News

35th-29th

  • Cars and car makers unmasked
  • Their reliability revealed
  • 250 individual cars listed
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Land Rover 35th out of 35
Last years position 32nd out of 32
Cars needing repair work 55%
Average repair cost 398
Best model Freelander (06-)
Worst model Range Rover (02-)

This is the 10th consecutive year that Land Rover has finished last. A very high failure rate and one of the highest average repair costs cement its place at the bottom of our table. The Range Rover (03-) is Land Rovers least-reliable model this year, relieving the Freelander (03-07) of that dubious honour. There is one glimmer of hope, though; the newest Freelander (06-) returns an above-average Reliability Index (RI) score.

Alfa Romeo 34th out of 35
Last years position 31st out of 32
Cars needing repair work 46%
Average repair cost 371
Best model GT (04-11)
Worst model 156 (97-06)

Even Alfa Romeos most-reliable car, the GT (04-), has a below-average RI score of 146. Compared with last years figures, theres little change in the rate at which Alfas break down, and only a slight improvement in the average repair cost. Alfas are more susceptible than most to suspension damage, and theres an above-average number of engine failures.

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Renault 33rd out of 35
Last years position 30th out of 32
Cars needing repair work 45%
Average repair cost 242
Best model Clio (05-)
Worst model Espace (02-)

Renault has failed to improve its reliability, with 45% of vehicles suffering failures. Just under 40% of issues are down to dodgy electrics, the highest score of any manufacturer. Once again the Clio (05-09) is the most-dependable model, with a respectable RI score of 32 and a breakdown rate of 19%. Renaults worst model, the Espace (02-), gets the wooden spoon in the MPV class.

Saab 32nd out of 35
Last years position 29th out of 32
Cars needing repair work 43%
Average repair cost 311
Best model 9-3 Convertible (03-)
Worst model 9-3 (02-)

Saabs most-reliable model, the 9-3 Convertible (03-), is a top-10 finisher in its class, but it still posts a fairly average RI score of 91. As a brand, Saab suffers a higher-than-average number of engine failures and problems with engine cooling systems. However, its gearboxes appear durable, being responsible for less than 3.5% of all problems.

Jeep 31st out of 35
Last years position na
Cars needing repair work 38%
Average repair cost 438
Best model Cherokee (01-08)
Worst model Grand Cherokee (99-05)

Gearbox and transmission failures affect Jeep more than any other manufacturer, accounting for more than 12% of breakdowns. There are no stand-out vehicles, with the best, the Cherokee (01-08), achieving an average RI score of only 102. The worst model, the Grand Cherokee (99-05) scores a woeful 250.

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Chrysler 30th out of 35
Last years position 18th out of 32
Cars needing repair work 38%
Average repair cost 368
Best model Crossfire (03-08)
Worst model Grand Voyager (01-08)

Chrysler slides towards the bottom end of the table this year, after a respectable result in 2010. The best-performing models, the sporty Crossfire (03-08) and the imposing 300C (05-), do well in the coup and executive categories, but the less dependable Grand Voyager (01-08) lets the side down with an RI score of 201, and 48 failures per 100 cars.

MG 29th out of 35
Last years position 28th out of 32
Cars needing repair work 37%
Average repair cost 388
Best model ZS (01-05)
Worst model TF (02-05)

At best MGs offer average reliability; at worst the TF fails 39% of the time and costs an average of 412 to repair. Almost 28% of cars suffer engine problems, the highest of any manufacturer. However, MG has the second-lowest occurrence of axle and suspension problems and the lowest percentage of brake-related problems of any manufacturer.

In focus...
Suspension failure rates are on the rise due to poorer road surfacesWhy you may be to blame for suspension failure
Axle and suspension issues can be responsible for 40% of a manufacturers reliability problems, but the problem isnt simply that newer cars are more susceptible to damage.

Suspension components are smaller and lighter than ever, as car makers strive to make cars lighter, faster and more efficient. While these might aid a cars ride and handling, they dont always prove as durable as the older, heavier parts. On top of that, suspension systems are ever more complex, with more moving parts. That can mean a greater possibility of component failure over time.

Other issues include the general deterioration in the quality of UK roads and the introduction of traffic-calming measures such as sleeping policemen and speed humps.

Duncan McClure Fisher from warranty provider Warranty Direct says: Over the years, claims have increased as more speed humps are introduced. Many drivers think they can charge over speed humps and potholes with no effect. Not so. Problems appear later on.