WhatCarAwards banner - desktop

In association with MotorEasy

2022 What Car? Reliability Survey: luxury cars

Our exhaustive annual survey rates the dependability of cars aged up to five years old, based on the experiences of nearly 25,000 owners...

Jaguar XJ front - bright blue

Most reliable luxury cars

1. Jaguar XJ (2010-2019)

Reliability rating 98.3%

What went wrong? Non-engine electrics 8%

The only cause for concern with the XJ was the lengthy time it took to repair faults; all cars took more than a week to put right. Only 8% of XJ owners who participated in the survey said their car had gone wrong, though, while all of the cars could still be driven and Jaguar covered the cost of all necessary repairs.

Owner’s view “I’ve had no expenses aside from servicing”

2. BMW 5 Series petrol (2017-present)

BMW 5 Series 2021 front left cornering

Reliability rating 95.0%

With a 20% fault rate, petrol 5 Series models are more dependable than diesels (27%). Engine and non-engine electrical gremlins were the most frequently cited issues, but virtually all cars could still be driven and 63% were fixed within a day. Only 63% of repairs were done for free, though, and some bills totalled £300.

3. BMW 7 Series (2015-present)

New BMW 7 Series vs Mercedes S-Class

Reliability rating 92.2%

Owners told us that 31% of 7 Series had suffered a fault, but the issues weren’t serious, mostly relating to the air-con and bodywork. Although many of the cars were outside the manufacturer’s warranty, all repairs were done for free. While all cars could still be driven, 17% took more than a week to put right.

Least reliable luxury cars

1. Audi A6 (2018-present)

Audi A6 2022 front right tracking

Reliability rating 80.3%

What went wrong? Engine electrics 22%, non-engine electrics 20%, sat-nav/infotainment 10%, bodywork 8%, gearbox/clutch 8%, engine 6%, interior trim 4%, steering 4%, suspension 4%, air-con 2%, brakes 2%

Nearly half (47%) of current A6s suffered faults; that’s far more than the previous model. Although 96% of repair costs were covered by Audi, some owners paid up to £300 for remedial work. The ownership experience was worsened for 45% of owners, who had to wait more than a week to get their cars back.

Owner’s view “I’ve had to make multiple visits to the dealership for the same problems, and service has been poor”

2. Audi A6 (2011-2018)

Used Audi A6 11-present

Reliability rating 84.4%

Battery issues were the cause of 13% of problems with the previous-generation A6, with the bodywork, brakes and non-engine electrics also causing problems. Overall, 35% of cars went wrong, and only 60% of repairs were free, leaving some owners with bills of up to £750. Most cars were fixed in less than a week.

3. Jaguar XF (2015-present)

2021 Jaguar XF front

Reliability rating 88.1%

Bodywork, brakes and sat-nav issues were the most common problems with the 28% of XFs that went wrong. Although 68% of faults were fixed for free, some owners faced bills ranging from £751 to £1500. Almost all cars could still be driven and three-quarters were rectified in less than a week, half of those within a day.

Reliability of luxury cars aged up to five years old

Rank Make and model Score
1. Jaguar XJ (2010-present) 98.3%
2. BMW 5 Series petrol (2017-present) 95.0%
3. BMW 7 Series (2015-present) 92.2%
4. BMW 5 Series 530e hybrid (2018-present) 91.6%
5. Volvo S90/Volvo V90 (2016-present) 90.7%
6. Mercedes E-Class (2016-present) 90.6%
7. BMW 5 Series diesel (2017-present) 90.4%
8. Jaguar XF (2015-present) 88.1%
9. Audi A6 (2011-2018) 84.4%
10. Audi A6 (2018-present) 80.3%