Best and worst older cars for reliability: luxury cars
How dependable are cars as they get older? Here’s what the owners of luxury cars between five and 20 years of age have told us...
The most reliable luxury cars
Reliability rating 89.8%
What went wrong? Steering 9%, suspension 6%, bodywork 4%, air-con 2%, engine 2%,
engine electrics 2%, exhaust 2%
Luxury cars have a lot of kit, so there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong, but the previous- generation 5 Series bucks this trend with a low fault rate of 16%. More than 80% of problematic cars could still be driven and 83% were put right in less than a week. Even better, most repair bills were below £750.
Owner’s view “I’ve had my car for eight years and it has proved entirely reliable, only needing scheduled servicing and some free recall work in that time.”
Reliability rating 85.6%
The XJ stands out as a beacon of dependability compared with the brand’s other models. Non-engine electrics and steering were the only issues among the 18% of cars that had a fault. All cars remained driveable and were fixed in less than a week. And, adding to the feel-good factor, 33% of work was done for free.
Although 30% of E-Classes went wrong, most issues were minor niggles that left cars driveable and were sorted out in a day or less. Air-con was the most common complaint, followed by steering and exhaust problems. Twelve percent of faults were fixed for free and no bills topped £1000.
The least reliable luxury cars
1. Jaguar XF (2015-present)
Reliability rating 53.0%
What went wrong? Non-engine electrics 27%, suspension 20%, brakes 13%, engine 13%, exhaust 13%, air-con 7% engine electrics 7%, interior trim 7%
The current XF has one of the highest fault rates of all used models in this survey: 53% of cars had troubles and 44% of those cars sat in a workshop for more than a week. The only saving grace is that 44% of remedial work was done for free, but that still left 36% of owners with bills exceeding £751.
Owner comment: “The least reliable car I have ever owned. It needed a new engine after three yearsand 70,000 miles of ownership.”
Reliability rating 76.5%
According to owners, 35% of previous-generation XFs went wrong with non-engine electrical issues, the biggest trouble spot being the air-con. Other problem areas included the battery, bodywork and engine. Virtually all cars could still be driven, though, and more than half were repaired in a day or less, with 14% of the work done for free and the majority of owners paying no more than £500.
Reliability rating 76.7%
Suspension was the main problem area for A6 owners, accounting for 15% of reported faults. Overall, 30% of A6s went wrong, with other problematic areas including the air-con, brakes, engine, engine and non-electrical systems and interior trim. Although 60% of cars were back on the road in a day or less, only one in five was fixed for free; owners paid out £101 to more than £1500.
Best family SUVs 2021
Want practicality, class and an elevated driving position in a relatively small package? Then these are the top 10 cars you should be looking at – and the ones that are best avoided
Audi E-tron Sportback long-term test review
Can you live with a fully electric car if you can't charge at home? We're finding out with the help of the Audi E-tron Sportback