2017 What Car? Reliability Survey

In our 2017 Reliability Survey, we asked more than 14,200 people to tell us about any faults their cars have suffered during the past year. The results for cars aged 0-3yrs reveal the most - and...

2017 What Car? Reliability Survey

There are lots of reasons why people buy cars, from a change in circumstances, such as becoming a parent, to retiring. But when it comes to why people keep their cars and stick with the same brand year after year, there’s one factor that has the biggest influence: reliability.

If your car regularly breaks down and leaves you stranded, or even if it just suffers from a plague of minor faults that require regular trips to the garage, you’re far less likely to pick the same brand again.

That’s why we asked owners of 14,208 cars to tell us if their cars had suffered any faults in the past 12 months. Faults were classified into 14 groups: battery, bodywork, brakes, engine, engine electrics, exhaust, exterior lights, fuel system, gearbox/clutch, interior trim, non-engine electrics, steering, suspension and other.

For each fault, we asked the owner to identify time spent off the road using categories ranging from less than one day to more than a week. We also asked them to tell us how much the repairs cost, from being fixed under warranty for free to more than £1500. This information was weighted according to the severity of the fault; those that cost the most and kept the car off the road the longest were penalised most.

The data has been used to create our What Car? reliability rating, which is the score you see beside each model. Over the following pages, we reveal the best and worst contenders in 10 classes.

Reliability by brand cars 0-3yrs


Rank Brand Score
1 Lexus 92.1%
2 Mitsubishi 90.8%
3 Toyota 89.6%
4 Suzuki 86.6%
5 Alfa Romeo 85.8%
6 Honda 84.9%
7 Hyundai 84.8%
8 MG 83.4%
9 Ford 82.1%
10 Subaru 81.8%
11 Kia 81.3%
12 Audi 80.4%
13 Skoda 80.1%
14 Mini 79.6%
15 Porsche 78.3%
16 Mazda 77.9%
17 BMW 77.6%
18 Vauxhall 76.4%
19 Dacia 75.9%
20 Renault 75.4%
21 Seat 75.2%
22 Volkswagen 74.7%
23 Mercedes-Benz 70.4%
24 Fiat 70.2%
25 Volvo 62.3%
26 Jaguar 61.9%
27 Peugeot 56.7%
28 Citroën 55.2%
29 Nissan 52.7%
30 Tesla 52.4%
31 Land Rover 50.6%
32 Jeep 42.1%


If you're interested in a specific class of car, take your pick from the list below to find out which are the most and least reliable models.

City cars

Small cars

Family cars


Small SUVs

Large SUVs

Executive cars

Luxury cars

Coupes and convertibles

Electric vehicles

Next: City cars >

Tell us how reliable your car is in the 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey and you could win £250


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