Best and worst older cars for reliability: small and family SUVs

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

10: Audi Q3

Most reliable Audi Q3 (2011-2018)

Reliability rating 96.5%

What went wrong? Engine electrics 4%, fuel system 4%, suspension 4% 

Only 12% of Q3 owners reported having had any problems with their car in the previous 12 months. The cars that did go wrong could still be driven and were rectified in a day or less. A third of the repair bills were less than £50 and no owners had to pay out more than £300.

Owner comment: “The quality of materials used inside my Q3 and on the bodywork are top notch compared with most other brands.”

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Vauxhall Mokka petrol (2012-2019)

Reliability rating 95.2%

2014 Vauxhall Mokka 1.4T 2WD review

If you’re considering buying a Mokka, go for a petrol model, because it’s almost half as likely to suffer a fault as a diesel (15% versus 29%). The brakes and engine cooling system were the only areas to give problems. All cars remained driveable and were fixed in less than a week, with half of the work done for free and half costing between £201 and £300.

Mini Countryman (2010-2017)

Reliability rating 87.1%

Used test: Mini Countryman vs Nissan Juke vs Skoda Yeti

Only 17% of Countryman owners told us their cars had gone wrong, with the issues split evenly between the bodywork, infotainment and the engine. Repair work wasn’t carried out swiftly; two-thirds of cars were in the workshop for more than a week, and while a third of cars cost less than £200 to fix, two-thirds cost more than £1500 

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Least reliable Nissan Qashqai (2007-2013)

Reliability rating 45.6%

What went wrong? Air-con 13%, battery 13%, brakes 13%, engine 13%, exhaust 13%, fuel system 6%, infotainment 6%, steering 6%, suspension 6% 

Nissan Qashqai

Although only 19% of older Qashqais had a problem, a third of them were rendered undriveable and 75% were off the road for more than a week. A quarter of repair bills cost at least £1000 and many exceeded £1500, although a third of owners got off more lightly, with bills of up to £300. 

Owner comment: “My car has spent 12 weeks in the garage in the past six months with a catalogue of faults. I’d never buy another Qashqai.”

Nissan Qashqai diesel (2014-on)

Reliability rating 46.3%

Nissan Qashqai front cornering - 63-plate car

Faults cropped up in 38% of the current Qashqai diesels we were told about, and although 20% were fixed under warranty, 35% cost more than £750 to sort and 15% topped £1500. Problem areas included the air-con, engine, infotainment, battery, engine electrics, fuel system and gearbox/clutch. Still, half of the faults were put right in less than a week.

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Volkswagen Tiguan (2007-2016)

Reliability rating 61.0%

Volkswagen Tiguan

Our data reveals that 38% of previous-generation Tiguans were faulty in a range of areas, including their suspension, gearbox/clutch, engine, exhaust and fuel system. More than a third couldn’t be driven and the majority took up to a week to put right. Although 19% were fixed for free, those who had to pay were landed with bills of £101 to £1500.