25 most unreliable cars
While some cars never go wrong, others are afflicted by numerous faults. Here's our round-up of the most problematic models aged up to five years old...
=14. Dacia Sandero (2013-2020)
Reliability rating: 85.9%
Owners told us that 21% of previous-generation Sanderos went wrong. The biggest areas of concern were the bodywork, engine electrics and interior trim, followed by the gearbox/clutch and infotainment/sat-nav. Two-thirds of the faulty cars took more than a day to repair, and some owners were faced with bills of up to £750.
=14. Suzuki Ignis (2016 on)
Reliability rating: 85.9%
The Ignis isn’t as bullet-proof as other Suzuki models. A quarter of cars were afflicted by a problem and nearly half lingered in a garage for more than a week. Most faults occurred with the gearbox/clutch, infotainment/sat-nav and the suspension. Alongside the used Sandero (above), the Ignis is the least dependable small car.
13. Tesla Model S (2014-present)
Reliability rating: 85.7%
The Model S is the least dependable electric car; it suffered the highest percentage of faults in our entire survey, with 61% of the cars we were told about having a problem. The most common bugbear was issues with the bodywork and non-motor electrics, followed by the brakes, motor electrics and suspension. Although all of them could still be driven, half were out of action for more than a week. And while 93% were fixed for free, the remaining owners paid out between £50 and £100 for repairs.
12. Porsche Panamera (2016-present)
Reliability rating: 84.5%
A disappointing 47% of Panameras suffered faults, and almost half of those were to do with the bodywork. Other problematic areas included the air-con, brakes, engine, exhaust and interior trim. All of the faulty cars could still be driven, and the majority were fixed in less than a week. While most work was done under warranty, some owners paid between £50 and £1000.
11. Volkswagen Golf diesel (2013-2020)
Reliability rating: 83.6%
Diesel Golfs suffered twice as many issues as petrol models, with 36% of them striking trouble. The most common problems related to the bodywork, followed by the battery, engine, infotainment/sat-nav, gearbox/clutch and non-engine electrics. A quarter of the faulty cars couldn’t be driven and took up to a week to repair. Nearly three-quarters of work was done under warranty, but a small percentage of owners paid out up to £750.
10. Peugeot 308 (2013-present)
Reliability rating: 83.3%
A third of 308s went wrong, with non-engine electrical issues, including faulty infotainment and sat-nav systems, accounting for 20% of faults, followed by bodywork, interior trim and suspension problems that each accounted for 6% of problems. Two-thirds of the affected cars could still be driven and were put right in a week or less. However, while 47% of work was done for free, those who paid for repairs shelled out between £51 and £1000.
9. Range Rover Evoque (2011-2019)
Reliability rating: 82.8%
The original Evoque isn’t ageing well, with owners telling us that 35% of them went wrong in the past year. Most issues were with the bodywork and brakes, followed by engine and non-engine electrics, air-con and the engine. Around a quarter of cars were rendered undriveable and more than a third took more than a week to put right. While 95% of the remedial work was done for free, a small percentage of repair bills ranged from £300 to more than £1500. It's the poorest performing family-sized SUV.
8. Seat Leon diesel (2013-2020)
Reliability rating: 82.7%
Owners of diesel Leons had almost four times as many problems as those with petrol engines, with 40% of cars going wrong, making it the most unreliable family car. The battery was the biggest bugbear, followed by the air-con, bodywork, brakes, engine, infotainment/sat-nav and interior trim. A third of cars were rendered undriveable, and although two-thirds of the work was done under warranty, some owners paid out up to £500.
7. Porsche 718 Cayman (2016-present)
Reliability rating: 82.5%
Owners reported that 25% of their cars had suffered a fault, and a worrying 10% of those concerned the engine. Other problem areas included the air-con, engine and non-engine electrics and interior trim. No wonder the Cayman is the lowest scorer in our coupes, convertibles and sports car category.
More than a third of cars were rendered undriveable and a quarter spent more than a week in the workshop being fixed. Only 63% of work was done for free, leaving owners to pick up bills ranging from £300 to more than £1500.
6. Range Rover Velar (2017-present)
Reliability rating: 81.9%
Although 36% of Velars suffered a fault, the most common issues were minor niggles with non-engine electrics and the bodywork. Other troublesome areas included the air-con, brakes, infotainment system and interior trim. Three-quarters of the afflicted cars could still be driven, but a third spent more than a week in the workshop. More than 90% of repairs were covered by the warranty, but a very small percentage of owners paid out more than £1500.