2020 What Car? Reliability Survey: luxury 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...

Porsche Macan S

Most reliable luxury SUVs 

1. Porsche Macan (2014-present)

Reliability rating 96.9%

What went wrong? Gearbox/clutch 4% engine 3% fuel system 3% non-engine electrics 3% 

Overall, Macan owners told us that 13% of their cars had gone wrong; just 9% of diesels had a problem and 15% of petrols. All of the cars could still be driven and two-thirds were rectified in a day or less. Four out of five were fixed under warranty, leaving a small percentage of owners with bills of £750 to £1000.

Owner’s view “My car has been solid and very reliable, with not a hint of a rattle, squeak or any deviation from its performance when new”

2. Audi Q7 (2015-present)

Audi Q7 front cornering - 67-plate car

Reliability rating 94%

Faults were reported on 24% of Q7s, and the most common of those could be serious, relating to the engine, its electrical systems and non-engine electrics. There were also a small number of issues with the gearbox/clutch and suspension. Fortunately, three-quarters of the afflicted cars remained driveable and two-thirds were repaired in less than a week, with all costs covered by warranty.

Used Mercedes GLE (15-present)

Reliability rating 92.8% 

Only 18% of GLEs went wrong, with engine electrics and the steering the only areas affected. Two-thirds of those cars could still be driven, but all took between a day and a week to fix. While two-thirds were repaired under warranty, some owners had to pay £1000 to £1500.

Least reliable luxury SUVs

1. Range Rover Sport (2013-present)

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Reliability rating 74.2%

What went wrong? Engine 16%, bodywork 14%, non- engine electrics 14%, brakes 11%, suspension 11%, interior trim 9%, engine electrics 7%, infotainment/ sat-nav 7%, battery 5%, steering 5%, air-con 4%, gearbox/clutch 4%, fuel system 2%

Owners told us that 40% of Range Rover Sports had gone wrong, a worryingly high proportion of them with engine problems. A third of the cars couldn’t be driven and nearly half took more than a week to repair. The good news is that 98% of them were fixed for free.

Owner’s view “The motor that controls how my car’s hybrid system switches between diesel and electric power has been replaced twice”

2. Land Rover Discovery (2015-present)

Land Rover Discovery front three quarters

Reliability rating 77.9%

Although 34% of Discoverys had a problem, the most frequently cited areas were less crucial ones such as the bodywork and interior trim. There were a smaller number of issues with the air-con, gearbox/clutch and non-engine electrics. Two-thirds of the faulty cars were in the repair shop for more than a week, and although 96% of work was done under warranty, some owners paid out between £300 and £500.

3. Range Rover Velar (2017-present)

Range Rover Velar front three quarters

Reliability rating 81.9%

Although 36% of Velars suffered a fault, the most common issues were minor niggles with non-engine electrics and the bodywork. Other troublesome areas included the air-con, brakes, infotainment system and interior trim. Three-quarters of the afflicted cars could still be driven, but a third spent more than a week in the workshop. More than 90% of repairs were covered by the warranty, but a very small percentage of owners paid out more than £1500.

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

Reliability for luxury SUVs aged up to five years old

Rank Make and model Score
1. Porsche Macan 2014-on 96.9%
2. Audi Q7 2015-on 94.0%
3. Mercedes GLE 2015-2019 92.8%
4. Volvo XC90 2015-on 91.6%
5. BMW X5 2013-2018 89.9%
6. Range Rover 2013-on 85.4%
7. Range Rover Velar 2017-on 81.9%
8. Land Rover Discovery 2017-on 77.0%
9. Range Rover Sport 2014-on 74.2%