In association with MotorEasy
Car of the Year Awards 2022: Reliability Award
In the our 2021 Reliability Survey, owners told us about more than 16,000 cars, with each model given a rating based on the number of faults, and the time and cost of repairs...
Reliability rating 98.7%
If you’re a gambler looking for a safe bet, putting your money on Lexus topping the annual What Car? Reliability Survey is about as good as it gets. Toyota’s luxury brand has now finished first in our chart for newer models for five consecutive years, with Lexus owners telling us their cars suffered hardly any faults. Meanwhile, those that did surface were fixed swiftly and cheaply.
Overall, just 6% of the Lexus models aged up to five years old that we were told about went wrong, and 65% of those were put right in a day or less. Most of the remaining cars had their faults rectified in less than a week.
Just as positive is that most of the defects reported were minor, as is evidenced by the fact that a mere 3% of cars were rendered undriveable. Faults reported related to the 12-volt battery, bodywork, interior trim and the non-engine electrical system. Notably, there were no major mechanical faults reported; despite the complex hybrid systems under the bonnets of all the Lexus models surveyed, the electric motor, engine, gearbox and suspension proved trouble-free.
There’s almost as much good news when it comes to repair bills, with 77% of cars fixed for free, even though many were outside of the manufacturer’s warranty. Those owners who did have to contribute towards costs were only charged between £100 and £200.
The Lexus UX SUV (above) fared especially well; it was the highest-scoring hybrid in our survey, with an almost perfect reliability rating of 99.8%. A mere 5% of UX owners reported a fault with their car, and all those that did go wrong were back from the workshop in less than a week, with all the work done for free.
2nd - Dacia
Reliability rating 97.3%
Our second-placed brand couldn’t be more different from Lexus. Dacia is all about affordable, no-frills motoring, so it’s great to see its cars performing so strongly on dependability.
The brand’s star performer is the previous-generation Dacia Sandero hatchback (2013-2020); it was one of only six cars to gain a 100% reliability rating, with no owners reporting any faults with their cars.
The Dacia Duster family SUV also looks like a robust choice, with a reliability rating of 97.2%. Although 12% of Dusters went wrong, none of the faults were serious enough to render them undriveable, and all of the issues were sorted out without any cost to owners.
3rd - Suzuki
Reliability rating 97.1%
Suzuki fared brilliantly in our latest survey, managing to beat such long-term reliability stalwarts as Honda and Toyota. That’s all thanks to the sterling performance of its small cars and SUVs.
The Suzuki Swift is the brand’s top scorer, posting a reliability rating of 99.3%. Just 3% of Swifts suffered a fault and all affected cars could still be driven, with all repairs being carried out for free.
The Suzuki Ignis, Suzuki SX-4 S-Cross and Suzuki Vitara were also highly rated by owners, the latter scoring highest with a reliability rating of 97.1%. Although 14% of owners reported faults, they weren’t major and most cars were back on the road in less than a week, with all work being done for free.
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