Most and least reliable family cars

Families need dependable cars. Pick one from our top 10 most reliable and it shouldn't let you down...

Most and least reliable family cars

Family cars have to be tough. They need to cope with transporting children and all their equipment, and they need to be dependable because nobody wants to be stuck at the roadside with stressed out little ones.

Luckily the What Car? Reliability Survey can help you pick a car that won't let you down. We asked more than 18,000 people to tell us about any faults their cars had suffered in the previous 12 months, how long each problem had kept their car off the road and how much it had cost to be fixed.

The models with the least problems and lowest repair costs gained the top ratings in the study, while those that spent days on end in the garage and chalked up hefty repair bills gained the lowest scores. The cars in this round-up are all aged between one and five years old.

We’re running the What Car? Reliability Survey again for 2020, so once you’ve read this story, please tell us about the reliability of your own car.

Top 10 family cars for reliability

Ford Focus

Score 96.5%

Diesel versions of the previous-generation Focus are proving more durable than petrols. The latter lie in 17th place in our family car chart with a score of 93.6% and only 12% of diesels had a fault, compared with 17% of petrols. The only areas to suffer faults were the gearbox and sat nav. Most cars could still be driven, two thirds of them were put right under warranty and repair bills ranged from less than £50 to £750.  

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9. Audi A3 2013 on 

Audi A3 Sportback front - black

Score 96.7%

Owners told us 13% of Audi A3 hatchbacks suffered a fault with the most commonly affected areas being the brakes and exhaust, followed by air-con and the engine. More than half of affected cars could still be driven, though, and most repair work was carried out for free with only a small percentage of owners paying out around £200 for faults to be rectified.  

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=7. Mini Clubman 2015 on 

Mini Clubman 2019 front tracking

Score 97.0%

Just over 11% of Mini Clubmans had a problem and the issues were split evenly between the engine and exhaust. Two thirds of the affected cars could still be driven and were repaired the same day, and two thirds were put right under warranty, with the remaining cars costing between £100 and £200. 

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Next: more of the most reliable family cars >>

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