Best and worst older large SUVs for reliability

A used large SUV may look like a tempting buy, but it'll be costly if it's prone to faults. We reveal the most dependable large SUVs - and the ones to avoid...

Audi Q5 - one of the best older large SUVs for reliability

Large SUVs are pricey when new, so they are a popular secondhand buy. However, they're often loaded with equipment that could go wrong. To help you avoid buying an expensive nightmare, we've compiled a list of the top 10 most reliable large SUVs aged between six and 15 years old, and highlighted the bottom three models that are best avoided. 

We've used information from our latest What Car? Reliability Survey, run in association with MotorEasy, to compile our top 10. Car owners were asked to tell us if their vehicle had suffered a fault in the previous 12 months, and if it had, to which of 14 categories the problem belonged. The categories are: air conditioning, battery, bodywork, brakes, engine, engine electrics, exhaust, fuel system, gearbox, interior trim, non-engine electrics, sat-nav, steering and suspension.

We also asked how much the repairs cost (from fixed for free under warranty to costing more than £1500 to put right) and how long the car took to be fixed (from being completed on the same day as being dropped at the workshop, to taking more than a week to repair). Using all of this data, we created a unique reliability rating for 218 car models, spanning 31 brands.

We’re running the What Car? Reliability Survey again for 2020, so once you’ve read this story, please consider taking part in this year’s survey. 

10. Ford Kuga (2013-2019)

Ford Kuga

Reliability rating 74.5%

Owners told us that a third of Kugas had a problem, with the most common cause for concern being the exhaust, followed by the gearbox. A third of cars couldn't be driven, but some were fixed for free under warranty and two thirds cost £500 or less to put right.   

Save money on a new Ford Kuga with What Car? >>

9. Volvo XC70 (2007-2016)

Volvo XC70

Reliability rating 75.6%

A third of XC70s suffered a fault, and the most common area of complaint was the engine. Other areas affected included the battery, gearbox, non-engine electrics and the suspension. However, more than half of the faulty cars were fixed in a single day, some work was done under warranty and only a small percentage of bills exceeded £1000. 

8. Honda CR-V (2002-2006)

Honda CR-V 4x4 (02 - 06)

Reliability rating 80.8%

Just under a third of CR-V owners reported a fault. Brake issues were the most commonly cited, followed by problems with the steering. Some owners also reported problems with the engine, gearbox and non-engine electrics. Virtually all faulty cars could still be driven, though, and the majority were back on the road after being under repair for a single day. More than half of the faults cost less than £100 to put right, and only a very small percentage cost between £500 and £1000.