2018 What Car? Reliability Survey

We asked more than 18,000 people to to tell us about the reliability of their cars. From that data, we've compiled ratings for 159 models from 31 different car brands...

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Claire Evans
30 November 2018

2018 What Car Reliability Survey

Two cars claim the top spot in this year’s reliability survey: the petrol Toyota Yaris and the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross. Both received perfect scores, with owners telling us their cars didn’t have a single fault in the previous 12 months.

Not far behind is the UK’s best-selling electric car, the Nissan Leaf, followed by the Toyota RAV4 and Volvo V60; all three of these models achieved a fantastic rating of more than 99%.

The SX4 S-Cross’s excellence helped Suzuki to be the top brand for reliability among cars up to four years old, triumphing over Toyota, whose cars have long had a reputation for durability.

Suzuki stays in the top five for the reliability of its older cars, too. However, the most dependable brand for long-term ownership is Lexus, whose efforts are led by the CT hybrid hatchback. Meanwhile, Honda’s standing in the list of newer cars isn’t as strong as that of those other Japanese brands, partly due to the HR-V’s so-so reliability.The brand regains ground for the reliability of its older cars, though.

It’s great to see Alfa Romeo disproving its reputation for unreliability, with scores of 92.9% and 96.9% for newer Giuliettas and Giulias respectively, but diesel Giuliettas send it plummeting down the order among older cars.

As for other European brands, Dacia looks less appealing, sitting mid-table in the new order, but it jumps to second in the older list. It’s similar for Porsche, which scores poorly in the new car chart but sits seventh for older cars.

Land Rover doesn’t manage to pull itself up from the bottom of the table as its models age; in fact, its overall score drops for older cars.

The only relative high spots are the previous-generation and current Discovery, both of which have reliability scores of more than 85%.

This is the first year we’ve had enough data to include Tesla in our table. But it’s bad news, because the American firm recorded by far the lowest overall score, while its Model S sits at the bottom of the EV class with 50.9%.

Reliability by brand cars 1 to 4 years old

Rank Brand Score
1 Suzuki 97.7%
2 Lexus 97.5%
3 Toyota 96.8%
4= Kia 95.8%
4= Mitsubishi 95.8%
4= Subaru 95.8%
7 Skoda 95.6%
8 Alfa Romeo 95.5%
9 Hyundai 95.4%
10 Seat 95.2%
11= Mazda 94.6%
11= Vauxhall 94.6%
13 Dacia 94.1%
14 Fiat 94.0%
15 Honda 93.8%
16 BMW 93.4%
17 Volkswagen 92.9%
18 Ford 92.7%
19 Renault 91.7%
20= Audi 91.5%
20= Volvo 91.5%
22 Mini 91.2%
23 Porsche 90.9%
24 Peugeot 89.4%
25 Citroen 88.1%
26 Mercedes-Benz 88.0%
27 Nissan 87.1%
28 Jaguar 84.9%
29 Jeep 82.7%
30 Land Rover 76.5%
31 Tesla 57.3%


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