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2021 What Car? Reliability Survey: small SUVs

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

Honda HR-V front three quarters

Most reliable small SUVs

+1. Honda HR-V (2017-2020)

Reliability rating 100%

What went wrong? Nothing

No wonder 88% of survey respondents told us the most important factor in choosing an HR-V was its dependability. Honda’s small SUV certainly doesn’t disappoint on that front – not one owner reported their car as suffering a fault during the previous 12 months.

Owner’s view “This is the eighth Honda I have had and I love the reliability of the brand; it has never let me down”

+1. Mazda CX-3 (2016-present)

Mazda CX-3

Reliability rating 100%

The CX-3 may not have the standout looks of some rival small SUVs, or the fuel-saving mild hybrid technology of the newer, larger Mazda CX-30, but it stacks up impressively when it comes to durability, tying with the Honda HR-V. Not a single owner who completed our survey reported a fault with either a petrol or diesel example.

Owner’s view “The CX-3 is my sixth Mazda. It has been very reliable for the regular 600-mile round trips I make”

Citroen C3 Aircross 2021 front

Reliability rating 98.9%

Just 6% of C3 Aircross owners told us their car had gone wrong, and the only area affected was the exhaust system. All cars were put right for free, and the only slight blemish on its impressive dependability credentials is that repairs took up to a week to be carried out.

Least reliable small SUVs

1. Peugeot 2008 (2013-2019)

Peugeot 2008 1.6 BlueHDi 120 review

Reliability rating 81.8%

What went wrong? Suspension 16%, brakes 11%, battery 5%, engine 5%, engine electrics 5%, sat-nav 5%

Although only 16% of 2008s had a problem, its score is dragged down by the cost of the necessary repairs and the amount of time that cars spent in the garage. Only 38% of the faults were fixed for free, leaving nearly two thirds of owners with invoices for between £101 and £750. And 63% of cars took up to a week to fix and 13% more than a week.

Owner’s view “The thing I like least about my car is how much it has cost in repair bills. I’ve paid out £400 in the past year”

2. Nissan Juke petrol (2010-2019)

Nissan Juke

Reliability rating 83.8%

According to owners, 37% of petrol- engined Jukes had a fault. While battery and bodywork problems were the main bugbears, there were also issues with the engine and suspension. Nearly 80% were fixed for free, but some owners were charged between £501 and £750, with 37% of repairs taking more than a week.

2. Vauxhall Mokka X (2016-2019)

Vauxhall Mokka X 1.4T Ecotec Elite

Reliability rating 87.3%

Forty-four percent of Mokka Xs had problems. Air-con and sat-nav faults were most common, but there were also concerns with the fuel system, gearbox/clutch and steering. The good news is that 60% of repairs were done for free, but 10% cost from £1001-£1500, and a third took more than a week to complete.

Reliability of small SUVs aged up to five years old

Rank Make and model Score
=1. Honda HR-V 2015-2020  100%
=1. Mazda CX-3 2016-present 100%
3.  Citroen C3 Aircross 2017-present 98.9%
4. Audi Q2 2016-present 98.7%
5. Hyundai Kona 2017-present 98.4%
6. Skoda Kamiq 2019-present 97.4%
7. Suzuki Vitara 2015-present 97.1%
=8. Mini Countryman 2017-present 96.4%
=8. Suzuki Ignis 2016-present  96.4%
10. Volkswagen T-Roc 2018-present 96.3%
11. Kia Stonic 2017-present 96.0%
12. Seat Arona 2018-present 95.2%
13. Suzuki SX4 S-Cross 2013-present 94.5%
14. Vauxhall Crossland X 2017-present 93.2%
15. Ford Puma 2019-present 92.8%
16. Ford Ecosport 2014-present 91.6%
17. Volkswagen T-Cross petrol 2019-present 90.0%
18. Vauxhall Mokka X 2016-2019 87.3%
19. Nissan Juke petrol 2010-2019 83.8%
20. Peugeot 2008 2013-2019 81.8%