Best and worst older cars for reliability: best brands

How dependable are cars as they get older? Here’s what the owners of cars between six and 15 years of age have told us about how reliable their brand is...

Car being serviced

What Car? says…

With exceptionally strong performances by the hybrid CT family hatchback and RX luxury SUV, Lexus claims the top spot as the most dependable used car brand. Suzuki and Honda aren’t far behind, buoyed by the durability of the Swift, Jazz and Civic.

When we looked at the reliability of newer cars (up to five years old), Mitsubishi lingered just outside the top 10 in 13th place, but it fares better as its models mature, with owners of models such as the ASX family SUV reporting few issues.

Another brand that scores better for its older cars is Nissan. It was in 28th place for the reliability of its newer cars, but those between six and 15 years old appear to be more durable.The Leaf and Juke both have a reliability rating above 90%.

The last surprise entrant to the top 10 is Alfa Romeo, which was partly given a boost by the Giulietta’s relatively strong reliability rating of 83.7%.

At the other end of the spectrum, the durability of the Range Rover Sport – it scored 94.4%, making it the third-best large and luxury SUV – isn’t enough to compensate for the brand’s other problem-prone models, so Land Rover lies in last place.

The high proportion of faults suffered by a number of its models ensures Renault is relegated to the bottom of the league, too. Peugeot fared reasonably well in our newer car reliability table, lying in 18th place with a score of 93.4%, but the high fault rates of the 207 and old 3008 dragged it down here.The 107 bucks this trend, though; it’s our most dependable city car, with a score of 97.8%.

Subaru also plummets down the table for older cars; no single model stands out, but owners reported high levels of faults across the range.

Reliability by brand for cars aged six to 15 years old

Rank Brand Score
1.  Lexus 93.1%
2.  Suzuki 92.0%
3. Honda 89.7%
4.  Mitsubishi 88.6%
5.  Toyota  88.0%
6.  Kia 87.9%
7.  Skoda 82.0%
8.  Alfa Romeo 81.5%
9.  Nissan  81.2%
10. Mazda 80.4%
11. Porsche 80.2%
=12. Ford 79.8%
=12. Mini 79.8%
14. Jaguar 78.8%
15.  Mercedes-Benz 77.2%
16. BMW 76.4%
17.  Hyundai 76.2%
=18.  Audi 76.0%
=18.  Citroen 76.0%
20. Volvo 75.9%
21. Volkswagen 74.5%
22.  Fiat 73.6%
23.  Vauxhall 73.0%
=24.  Seat 72.9%
=24.  Subaru 72.9%
26.  Peugeot 71.3%
27. Renault 70.7%
28. Land Rover 68.1%

The 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey is now open. Tell us about your car here

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