2021 What Car? Reliability Survey: brands

We reveal the most – and least – dependable cars up to five years old, based on the experiences of more than 16,000 owners...

2021 Reliability Survey

What Car? says…

Lexus claims the top spot as the most dependable brand; its cars suffered very few faults and virtually all work was done for free. Its NX SUV is the highest-rated hybrid, while the smaller UX came fourth in the same category.

However, budget brand Dacia is less than two percentage points behind it, showing that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a dependable car. Its star performer, the previous-generation Sandero, is one of six cars to gain a 100% reliability rating this year. The other five outstanding models are the Audi TT, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Mini Convertible and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.

At the other end of the spectrum, Fiat has taken over from Land Rover as the least dependable brand. Its 124 Spider is second from bottom in our coupé, convertible and sports car category, and although we didn’t have enough responses to include the Fiat 500 in the value car results, its owners didn’t rate it very highly, either.

All responses for cars up to five years old count towards its brand rating, whether or not we’ve received enough responses to include specific models in class tables.

Although some Land Rover models gained respectable ratings, most notably the Velar (90.3%), the Discovery and previous-generation Evoque could muster only 72.1% and 77.1% respectively. Ford’s score has taken a tumble this year, in part due to the poor performance of the latest Fiesta, with owners reporting a number of issues.


Reliability by brand for cars up to five years old

Rank Brand Score
1. Lexus 98.7%
2. Dacia 97.3%
=3. Hyundai 97.1%
=3. Suzuki  97.1%
=5. Mini 97.0%
=5. Toyota 97.0%
7. Mitsubishi  96.9%
8. Mazda  95.9%
9. Kia 95.8%
10. MG 95.7%
11. Citroen  95.6%
12. Skoda 95.0%
13. BMW 94.7%
14. Honda 94.2%
15. Tesla 93.9%
16. Renault 93.7%
17. Seat  93.3%
18. Audi 92.8%
19. Volvo  92.3%
20. Volkswagen 91.4%
21. Jaguar  90.1%
=22. Mercedes  89.6%
=22. Peugeot 89.6%
=22. Vauxhall 89.6%
25. Porsche 89.4%
26. Alfa Romeo 86.5%
=27. Ford 86.2%
=27. Nissan 86.2%
29. Land Rover 82.5%
30. Fiat 82.0%

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