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Best and worst older cars for reliability: large SUVs

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

Honda CR-V

The most reliable large SUVs 

1. Honda CR-V (2006-2012)

Reliability rating 95.8%

What went wrong? Air-con 6%, suspension 5% 

Age is no barrier to dependability when it comes to the CR-V, with just 6% of owners reporting a fault. All petrol model problems were sorted within a day and diesel cars were back on the road in less than a week. Unsurprisingly for such an old model, no work was carried out for free – bills ranged from £201 to £750.

Owner comment: “My local independent garage owner says Hondas go on forever, and after 138,000 miles, this seems to be true of my car.”

Save money on a used Honda CR-V >>

2. Mazda CX-5 diesel (2012-2017)

Reliability rating 93.1%

Mazda CX-5 2015

Even though 24% of CX-5 owners reported faults with their cars, problems were resolved swiftly and costs were minimal. Eighty-three percent of cars were back on the road in less than a week, 63% of work was done for free and no bills exceeded £500. Brake, exhaust and steering problems were most common.

Honda CR-V

If you want a CR-V of this generation that won’t let you down, pick a petrol model, because they suffered almost half as many faults as diesels (19% compared with 36%). Remedial work was swift and affordable, too, with 40% of cars fixed the same day for free. Non-engine electrics were the most frequently cited issues.

Save money on a used Honda CR-V >>

The least reliable large SUVs

1. Land Rover Discovery Sport (2014-present)

Reliability rating 59.3%

What went wrong? Exhaust 20%, engine 17%, battery 15%, brakes 7%, engine electrics 7% gearbox/clutch 7%, non-engine electrics 4%, air-con 2%, bodywork 2%, interior trim 2%, sat-nav 2%, steering 2%, suspension 2%

Land Rover Discovery Sport

With a high proportion (44%) of cars suffering faults in at least one of our categories, and 17% of owners being landed with bills exceeding £1500, it’s no wonder the Discovery Sport takes the wooden spoon for reliability among large SUVs. The only saving grace is that 37% of the afflicted cars were fixed for free in a day or less.

Owner comment: “The number of faults the car has suffered is unacceptable for a supposed luxury vehicle. Many electrical problems and other issues."

2. Kia Sorento diesel (2010-2015)

Reliability rating 69.3%

Used Kia Sorento 4x4 2010 - 2015

Kia usually fares well for reliability, but the old Sorento isn’t ageing as well as its other models – 27% went wrong, and 57% of those spent more than a week at the garage. Worse still, 43% of repair bills topped £1500. Common issues centred on the brakes, gearbox/clutch, non-engine electrics, steering and suspension.

3. Audi Q5 diesel (2008-2017)

Reliability rating 75.0%

Audi Q5

Costly repairs tarnish the reliability score of the Q5, with 36% of cars costing between £751 and £1000 to put right, and a further 18% landing owners with bills of more than £1500. The most common issues were with the bodywork and suspension, but brakes, exhausts, fuel systems and gearboxes/clutches also caused concern.

Reliability of large SUVs aged six to 15 years old

Rank Make and model Score
1. Honda CR-V 2006-2012 95.8%
2. Mazda CX-5 diesel 2012-2017 93.1%
3. Honda CR-V petrol 2012-2018 91.9%
=4. Toyota RAV4 2006-2012 90.3%
=4. Toyota RAV4 2013-2019 90.3%
=4. Ford Kuga 2013-2020 90.3%
7. Volvo XC60 2008-2017 88.3% 
8. BMW X3 2010-2018 86.0%
9. Honda CR-V diesel 2012-2018 84.5%
10. Audi Q5 diesel 2008-2017 75.0%
11. Kia Sorento diesel 2010-2015 69.3%
12. Land Rover Discovery Sport 2014-present 59.3%