Most (and least) reliable luxury cars

Laden with all the latest technology, luxury cars can be costly if they go wrong, so here we reveal the most - and least - dependable models...

Most and least reliable luxury cars

Luxury cars are usually the first to get all the new gadgets and gizmos, and generally come will every bell and whistle you can think of. That means there is more to go wrong and they could put a big dent in your wallet if they develop a fault.

So it's important to choose a model that owners have rated as reliable. To help you do this we asked nearly 13,000 car owners to tell us just how dependable their car had been over the previous 12 months. We asked them to tell us what part of the car was problematic, how long it took to repair and how much they'd had to pay for each issue. 

The models with the fewest problems and those that cost the least to fix gained the top ratings, and those that languished in workshops for more than a week and racked up expensive repair bills were given the lowest ratings.

Here's our round-up of the best and worst performers in the luxury car league for cars aged up to five years old.

The 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey is open - tell us about your car


The most reliable luxury cars

5. Jaguar XF (2015-present)

Jaguar XF

Reliability rating 92.0%

A reasonable 21% of Jaguar XFs went wrong, according to owners, with the infotainment and exhaust systems the main culprits. There were also some issues with the bodywork and engine and non-engine electrics. 

Although 89% of cars were fixed for free a small percentage of vehicles cost between £101 and more than £1500 to put right. Four out of five cars could still be driven and more than half were repaired in less than a week.  

Read our full review of the Jaguar XF >>

Find deals on the Jaguar XF with What Car? >>


4. Mercedes E-Class (2016-present)

Mercedes E-Class saloon

Reliability rating 93.7%

Again, 21% of cars suffered a fault, but the most frequently cited problem areas with E-Classes were the bodywork, brakes, interior trim, infotainment and non-engine electrics; there were also a small number of complaints about the suspension. 

However, 90% of cars were put right for free and no bills exceeded £500. Four out of five cars could still be driven, but just over 40% spent more than a week in the garage. 

Read our full review of the Mercedes E-Class >>

Find deals on the Mercedes E-Class with What Car? >>


3. BMW 5 Series (2017-present)

BMW 5 Series cornering front three quarters

Reliability rating 95.2%

What went wrong? Exhaust 10%, infotainment/sat-nav 3%

The previous 5 Series appears to be slightly more robust than the latest version, with owners telling us that 17% had a fault. More than three-quarters of those cars remained driveable and half were repaired in a day or less. All work was done for free.

Owner’s view: “My car has excellent build quality and the service from the BMW main dealer is good”

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Reliability rating 96.1%

Only 14% of E-Class owners told us their car had gone wrong, and the only problem areas they cited were the exhaust and steering. Half of the faulty cars couldn’t be driven and took more than a week to put right, but all repairs were carried out under warranty.

Read our full review of the used Mercedes E-Class >>

Find deals on the new Mercedes E-Class with What Car? >>


1. BMW 5 Series (2010-2017)

BMW 5 Series

Reliability rating 96.7%

The previous 5 Series appears to be slightly more robust than the latest version, with owners telling us that 17% had a fault. The only areas affected were the exhaust system and the infotainment/sat-nav. More than three-quarters of those cars remained driveable and half were repaired in a day or less. All work was done for free.

Owner’s view “My car has excellent build quality and the service from the BMW main dealer is good”

Read our full review of the used BMW 5 Series >>

Find deals on the new BMW 5 Series with What Car? >>

Tell us how reliable your car is >>