Best and worst small and city cars for reliability

City and small cars are often bought by young drivers or as second family cars, so they need to be durable and cheap to own. To help you pick the best, we reveal the most and least reliable...

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Claire Evans
06 March 2018

Toyota Yaris

1. Toyota Yaris petrol (2011-present)

Score 100%

The Toyota Yaris may be small, but it’s massive on dependability. In petrol form, the little hatchback proved faultlessly reliable – not one owner reported any issues. In fact, 40% of Yaris owners cited reliability when asked what they liked best about their car.

See our full Toyota Yaris review

See how much you could save on a Toyota Yaris

The worst family SUVs for reliability

Volkswagen Polo Hatchback 09-17

3. Volkswagen Polo (2009-2017)

Score 85.8%

Just 21% of Volkswagen Polos had a problem. The most common issues related to non-engine electrical systems (7%), followed by the air conditioning (5%), engine electrics (4%) and gearbox and clutch (3%). More than half the cars with faults were rendered undriveable, though, and a small number of owners had to pay bills of up to £1500.

Used Nissan Note 13-17

2. Nissan Note (2013-2017)

Score 83.8%

A shocking 50% of Nissan Notes had a fault, of which 27% were related to the suspension and 13% to the engine. Most were fixed in less than a week, though, and none produced any nasty repair bills.

See our full Nissan Note review

Peugeot 208

1. Peugeot 208 (2012-present)

Score 81.4%

With electrical gremlins afflicting more than 15% of Peugeot 208s, it’s the least dependable small car. Owners reported a high proportion of problems with infotainment systems and switches. And while most cars remained driveable, some required repairs costing up to £500.

See our full Peugeot 208 review

See how much you could save on a Peugeot 208


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