2018 What Car? Reliability Survey

More than 18,000 people told us about the reliability of their cars. Here we reveal the most - and least - dependable newer family cars...

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Claire Evans
30 November 2018

2018 What Car Reliability Survey

Family cars

Most reliable: Hyundai i30 - 98.9%

What went wrong? Gearbox/clutch 6%

Don't discount the previous-generation Hyundai i30 because it is no longer on sale; it has an impressive reliability record. The only problem area was the gearbox/clutch, but all faulty i30s were fixed within a week for free.

Although 23% of Audi A3s suffered faults, they were in less serious areas such as bodywork (10%), including fuel caps that wouldn’t open and haywire parking sensors. Other problem areas were suspension (6%) and engine and non-engine electrics (both 3%). All cars were back on the road the same day and no owners paid for the repairs.

The diesel Skoda Octavia was more dependable than its petrol counterpart; just 10% of examples suffered a fault, compared with 12%. A wide range of areas was affected, but most cars remained driveable. A small proportion cost up to £200 to get fixed.


2018 What Car Reliability Survey

Least reliable: Peugeot 308 - 81.5%

What went wrong? Non-engine electrics; 18% Bodywork; 12% Engine electrics 9%; Air-con 6%; Brakes 6%; Interior trim 6%; Sat-nav 6%; Battery 3%; Engine 3%; Exhaust 3%; Gearbox/clutch 3%

The Peugeot 308 is even less reliable than the smaller 208, with nearly half of examples suffering a fault. Again, the majority were electrical issues. The areas concerned included heated seats, the infotainment system and parking sensors. Most cars could still be driven, but a few owners were charged up to £500 for the work.

A worrying 45% of Nissan Pulsar owners reported a fault on their car, and of those, 18% were non-engine electrical problems. Although all cars were fixed for free, some spent more than a week off the road.

The diesel Mercedes-Benz A-Class was afflicted by fewer faults (33%), but 13% of them related to the engine. Other issues concerned the battery, bodywork, electrics, exhaust and fuel system (all 7%). Two-thirds were fixed in less than a week, but some cost up to £500.


Reliability for family cars aged one to four
Rank Make and model Score
1 Hyundai i30 (2012-2017) 98.9%
2 Audi A3 diesel (2013-present) 98.4%
3 Skoda Octavia diesel (2013-present) 97.3%
=4 Mazda 3 petrol (2014-present) 97.2%
=4 Seat Leon petrol (2013-present) 97.2%
6 Kia Ceed (2012-present) 96.3%
7 Honda Civic petrol (2012-2017) 95.8%
8 Ford Focus petrol (2011-present) 95.7%
9 Skoda Octavia petrol (2013-present) 95.5%
10 Skoda Rapid (2014-present) 95.3%
=11 BMW 1 Series petrol (2011-present) 95.2%
=11 Volkswagen Golf diesel (2013-present) 95.2%
13 Seat Leon diesel (2013-present) 95.0%
=14 BMW 1 Series diesel (2011-present) 94.8%
=14 Volkswagen Golf petrol (2013-present) 94.8%
16 Vauxhall Astra (2015-present) 93.8%
=17 Audi A3 petrol (2013-present) 93.6%
=17 Honda Civic diesel (2012-2017) 93.6%
19 Mercedes-Benz A-Class petrol (2013-present) 93.4%
20 Alfa Romeo Giulietta (2010-present) ​​​​​​​ 92.9%
21 Volvo V40 petrol (2012-present) 91.6%
22 Honda Civic petrol (2017-present) ​​​​​​​ 91.5%
23 Ford Focus diesel (2011-present) 90.8%
24 Volvo V40 diesel (2012-present) ​​​​​​​ 89.0%
25 Mercedes-Benz A-Class diesel (2013-present) ​​​​​​​ 86.9%
26 Nissan Pulsar (2015-present) 86.5%
27 Peugeot 308 (2014-present) 81.5%



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