Best and worst older family cars for reliability

Family cars need to be dependable; after all, who wants a car that breaks down with children aboard? Here, we reveal the most and least reliable family hatchbacks from four to 10 years old...

Volkswagen Golf (09 - 13)

Bottom 10 older family cars for reliability

=9. Volkswagen Golf 2009-2013

What Car? reliability rating 73.2%

The older generation of Golf isn't proving as durable as the newer one, with 33% of cars suffering a fault. The main gremlin was the engine, followed by the gearbox, exhaust and fuel system. Other problem areas included the battery, brakes and suspension. Around half of the cars could still be driven and some were fixed for free, but a small percentage of bills exceeded £1500.  

Read our full review of the used Volkswagen Golf

See how much you could save on a new Volkswagen Golf


=9. Audi A3 diesel 2013-present

10 reasons to buy an Audi A3

What Car? reliability rating 73.2%

The diesel A3 isn't proving as sturdy as the petrol; 39% of owners reported at least one problem, compared with 23% for the petrol models. The most commonly afflicted area was the brake system, followed by the air-con, gearbox and engine and non-engine electrics. Most cars could still be driven and a small number were fixed for free, but a small percentage of owners were landed with repair bills of more than £1500.

5 reasons to buy a Mazda 3

What Car? reliability rating 70.5%

More than 37% of cars had a fault, with the engine the biggest area of concern, followed by bodywork and suspension. There were also a small percentage of problems with the battery, brakes, engine and non-engine electrics, fuel system and gearbox. Two-thirds of cars were still driveable and a small proportion were repaired for free, but other owners had to fork out up to £1500.  

Read our full review of the used Mazda 3

See how much you could save on a new Mazda 3


7. Vauxhall Astra 2009-2015

Vauxhall Astra (09 - 15)

What Car? reliability rating 70.1%

A hefty 35% of Mini owners reported at least one fault on their cars, with the engine the biggest area of concern. There were also issues with the brakes, engine and non-engine electrics, exhaust and gearbox. More than half of cars could still be driven and some were fixed for free, but some owners faced repair bills of more than £1500. 

Read our full review of the used Vauxhall Astra

See how much you could save on a new Vauxhall Astra


6. Renault Megane 2009-2016

Renault Megane Hatchback (08 - 16)

What Car? Reliability Rating 69.1%

A whopping 50% of Megane owners reported at least one fault on their cars, with exhaust and non-engine electrics the biggest areas of concern. There were also issues with the battery, bodywork, gearbox, interior trim and lights. Three-quarters of cars could still be driven and around a third were fixed for free, but some owners faced repair bills of up to £500. 

Read our full review of the used Renault Megane

See how much you could save on a new Renault Megane

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