2019 What Car? Reliability Survey: brands

To help you choose the most dependable car, we've crunched the data on more than 18,000 vehicles, spanning 31 brands and 218 models to give each a unique reliability rating...

2019 What Car? Reliability Survey

What Car? says…

Three cars stand out in this year’s survey, all achieving a perfect score of 100%: the Kia Soul, Lexus CT and Toyota Yaris Hybrid. Two of the three winners are hybrids, demonstrating the robustness of this technology, while the responses for the Soul included some for the electric version, showing that this, too, is impeccably dependable. 

Three of the five cars that just missed out on a podium finish, scoring more than 99%, are also hybrids: the Lexus NX, Lexus RX and Toyota Auris. The only conventionally powered models to achieve this near-perfect score are the Mini Countryman and Toyota RAV4. 

Meanwhile, the Range Rover lingers at the bottom of the overall league, being the only model to score less than 70% for reliability. It’s a tie for second worst between the Jeep Renegade and the Nissan X-Trail, both only just managing 77%. And despite going on sale only two years ago, the Range Rover Velar has managed to clock up a lot of faults, meaning it gets a rating of just 77.9%. 

When it comes to brand reliability, it’s a whitewash for Lexus, which sits at the head of the new and older car brand tables, and a wipeout for Land Rover, which ranks last in both age categories. 

Indeed, Japanese makers’ historic reputation generally continues to prove true, as they lock out the top three and top five in our two tables, although some brands rather let down their compatriots. 

The differences between our two tables are important for buyers of older cars and anyone wanting to keep their car for a long time. Some makes, including Kia, Honda, Skoda, Suzuki and Toyota, remain doggedly durable as the years pile on and remain in the top 10. 

However, others plummet down the chart. For example, once a Hyundai, Seat, Subaru or Volvo car has celebrated its fifth birthday, it generally scores around 20% lower for reliability. 

In contrast, some cars age like fine wine. Alfa Romeo, Mini, Mitsubishi and Porsche models in their dotage, for example, are noticeably more reliable than their younger counterparts. 

Reliability by brand for cars up to five years old

Rank Brand Score
1. Lexus  99.3%
2. Toyota 97.7%
3. Suzuki 97.3%
4. Tesla 96.9%
5. Subaru 96.6%
6. Kia 96.3%
7. Hyundai 95.7%
8. Mini 95.4%
9. Skoda 95.2%
10. Honda  94.9%
11. Volvo 94.7%
12. Dacia 94.5%
13. Mitsubishi 94.3%
14. Ford 94.1%
15. Seat 93.8%
16. Volkswagen 93.7%
17. Mazda 93.5%
18. Peugeot 93.4%
19. Fiat 93.3%
20. Audi 92.9%
21. BMW 92.1%
22. Citroen 91.8%
23. Porsche 91.7%
24. Mercedes 90.6% 
25. Alfa Romeo 89.7%
26. Jaguar 89.5%
27. Vauxhall 89.4%
28. Nissan 85.7%
29. Jeep 84.4%
30. Renault 84.2%
31. Land Rover 81.3%

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