2019 What Car? Reliability Survey: family cars

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...

Skoda Rapid reliability

Family cars

Average reliability score for class 94.1%

Most reliable Skoda Rapid 2012-2019 99.4%

What went wrong? Exterior trim 5%

The Skoda Rapid isn't a common sight on our roads, but it must be even rarer in Skoda’s service departments, because just 5% of the cars we were told about had a problem in the previous 12 months. Those that did were afflicted by only minor issues with exterior trim. All were fixed the same day for free under warranty. 

Only slightly more (6%) Toyota Auris owners reported a fault on their car, with the areas concerned split evenly between bodywork and steering. Again, all cars were fixed for free, but some took up to a week to get back on the road. 

The previous Hyundai i30 is proving reliable as it ages. Although 14% had a problem, all repairs were done for free and all cars were back on the road the same day. The most common problem area was the exhaust system, ahead of the battery and non-engine electrics.

Vauxhall Astra reliability

Least reliable Vauxhall Astra diesel 2015-on 82.3%

What went wrong? Brakes 23% Engine 10% Gearbox/clutch 10% Engine electrics 7% Non-engine electrics 7% Air-con 3% Exhaust 3% Fuel system 3% Interior trim 3% Sat-nav 3% Steering 3% Suspension 3% 

Diesel Vauxhall Astras have a 10% lower reliability rating than their petrol siblings; nearly twice as many went wrong. Nearly a quarter of issues were with the braking system, and one in five were with the engine or gearbox/clutch. Nearly a third of cars took more than a week to fix, but at least all the work was done under warranty. 

Almost as many Nissan Pulsars (39%) had a fault, the majority to do with the battery. Nearly half couldn’t be driven, but all their faults were rectified the same day. Three-quarters of work was done under warranty, but a quarter of owners paid bills ranging from £101-£300. 

Petrol BMW 1 Series models are pretty durable, but 34% of diesels had trouble, mainly with the engine. One in five were undrivable and took more than a week to fix, with some costing owners up to £500. 

Reliability for family cars aged up to five years old

Rank Make and model Score
1.  Skoda Rapid 2012-2019 99.4%
2. Toyota Auris 2013-2019 98.2%
3. Hyundai i30 2012-2017 97.7%
4. Kia Ceed 2012-2018 97.4%
5. Skoda Octavia petrol 2013-on 97.3%
6. Honda Civic 2012-2017 97.2%
=7. BMW 1 Series petrol 2011-2019 97.0%
=7. Mini Clubman 2015-on 97.0%
9. Audi A3 petrol 2013-on 96.8%
10. Audi A3 diesel 2013-on 96.6%
11. Ford Focus diesel 2011-2018 96.5%
12. Volkswagen Golf petrol 2013-on 96.1%
13. Seat Leon petrol 2013-on 95.9%
14. Skoda Octavia diesel 2013-on 95.6%
15. Honda Civic 2017-on 95.1%
16. Mercedes A-Class 2013-2018 94.7%
=17. Ford Focus petrol 2011-2018 93.6%
=17. Seat Leon diesel 2013-on 93.6%
19. Hyundai i30 2017-on 93.1%
20. Citroen C4 Cactus 2014-on 92.9%
21. Volvo V40 2012-on  92.8%
=22. Mazda 3 2014-on 92.6%
=22. Vauxhall Astra petrol 2015-on 92.6%
24. Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2010-on 91.8%
25. Volkswagen Golf diesel 2013-on 90.7%
26. Mercedes A-Class 2018-on 89.4%
27. Ford Focus 2018-on 88.7%
28. Peugeot 308 2014-on 87.6%
29. BMW 1 Series diesel 2011-2019 87.0%
30. Nissan Pulsar 2014-2018 86.6%
31. Vauxhall Astra diesel 2015-on 82.3%