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Best and worst older cars for reliability: family SUVs

We name the most dependable (and most troublesome) used cars from six to 15 years old, based on owners’ experiences...


The most reliable family SUVs

1. BMW X1 (2015-present)

Reliability rating 97.8%

What went wrong? Exhaust 8%, non-engine electrics 8%

Only 15% of X1s had any troubles, and all cars could still be driven. All issues were resolved in less than a week and, best of all, even though the cars in our survey are out of the manufacturer’s new car warranty period, all remedial work was done at no expense to owners.

Owner comment: “It has taken me all over Europe safely and reliably, and the one major repair it needed was done for free.”

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2. Kia Sportage diesel (2016-2021)

Reliability rating 97.6%

Kia Sportage

A mix of minor and major faults affected 17% of current diesel Sportages. The two most common issues were with the bodywork and suspension, with a small percentage of reports of steering-related problems. Kia’s seven-year warranty meant all cars were fixed for free, and 75% were sorted out in a day or less.

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3. Kia Sportage (2010-2016)

Reliability rating 93.3%

Kia Sportage

The previous-generation Sportage is ageing well: trouble was reported with only 24% of cars. Problem areas included the air-con, bodywork, engine and non-engine electrics, the gearbox/clutch and suspension. That’s a long list, but an impressive 86% of faults were fixed for free and no bills topped £200.

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The least reliable family SUVs

1. Range Rover Evoque (2011-2019)

Reliability rating 61.7%

What went wrong? Bodywork, 15% suspension 15%, battery 12%, gearbox/clutch 12%, air-con 10%, non-engine electrics 10%, brakes 7%, engine electrics 7%, interior trim 5%, sat-nav 5%, engine 2%, exhaust 2%, steering 2%

Range Rover Evoque (2011-2019) front three quarters

With a 44% fault rate and problems in nearly every category, owners of previous-generation Evoques can expect to be on first-name terms with repairers. Forty-six percent of faulty cars were out of action for more than a week, and the only good news is that 87% of work was done for free, with no bills exceeding £200.

Owner comment: “I’m disappointed with the poor reliability and quality of some major parts. Not what you’d expect from an expensive car.”

2. Nissan Qashqai diesel (2007-2013)

Reliability rating 63.4%

Nissan Qashqai front cornering - 63-plate car

Diesel Qashqais are far more prone to faults than petrol ones, with 56% going wrong (versus 25%). Issues were widespread, but the most common were with the engine and brakes. It’s not all bad news, though – 54% of problems were resolved within a day and four out of five owners paid out less than £300.

3. Volkswagen Tiguan diesel (2007-2016)

Reliability rating 65.8%

Volkswagen Tiguan - 57-plate car

The Tiguan fares poorly across the board. Thirty-eight percent of the cars we were told about suffered a fault that rendered a third of them undriveable for more than a week. More than half of repair bills exceeded £300, and 13% of owners paid out more than £1500.