Best and worst older cars for reliability: luxury SUVs

How dependable are cars as they get older? Here’s what the owners of cars between five and 20 years of age have told us...

Used BMW X5 front corner

Most reliable BMW X5 (2013-2018)

Reliability rating 86.1%

What went wrong? Exhaust 14%, air-con 7%, engine electrics 7% 

The previous-generation X5 is pretty dependable. Although 29% of the cars surveyed went wrong, four out of five could still be driven and nearly two-thirds were put right within a day. While 20% of work was done under warranty, the rest had to pay between £50 and more than £1500.

Owner comment: “My car has been reliable except for an occasional exhaust sensor error message, but that didn’t cause a breakdown.” 

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Range Rover Sport (2013-on)

Reliability rating 76.5%

Range Rover Sport '15 plate front corner

Only 13% of Range Rover Sport owners reported a fault on their car, with the bodywork, gearbox/ clutch and engine electrics being the most common gripes. A quarter of those cars were undriveable and two-thirds spent more than a week off the road. Almost half of the work was done for free, but 9% of bills totalled £1000 to £1500. 

Volvo XC90

Faults were reported on 23% of the XC90s we were told about; the most frequent trouble spots were the air-con, brakes, engine electrics and steering. However, about half of the issues were rectified in a day or less and only one in five cars spent more than a week off the road. While 9% of work was done for free, other bills ranged from £51 to £1000

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Least reliable Porsche Macan (2014-present)

Reliability rating 40.4% 

2014 Porsche Macan S review

Although the Macan’s fault rate (36%) isn’t among the highest, its reliability rating is so low because 31% of repair bills exceeded £1500 and around 50% of owners had to pay £201 to £750. On the bright side, four out of five cars were fixed in less than a week, with only 15% needing longer to put right. 

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BMW X5 (2007-2013)

Reliability rating 42.6%

5 reasons to buy a BMW X5

A shocking 53% of second-generation X5s went wrong, with the brakes, engine and suspension being the biggest concerns. Most repair bills were costly (between £301 and £500) and 9% of owners paid out more than £1500. On the plus side, three-quarters of cars could still be driven and the majority were repaired in less than a week. 

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Land Rover Discovery (2004-2017)

Reliability rating 45.7%

Used Land Rover Discovery front corner

The Discovery’s score is dragged down by the fact that 52% of the cars we were told about had gone wrong and a third of owners faced bills exceeding £1000. The main fault area was the suspension (27%), followed by the battery and engine (12% each). More than three-quarters of the affected cars could still be driven and were fixed in less than a week.