02-'08) 252