2019 What Car? Reliability Survey: luxury 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...

Jaguar XJ reliability

Luxury cars

Average reliability score for class 90.4%

Most reliable Jaguar XJ (2010-2019) 94.3%

What went wrong? Non-engine electrics 25% Air-con 6% Bodywork 6%

The Jaguar XJ had a fairly high proportion of electrical issues, but all faulty examples could still be driven and two-thirds were sorted out the same day. The remaining third needed more than a week to be put right, but all work was done under warranty. 

Just under a third (31%) of previous-generation Mercedes E-Class models had a fault, with non-engine and engine electrics the main culprits, accounting for 10% and 7% of problems respectively. Some cars also had issues with the air-con, exhaust, interior trim and suspension. However, all cars could still be driven, two-thirds were repaired the same day and all work was done for free. 

Fewer BMW 5 Series (22%) had a problem, with non-engine electrics the most common complaints, followed by engine electrics. But some cars were undrivable and most took up to a week to be fixed.

Jaguar XF Mk1 studio front

Least reliable Jaguar XF (2007-2015) 86.8%

What went wrong? Air-con 5% Bodywork 5% Brake system 5% Engine electrics 5% Fuel system 5% Non-engine electrics 5%

Although a fairly high percentage of Jaguar XFs suffered a fault, all could still be driven and were fixed within a day. However, most weren’t fixed under warranty, costing owners up to £200 each time. 

In contrast, most Mercedes-Benz S-Class models were fixed for free, with only a few owners having to pay up to £300. However, owners are likely to have spent more time at garages; half had gripes, most commonly with non-engine electrics. All cars could still be driven, and the majority were back on the road in less than a week. 

The previous-generation BMW 5 Series suffered fewer faults (39%) but in more serious areas: 10% had exhaust issues and 8% had engine issues. A quarter of cars couldn’t be driven, and although most were fixed for free, a few owners had to shell out up to £1500. 

Results for luxury cars aged up to five years old

Rank Make and model Score
1.  Jaguar XJ 2010-on 94.3%
2. Mercedes E-Class 2009-2016 92.8%
3. BMW 5 Series 2017-on 92.6%
4. Audi A6 2011-2018 91.6%
5. Jaguar XF 2015-on 89.7%
6. Mercedes E-Class 2016-on 89.2%
7. BMW 5 Series 2010-2017 88.4%
8. Mercedes S-Class 2014-on 88.1%
9. Jaguar XF 2007-2015 86.8%

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