25 most unreliable cars

While some cars remain dependable as years pass, others are afflicted with a wide range of faults. Here we take a look at the worst offenders up to five years old...

Alfa Romeo Giulia used 2016 - present

15. Alfa Romeo Giulia (2016-present)

Reliability rating: 83.1% 

Twenty-six per cent of Giulias went wrong, with a worrying number (10%) of engine failures, as well as brake and non-engine electrical problems. These were serious faults too: 45% took more than a week to repair, and 28% caused total breakdowns. Shockingly, considering many of the newer Giulias in our survey would still have been covered by the car maker’s warranty, only 56% of cars were fixed for free, with 22% of owners incurring bills in excess of £1500. 

Read our full Alfa Romeo Giulia review >>

14. Range Rover Evoque (2019-present)

Range Rover Evoque 2020 front

Reliability rating: 82.6%

Electrical issues have plagued the current Evoque, accounting for 30% of all faults, followed by bodywork issues that affected a further 15%. A third (33%) of cars were put right within the same day, but another third took more than a week. Thankfully, 96% of owners weren’t charged for any work, and the 4% who were only had to pay between £51 and £100. 

Audi A6 BiTDi 2012 front

Reliability rating: 82.1%

The previous-generation A6 isn’t ageing well, and is the least reliable luxury car in our survey. Forty-per cent went wrong, and while half were repaired the same day, 10% took more than a week to put right. Only 60% of work was paid for, leaving 20% of owners with bills between £101 and £300, and another 20% with bills between £501 and £750.

Read our used Audi A6 (2011-2018) review >>

=12. Land Rover Discovery Sport (2014-present)

Land Rover Discovery Sport 2021 front cornering

Reliability rating: 82.1%

The Discovery Sport comes out worse than its bigger sibling, the Range Rover Sport. Thirty-eight per cent had issues, primarily with the air-con, battery and engine electrics, but owners ran into problems with every area except the steering. Of these cars, only 5% broke down completely, but 21% took more than a week to fix. Only 73% were repaired for free, leaving 11% with bills between £201 and £300, and 3% with bills in excess of £1500.

Read our full Land Rover Discovery Sport review >>

11. Peugeot 2008 (2013-2019)

Peugeot 2008 1.6 BlueHDi 120 review

Reliability rating: 81.8%

Just 16% of previous-generation 2008s had a fault, but a worrying proportion of these were with critical areas such as the suspension and brakes. Worse, 63% couldn’t be driven because of any problems, and 13% took more than a week to be fixed. An astonishingly low 38% of work was done for free, leaving 38% of owners with bills between £101 and £200, and some paid as much as £750 for remedial work.

Read our used Peugeot 2008 (2013-2019) review >>

10. Range Rover (2013-present)

Range Rover P400e 2020 RHD front tracking

Reliability rating: 81.5%

Thirty-one per cent of Range Rovers went wrong, with engine, bodywork and interior trim issues the most common causes of concern. Nearly a third of faults kept cars off the road for more than a week, but the model’s score has been lifted by the fact that all repairs were free to owners.

Read our full Range Rover review >>

=8. Jaguar E-Pace (2017-present)

Jaguar E-Pace 2021 front

Reliability rating: 80.6%

While the E-Pace’s failure rate of 45% may seem gravely concerning, these faults were primarily caused by less critical areas such as the bodywork, interior trim and the sat-nav – though this is still a disappointment in a luxury SUV. The service provided was a cause for concern too. More than half (52%) of owners waited more than a week for remedial work, and 3% were billed between £301 and £500. 

Read our full Jaguar E-Pace review >>

=8. Volkswagen Polo petrol (2018-present)

Volkswagen Polo 2021 front

Reliability rating: 80.6%

Considering buyers of affordable small cars are less likely to be able to cover costly repairs, it’s worrying that 47% of petrol-powered Polos went wrong. Issues with the engine electrics were most common, but engine, air-con and gearbox (and/or clutch) failures also plagued many cars. 

Additionally, 33% broke down, and it took more than a week to repair an atrocious 50% of them. Thankfully 91% of repairs were covered under warranty, but 2% of owners paid between £751 and £1000 for work.

Read our full Volkswagen Polo review >>

7. Range Rover Evoque (2011-2017)

2014 Range Rover Evoque review

Reliability rating: 77.1%

With many cars now outside their warranty period and with a fault rate of 40%, the picture looks bleak for owners of older Evoques. Just over 80% of work was done for free, but some owners shelled out between £301 and £750 per repair. Furthermore, 59% of the faulty cars took more than a week to fixed.

Audi Q5 (08 - 17)

Reliability rating: 76.7%

Forty-four per cent of diesel Q5s had issues, compared with just twenty-seven per cent of petrol examples. Suspension issues were frighteningly common, but air-con and electrical issues – both related to the engine and otherwise – were abundant. Even though most cars would have been out of warranty, 75% of repairs were covered by Audi, but some owners spent as much as £1500 for remedial work.

Read our used Audi Q5 (2008-2017) review >>