Best and worst older cars for reliability: MPVs

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...

Reliability Awards - Ford C-Max

Most reliable Ford C-Max (2011-2019)

Reliability rating 91.3%

What went wrong? Battery 7%, gearbox/clutch 7%, interior trim 7% 

Although 20% of C-Max owners reported a fault with their car, two-thirds were minor issues that didn’t stop the cars from being driven and were sorted out in a day or less. A third of the faults were dealt with for free, while a third of bills cost £101 to £200 and a third £751 to £1000

Owner’s view “I’ve had lots of Fords over the years; this is my third C-Max on the trot, and none of them has let me down.”


Vauxhall Meriva (2010-2017)

Reliability rating 83.0%

2014 Vauxhall Meriva 1.6 CDTi review

Although 24% of Meriva owners told us their car had gone wrong, most of the issues related to minor areas, such as the bodywork and battery. A few also had faults with the air-con, engine and exhaust. All of them could still be driven and four out of five were fixed in a week or less. Half of the bills were less than £100; the rest ranged from £751 to £1000.


BMW 2 Series Active/Gran Tourer (2015-present)

Reliability rating 78.3%

Used BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer 2015 -present

The 2 Series may be third here, but that isn’t saying much. Owners said 32% of cars went wrong; the exhaust and gearbox/clutch were the most commonly cited issues. Two-thirds of cars could still be driven and four out of five were fixed in less than a week. Although 11% of work was done under warranty, 40% cost £500 to £1500 or more to fix.

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Least reliable Vauxhall Zafira (2005-2016)

Reliability rating 60.6%

What went wrong? Battery 18%, air-con 12%, exhaust 12%, gearbox/clutch 12%, non-engine electrics 12%, suspension 12%, brakes 6%, engine electrics 6%

Used cars of the week: 6k Vauxhall Zafiras

Zafira owners told us 35% of their cars had suffered faults spanning a wide range of areas. Twenty percent of cars couldn’t be driven and more than a third took up to a week to repair. While most bills were between £51 and £500, around 20% of owners paid out between £751 and £1500 or more. 

Owner comment: “It’s developed knocks and whining noises; it isn’t robust enough for my daily commute” 


Citroën Grand C4 Picasso (2014-2018)

Reliability rating 61.7%

Citroën Grand C4 Picasso

A worrying 58% of Grand C4 Picassos went wrong, with the main areas of concern being the air-con, gearbox/clutch and non-engine electrics. More than a third of them were undriveable and the same proportion spent more than a week off the road. The good news is 27% of repairs were done for free and only 18% of owners faced bills of £1000-£1500.

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Volkswagen Touran (2003-2015)

Reliability rating 63.3%

Deal of the day: Volkswagen Touran

Nearly a third (29%) of Tourans had a problem, with owners citing the battery, brakes and gearbox/clutch as the most common causes of discontent. Virtually all cars could still be driven, but a third spent more than a week in the garage. No work was done for free and repair bills ranged from less than £50 to more than £1500.