* Cars and car makers unmasked * Their reliability revealed * 250 individual cars listed...

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What Car? Staff
27 July 2011


Ford 14th out of 35
Last years position 14th out of 32
Cars needing repair work 26%
Average repair cost 254
Best model S-Max (06-)
Worst model Galaxy (95-06)

Two different generations of MPV bookend Fords results this year. The S-Max (06-) is the runaway success, with an RI of just 22 and a breakdown rate of 8%, making it by far the best people-carrier. At the other end of the results is the older Galaxy (95-06) with a failure rate of 40% and an RI of 133.The first two generations of the Focus, (98-04) and (04-11), both post an RI of 58, but the newer car has a slightly lower failure rate.

Smart 13th out of 35
Last years position 13th out of 32
Cars needing repair work 25%
Average repair cost 287
Best model Forfour (04-07)
Worst model Fortwo (00-03)

The rare Forfour (04-07) posts an RI of 54 and a failure rate of 25%, which are pretty unimpressive numbers next to those of its small family rivals. Still, the Fortwo (00-03), has a poorer RI of 83. The quirky Roadster (03-06) falls between the two, with an RI of 67 good enough for it to finish as the third best open-top car.

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Skoda 12th out of 35
Last years position 8th out of 32
Cars needing repair work 25%
Average repair cost 268
Best model Octavia (98-04)
Worst model Superb (02-08)

Last year Skoda finished in the top 10 manufacturers, but this year it just misses out. Most of its cars record a similar breakdown rate of around 25%, apart from the Superb (02-08), at 46%. The older Octavia (98-04) is noticeably better than the newer Octavia (04-), with an RI of 49 compared with 91. At 368, the newer car has far higher repair bills, too.

Daewoo 11th out of 35
Last years position 12th out of 32
Cars needing repair work 25%
Average repair cost 296
Best model Matiz (98-05)
Worst model Tacuma (00-05)

The cut-price Matiz is only good enough to finish in the bottom half of the supermini category but the Tacuma (00-05) is the 10th best MPV. Daewoos suffer more engine failures than most, with the motor generating more than 20% of all issues.

Nissan 10th out of 35
Last years position 7th out of 32
Cars needing repair work 22%
Average repair cost 357
Best model Primera (02-06)
Worst model Pathfinder (05-)

The British-built Primera (02-06) is Nissans best model, and manages first place in the family car category, with a low RI of 31 and a breakdown rate of 8%. The Micra (93-03) isnt far behind with an RI of 33, but fails to make the top 10 superminis. The 350Z (03-09) is still good enough to be the fourth-best coup, but the Pathfinder (05-) is less accomplished, with an average repair cost of 624.

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Kia 9th out of 35
Last years position 9th out of 32
Cars needing repair work 21%
Average repair cost 327
Best model Picanto (04-)
Worst model Sedona (99-06)

Despite finishing in the same position as last year, Kia grabs one of the major honours: the humble Picanto (04-11) is the most-reliable car in this years results, with an RI of just three. Elsewhere, the Sportage (05-) and the Sorento (03-) have RI scores of 57 and 60 respectively.

Hyundai 8th out of 35
Last years position na
Cars needing repair work 20%
Average repair cost 273
Best model Santa Fe (01-06)
Worst model na

The Santa Fe (01-06) is Hyundais only vehicle in this years results and, although it scores a reasonable RI of 73, its still pretty mediocre for the SUV category. However, at 272, the average repair cost is lower than many rival SUVs.

In focus...
Honda's Swindon factory has a great reputation for making reliable carsWhats the secret behind the Honda Civics reliability?
Yes, Japanese cars really are the most reliable, although that fact doesnt just apply to the models built in Japan.

Take the Civic: its been one of Hondas most-reliable cars for the past four years, yet both generations of the Civic in our survey were built at Hondas UK factory in Swindon. The same applies to some of Hondas other reliability stalwarts, such as the Accord (99-03) and the CR-V (02-06).

According to Honda, its not where you build but how you build. Since 2004, Honda has had a globally uniform manufacturing process, which means a car is assembled in an identical fashion when its built at different factories. This helps to deliver consistency in manufacturing activity and quality, and has been at the heart of Hondas success.

Dave Hodgetts, managing director of Honda UK, says: We strive to make every second of Honda ownership an enjoyable experience, and that means looking after our drivers throughout their use of our cars.