Thatcham sponsorship banner - desktop

Sponsored by Thatcham Research

Car of the Year Awards 2024: Reliability Award

In the our 2023 Reliability Survey, owners told us about almost 25,000 cars, with each model given a rating based on the number of faults, and the time and cost of repairs...

WINNER: Reliability Award


COTY 2024 logo with Motoreasy
Reliability Award - Lexus

Reliability rating 98.3%

There’s one thing that owners of Lexus cars up to five years old can pretty much be assured of: if their car develops a problem, it will be fixed for free. Indeed, one reason why Toyota’s luxury brand tops the car reliability ratings for the seventh consecutive year is that it covered the cost of 100% of the fault repairs that owners told us about.

It’s about more than covering the cost of repairs, though. To be the best for reliability, a car brand has to provide owners with top- notch, timely remedial work. And that’s just what Lexus has done over the past two years.

In most cases, any issues its cars had were dealt with swiftly and efficiently by dealership staff: 44% of remedial work was completed within a day and two-thirds of cars were out of the workshop in less than a week.

Lexus UX 300h front cornering

It also helps that the cars themselves are some of the most dependable you can buy. The most common problems were minor issues with the sat-nav/infotainment system and other electrical components – irritating, perhaps, but at least 94% of faulty cars remained driveable.

At model level, the Lexus NX SUV is the shining star of the range for reliability. The previous-generation NX is the most reliable family SUV, and the latest version is the second most dependable. Both models have a reliability rating of more than 99%; only 5% of current NXs had any issues, and just 2% of 2014-2021 NX models went wrong.

And what’s the third most reliable family SUV? You guessed it: the Lexus UX. The brand’s smaller SUV follows the form of its larger siblings, with only 3% of the cars that owners told us about suffering any issues.

Large and luxury SUVs tend to have more problems and therefore have lower reliability ratings. However, the 2016-2022 Lexus RX bucks this trend, with a score of 98.6% and a fault rate of 8%. It’s the second highest-scoring large SUV.

2nd - Toyota

Toyota logo on wheel

Reliability rating 97.4%

Demonstrating that you don’t have to buy from a premium brand to get a dependable car, Toyota is less than one percentage point behind Lexus. Overall, only 9% of the Toyotas in our survey had any issues, and 84% of faulty cars were fixed for free.

Repairs were generally quick, too, with more than half of the problems resolved in a day or less and three-quarters of the cars back on the road in less than seven days. Even better, its smallest, most affordable cars are the highest scorers. The latest Toyota Yaris hatchback and the Toyota Yaris Cross small SUV each scored more than 98%, and the 2011-2020 Yaris scored a huge 99.3%, with just 3% of owners reporting faults.

3rd - Mini

Mini logo

Reliability rating 97.2%

Mini has upped its game on reliability in the past year, posting strong performances across its line-up.

Overall, 10% of the Minis we were told about went wrong, but three-quarters of them were in and out of the garage in less than a week. The car maker paid for 94% of repairs, and owners who had to pay were charged less than £100 per fault.

The Mini Electric is its most reliable model and – with a rating of 97.6% – the highest-scoring electric car in our survey. Only 7% of these had any issues, and they were to do with the 12-volt battery and motor electrics. Mini paid for all of these repairs.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

See all of our 2024 Car of the Year Awards winners >>