2020 What Car? Reliability Survey: family cars
In our exhaustive annual survey, we reveal how dependable cars up to five years old are, based on the experiences of 13,000 owners...
Diesel-engined 1 Series models are twice as dependable as their petrol counterparts; only 5% had a fault, compared with 10% of petrols. Most of the cars could still be driven and were back on the road in less than a week, and all work was carried out for free.
Owner’s view “My car has done more than 85,000 miles and it has been ultra-reliable. It hasn’t missed a beat”
Reliability rating 98.6%
Italian brands haven’t traditionally had a strong reputation for reliability, but the Giulietta shows this is unfair. Only 12% of cars had a fault, with issues split evenly between the braking system and gearbox/clutch. All cars could still be driven and were fi xed in a day or less at no cost to the owners.
Reliability rating 97.5%
Petrol versions of the Octavia are slightly more rugged than the diesels, with 12% suffering a fault, compared with 14% of diesels. The engine and its electrical system were the main concern, followed by infotainment/sat-nav, and then air-con and bodywork. All cars could still be driven and two-thirds of issues were rectifi ed the same day, with 90% of work done for free and no bills exceeding £200.
Least reliable family cars
Reliability rating 82.7%
What went wrong? Battery 15%, air-con 5%, bodywork 5%, brakes 5%, engine 5%, infotainment/sat-nav 5%, interior trim 5%, nonengine electrics 5%, suspension 5%
Owners of diesel Leons had almost four times as many problems as those with petrol engines, with 40% of cars going wrong. A third of them were rendered undriveable, and although two-thirds of the work was done under warranty, some owners paid out up to £500.
Owner’s view “My car suffered an oil leak, and I’m nding that the interior trim and ttings aren’t as durable as I’d hoped”
Reliability rating 83.3%
A third of 308s went wrong, with non-engine electrical issues, including faulty infotainment and sat-nav systems, accounting for 20% of faults, followed by bodywork, interior trim and suspension problems that each accounted for 6% of problems. Two-thirds of cars could still be driven and were put right in a week or less. However, while 47% of work was done for free, those who paid for repairs shelled out between £51 and £1000.
Reliability rating 83.6%
Diesel Golfs suffered twice as many issues as petrol models, with 36% of them striking trouble. The most common problems related to the bodywork, followed by the battery, engine, infotainment/sat-nav, gearbox/clutch and non-engine electrics. A quarter of the faulty cars couldn’t be driven and took up to a week to repair. Nearly three-quarters of work was done under warranty, but a small percentage of owners paid out up to £750.
Reliability for family cars aged up to five years old
|Rank||Make and model||Score|
|1.||BMW 1 Series diesel 2011-2019||99.2%|
|2.||Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2010-on||98.6%|
|3.||Skoda Octavia petrol 2013-2020||97.5%|
|4.||Mercedes A-Class 2013-2018||97.2%|
|=5.||Mini Clubman 2015-on||97.1%|
|=5.||Ford Focus diesel 2011-2018||97.1%|
|=7.||Volvo V40 2012-2019||96.6%|
|=7.||Seat Leon petrol 2013-2020||96.6%|
|9.||Ford Focus 2018-on||96.4%|
|10.||BMW 1 Series petrol 2011-2019||96.1%|
|11.||Skoda Yeti 2009-2017||95.8%|
|12.||Volkswagen Golf petrol 2013-2020||95.4%|
|13.||Ford Focus petrol 2011-2018||95.1%|
|14.||Mazda 3 2013-2019||94.9%|
|=15.||Honda Civic 2017-on||94.0%|
|=15.||Skoda Octavia diesel 2013-2020||94.0%|
|=17.||Hyundai i30 2017-on||93.0%|
|18.||Audi A3 2013-2020||92.7%|
|=19.||Mercedes A-Class 2018-on||91.1%|
|=19.||Vauxhall Astra 2015-on||91.1%|
|21.||Honda Civic 2012-2017||90.2%|
|22.||Volkswagen Golf diesel 2013-2020||83.6%|
|23.||Peugeot 308 2013-on||83.3%|
|24.||Seat Leon diesel 2013-2020||82.7%|