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 executive cars...

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Claire Evans
30 November 2018

2018 What Car Reliability Survey

Executive cars

Most reliable: Volvo V60 - 99.3%

What went wrong? Bodywork 6%

Just 6% of Volvo V60s had a problem, and the only afflicted area was the bodywork, meaning all of the cars remained driveable. Plus, each was repaired in less than a day and cost its owner no money.

Although 19% of Vauxhall Insignias had a fault, most cars were fixed the same day. Engine electrics accounted for the highest number of problems (8%), while other issues were divided between the wheels/tyres, fuel system and exterior lights (all 4%). All work was carried out for free.

Alfa Romeo has hardly been historically renowned for reliability, but the Italian brand’s new Giulia saloon is bucking that trend so far. While 17% of cars had a fault, most were minor, such as issues with the air-con, brakes and exterior lights (all 4%). Three-quarters of these Giulias could still be driven and all were fixed under warranty.


2018 What Car Reliability Survey

Least reliable: Mercedes-Benz C-Class 83.1%

What went wrong? Engine electrics 7%; Sat-nav 6%; Bodywork 5%; Non-engine electrics 5%; Battery 4%; Engine 4%; Interior trim 4%; Brakes 3%; Gearbox/clutch 3%; Exterior lights 2%; Steering 2%; Air-con 1%; Exhaust 1%; Fuel system 1%; Suspension 1%

A prestige brand image isn’t always an indicator of superior quality, as the data for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class shows; nearly a third of cars presented a problem. Most were back on the road within a week, though, and only a few owners had to pay for repairs.

Jaguar XE owners also spend a lot of time in dealerships, because 42% of their cars had a fault. While there were problems in every area, the most frequent were brakes and interior trim (both 11%) and electrics (10%). Most cars remained driveable and were xed in less than a day, but a few owners had to pay £500-£750.

Diesel Audi A4s had more issues than petrols (29% versus 21%), but both suffered from electrical problems (14% and 8%). Most cars could still be driven and almost all were fixed for free, though.


Reliability for executive cars aged one to four
Rank  Make and model Score
1 Volvo V60 (2010-2018) 99.3%
2 Vauxhall Insignia (2008-2017) 97.5%
3 Alfa Romeo Giulia (2016-present) 96.9%
4 BMW 3 Series (2012-present) 96.6%
5 Mazda 6 (2013-present) 95.9%
6 Skoda Superb petrol (2015-present) 95.2%
7 Audi A3 Saloon (2013-present) 93.9%
8 Audi A4 petrol (2015-present) 93.7%
9 Skoda Superb diesel (2015-present) 93.2%
10 Volkswagen Passat (2015-present) 92.9%
11 Ford Mondeo (2014-present) 92.6%
12 Audi A4 diesel (2015-present) 91.9%
13 Jaguar XE (2015-present) 83.7%
14 Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2014-present) 83.1%


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