2020 What Car? Reliability Survey: large SUVs

In our exhaustive annual survey, we reveal how dependable cars up to five years old are, based on the experiences of 13,000 owners...

Ford Kuga

Most reliable large SUVs

1. Ford Kuga petrol (2013-2020)

Reliability rating 97.8%

What went wrong? Bodywork 5%, gearbox/clutch 5%

Pick a petrol model if you want a dependable large SUV. The best of the bunch is the petrol Kuga, which had a fault rate of only 5% – in contrast to the 16% of diesel Kugas that went wrong. Half of those cars could still be driven and were put right in a day or less. The others took more than a week to fix, but all work was done for free under warranty.

Owner’s view “This is my third Kuga and the second with an automatic gearbox. I’ve found all three dependable and well built”

2. Mazda CX-5 petrol (2017-present)

Mazda CX-5 front and side

Reliability rating 96.9%

Petrol CX-5s had virtually half as many problems as their diesel counterparts, with 17% going wrong, compared with 30% of diesels. Non-engine electrics were the main issue, followed by bodywork and the gearbox/clutch. Half of the affected cars remained driveable and were repaired in a day or less, and less than one in five took more than a week to put right. All work was done for free.

3. Skoda Kodiaq petrol (2016-present)

Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI SE DSG [7 seat]

Reliability rating 96.5%

Only 17% of petrol-engined Kodiaqs suffered a fault, compared with 30% of diesels. Non-engine electrics were the biggest bugbear, followed by bodywork, engine electrics, the exhaust and interior trim. All of the faulty cars could still be driven and more than half were sorted out in less than a week. Even better, all work was done under warranty.

Least reliable large SUVs

1. Land Rover Discovery Sport (2014-present)

Land Rover Discovery Sport (2014 on) front three quarters

Reliability rating 73.1%

What went wrong? Exhaust 23%, non-engine electrics 12%, engine 11%, battery 9%, bodywork 9%, interior trim 9%, brakes 7%, engine electrics 7%, gearbox/clutch 7%, infotainment/sat-nav 7%, air-con 5%, fuel system 2%, suspension 2% steering 1%

A whopping 49% of Discovery Sports went wrong, with the model chalking up problems in every one of our fault categories. Half of cars could still be driven, but a third took more than a week to put right. While 88% were fixed for free, non-warranty repair bills ranged from less than £50 to £1000.

Owner’s view “My car has had a new engine and suffered exhaust fumes inside; fixed under warranty, but disappointing for the cost of the car”

Nissan X-Trail

Reliability rating 87.6%

Owners told us that 34% of their X-Trails had suffered a fault, with the main areas of concern being engine and non-engine electrics. Other troublesome components included the brakes, engine and fuel system. Two-thirds of those cars were driveable and the problem was rectified in a day or less, the others took more than a week to put right. While three-quarters of work was done under warranty, some owners were faced with bills ranging from less than £50 to £1500.

3. BMW X6 (2014-2019) 

BMW X6 front

Reliability rating 88.2%

Just over 31% of X6s went wrong, with gearbox issues being the most common complaint, accounting for 19% of faults. Other problematic areas included the exhaust, infotainment, interior trim and non-engine electrics. All of the troubled cars could still be driven, but one in five took more than a week to repair. Three-quarters of work was done for free, but owners who had to pay were faced with bills ranging from £50 to £750.

The 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey is open; tell us about your car

Reliability for large SUVs aged up to five years old

Rank Make and model Score
1. Ford Kuga petrol 2013-2020 97.8%
2. Mazda CX-5 petrol 2017-on 96.9%
3. Skoda Kodiaq petrol 2016-on 96.5%
4. Audi Q5 2017-on 96.3%
=6. Honda CR-V 2012-2018 95.6%
=6. BMW X3 2010-2018 95.6%
7.  Kia Sorento 2015-on 95.1%
8.  Ford Kuga diesel 2013-2020 95.0%
=10. Volvo XC60 2008-2017 94.8%
=10. Volvo XC60 2017-on 94.8%
11. Mercedes GLC 2015-on 94.0%
12. Audi Q5 diesel 2008-2017 93.8%
13. Audi Q5 petrol 2008-2017 93.3%
14. Skoda Kodiaq diesel 2016-on 93.2%
15. BMW X4 2014-2018 92.4%
16. BMW X3 2018-on 91.9%
17. Jaguar F-Pace 2016-on 91.6%
=19. Hyundai Santa Fe 2013-2018 90.3%
=19. Mazda CX-5 diesel 2017-on 90.3%
20. BMW X6 2014-2019 88.2%
21. Nissan X-Trail 2014-on 87.6%
22. Land Rover Discovery Sport 2014-on 73.1%