Best and worst family cars for reliability

If you’re looking for a car to transport you and your family, choosing a model that won’t break down will be a priority. Check out our round-up of the most (and least) reliable new family cars be...

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Claire Evans
22 January 2019

Best family cars for reliability
Best family cars for reliability

Family cars have to cope with the stresses and strains of the school run and endless trips to get children to sports and activities on time. As well as a robust interior and a sizeable boot, they need to be reliable; being stranded by the roadside with budding David Beckhams who really don't want to miss their next match is something no parent would wish for.

That's where our 2018 Reliability Survey comes in. We asked more than 18,000 people to tell us about any faults their cars had suffered in the previous 12 months, how long each problem had rendered the car undriveable and how much they'd had to pay to get it fixed.

The car models that had the fewest problems and were cheapest to fix gained the top ratings in the study, while those that spent days on end in the garage and landed their owners with hefty repair bills gained the lowest scores. The cars in this round-up are all aged between one and four years old.

Here's our run-down of the top 10 most reliable family cars - and three least dependable models.


The most reliable family cars

10. Skoda Rapid

Skoda Rapid

Score 95.3%

Nearly 20% of Rapids and Rapid Spacebacks had a fault, with the engine and engine electrics the most common area of concern. There were also some reports of problems with the bodywork, sat-nav, other non-engine electrical systems, the gearbox/clutch and the steering. All cars remained driveable and, although some were off the road for more than a week, all were fixed for free under warranty. 

Read the full Skoda Rapid review, and see the latest deals and leasing offers 


9. Skoda Octavia (petrol) 

Skoda Octavia

Score 95.5%

Owners of petrol-engined Octavias reported slightly more problems than diesel owners (12% compared with 10%). The biggest area of concern was the gearbox/clutch, followed by the air-con and interior trim. All cars could still be driven and only a small percentage lingered in the garage for more than a week. Some owners paid bills of up to £50. 

Read the full Skoda Octavia review, and see the latest deals and leasing offers 


8. Ford Focus (petrol) 

Ford Focus ST

Score 95.7%

Petrol-engined Focus models suffered fewer faults than their diesel counterparts; 13% of petrol car owners reported a fault; compared with 17% of diesel owners. Bodywork was the most common problem area, followed by the engine, gearbox/clutch and interior trim. Virtually all cars were back on the road the same day, though, and all were fixed for free under warranty. 

Read the full Ford Focus review, and see the latest deals and leasing offers 

Next: more of the most reliable family cars >

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