2021 What Car? Reliability Survey: luxury SUVs

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

Porsche Macan S front

Most reliable luxury SUVs 

1. Porsche Macan (2014-present)

Reliability rating 97.9%

What went wrong? Bodywork 9%, interior trim 3%, non-engine electrics 3%

The Macan may be a pricey car to buy, but it shouldn’t dent your wallet when it comes to faults. Only 12% of Macans went wrong, and all repairs were paid for by Porsche. Sixty percent were back on the road in a day or less, with the rest being fixed in less than a week.

Owner’s view “I’m impressed with the build quality of my Macan and it’s been very reliable for the past five years”


2. Audi Q7 (2015-present)

Audi Q7

Reliability rating 96.6%

Only 13% of Q7s developed a fault, with issues arising with the engine, interior trim and sat-nav. Even though many cars were out of warranty, all repairs were carried out for free and 75% of the faulty cars were back on the road in less than a week. Fifty percent were put right in a day or less.


3. BMW X5 (2013-2018)

BMW X5

Reliability rating 91.3% 

Owners told us that 22% of X5s suffered a fault, with non-engine electrics the most common cause for concern, followed by steering issues. Even though it’s an older model, 60% of cars were repaired for free, and no repair bills topped £200. Eighty percent of cars were back on the road in less than a week.


Least reliable luxury SUVs

1. Land Rover Discovery (2015-present)

Land Rover Discovery cornering front three quarters

Reliability rating 72.1%

What went wrong? Bodywork 22%, non-engine electrics 19%, battery 14%, engine electrics 11%, air-con 5%, engine 5%, brakes 3%, fuel system 3%, sat-nav 3%, suspension 3%

A 38% fault rate isn’t the worst here, but with 36% of broken Discoverys rendered undriveable and 42% taking more than a week to put right, it’s easy to see why it’s the least dependable luxury SUV. While 73% of cars were fixed for free, 6% of owners paid £1000-£1500 for repairs.

Owner’s view “I love the car overall, but some bills are disproportionately expensive and it’s not reliable, so I’m on a first name basis with my dealer’s service department"


2. Range Rover (2013-present)

Range Rover cornering front three quarters

Reliability rating 81.5%

Thirty-eight percent of Range Rovers went wrong, with engine, bodywork and interior trim issues the most common causes of concern. The model’s score is bolstered by the fact that Land Rover covered the cost of all repairs, but nearly a third of the faulty cars were out of action for more than a week.


3. Range Rover Sport (2013-present)

Range Rover Sport 2.0 SD4 HSE

Reliability rating 83.5%

Diesel Range Rover Sports aren’t as robust as petrol ones, with 39% going wrong, compared with 17% of petrols. Electrical, engine and sat-nav issues were the most common, with 87% fixed for free but 3% costing £1000-£1500. Repairs took more than a week in 40% of cases.


Reliability of luxury SUVs aged up to five years old

Rank Make and model Score
1. Porsche Macan 2014-present  97.9%
2. Audi Q7 2015-present  96.6%
3. BMW X5 2013-2018 91.3%
4. Volvo XC90 2015-present 90.6%
5. Range Rover Velar 2017-present 90.3%
6. Range Rover Sport 2014-present 83.5%
7. Range Rover 2013-present 81.5%
8. Land Rover Discovery 2017-present 72.1%