Best and worst family SUVs for reliability

Family SUVs need to be comfortable, practical, roomy and robust. To help you pick the best family transport, we reveal the most and least reliable...

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Claire Evans
28 February 2019

Family SUV reliability main

Family SUVs must be multi-talented, because they need to satisfy the needs of all the family. The best are good to drive yet give a reasonably forgiving ride while having interiors that are roomy and kitted out with enough features to keep little passengers entertained. 

On top of all that, they should be reasonably fuel efficient and utterly dependable – after all, it's every parent's worst nightmare to be stuck on a motorway hard shoulder with a car-load of tired children on a cold, dark evening, waiting for a recovery truck to turn up. 

That's where our Reliability Survey can help.

We asked more than 18,000 people to tell us about any faults their cars had suffered during the past 12 months so that we could find out which are the most reliable. We asked owners to tell us how long the problem kept the car off the road and how much they'd had to pay to get it fixed.

Those that had the fewest problems and were cheapest to fix gained the top scores, while those that languished in workshops for days on end and racked up expensive repair bills were penalised the most heavily.

So, here's our round-up of the best and worst family SUVs aged one to four years old.


Volkswagen Tiguan

10. Volkswagen Tiguan (2016-present)

Score 91.8%

The latest Tiguan isn't quite as dependable as its predecessor. Just over 18% of cars had a fault, with non-engine electrics and bodywork the most common areas of concern. Some owners also reported issues with engines and steering –components that weren't problematic on the original Tiguan. Three quarters of cars could still be driven, though, and all were fixed for free under warranty. 

See our full Volkswagen Tiguan review

See how much you could save on a Volkswagen Tiguan


Volkswagen Tiguan Crossover (07 - 16)

=8. Volkswagen Tiguan (2008-2016)

Score 92.3%

Nearly a quarter (24%) of previous-generation Tiguans had a fault, but this time around, non-engine electrical systems and bodywork were joined by a small percentage of issues with engines, gearboxes and the exhaust and fuel systems. Again, more than three quarters of cars could still be driven, but some owners faced bills of more than £1500. 

See our full used Volkswagen Tiguan review


How to spec a BMW X1

=8. BMW X1 (2015-present)

Score 92.3%

Although 36% of X1 owners reported a fault, the majority were with interior trim or non-engine electrics. A small percentage also had engine and gearbox problems. The vast majority of cars could still be driven and only a small number of owners had to pay £201-£300 for repairs; all the other cars were fixed under warranty. 

See our full BMW X1 review

See how much you could save on a BMW X1

Next - more family SUV reliability scores > 

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