Most (and least) reliable large SUVs

Large SUVs are the must-have family motors, so they need to be practical, durable and dependable. We reveal the most – and least – reliable models...

Most and least reliable large SUVs

Large SUVs are relied on by parents to ferry children around in comfort and safety. So, as well as possessing sturdy interiors and capacious boots, they need to be dependable. That's where the What Car? Reliability Survey can help.

We asked nearly 13,000 people to tell us about any faults that their cars had suffered during the past 12 months, how long the problem kept the car off the road and how much they'd had to pay to get it fixed.

Those that had the fewest problems and were cheapest to fix gained the top ratings in the study, while those that languished in workshops for days on end and racked up expensive repair bills were given the lowest scores. Here we name the most and least dependable large SUVs aged up to five years old.

Volvo XC60 driving

Score 94.8%

The latest XC60 is proving pretty bulletproof. Although 20% of the cars we were told about suffered a fault, most problems were minor. Non-engine electrical issues were the most common, followed by the bodywork, engine electrics and fuel system faults. 

All cars could still be driven and two thirds were put right in less than a week with all work done under warranty. 

Read our full Volvo XC60 review

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=10. Volvo XC60 (2008-2017)

Used cars of the week: Volvo XC60 SUV rivals from 9k

Score 94.8%

Impressively, the previous generation XC60 is proving just as dependable as the latest version. Owners told us 20% of their cars went wrong, with non-engine electrics the most common problem area. There were also a small percentage of reports of issues with the bodywork, the engine and its electrics and interior trim. 

Three quarters of cars were still drivable and were put right in a day or less, and all repairs were carried out for free. 

Read our full used Volvo XC60 review


8. Ford Kuga diesel (2013-2020)

New Mazda CX-5 & Ford Kuga vs Skoda Kodiaq

Score 95.0%

Only 15% of diesel Kuga owners reported a fault, and the majority of issues were minor, relating to non-engine electrics. There were also some reports of problems with the battery and braking system. 

Virtually all cars could still be driven and most were put right in less than a week; 86% of work was carried out under warranty, and no bills exceeded £750. 

Read our full used Ford Kuga review

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7. Kia Sorento (2015-present)

Kia Sorento

Score 95.1%

Nearly a quarter of Sorentos suffered a fault, with the braking system accounting for 14% of issues. Other problem areas included the engine and its electrical systems, interior trim and non-engine electrics.

Although three quarters of cars couldn't be driven and many took more than a week to fix, all repairs were done for free.  

BMW X3

Score 95.6%

We were told that 23% of previous-generation X3s suffered a fault. Engine electrics and the suspension were the most common problem areas, followed by a small percentage of issues with the brakes, engine and non-engine electrics. 

Virtually all cars could still be driven and nearly two thirds were put right in a day or less; even better – all work was done for free. 

Read our full used BMW X3 review

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=6. Honda CR-V (2012-2018)

Honda CR-V

Score 95.6%

Owners said 19% of older CR-Vs went wrong, citing the exhaust system as the most common complaint, followed by the battery, bodywork, engine and non-engine electrics.  

The vast majority of cars remained drivable and two thirds were fixed in less than a week. More than half of repairs were done for free, most bills ranged from £101 to £500 and only a small percentage of owners paid out more than £1500. 

Read our full review of the used Honda CR-V

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4. Audi Q5 (2017-present)

Audi Q5 driving

Score 96.3%

Just under one in five (19%) of Q5s went wrong, with non-engine electrical issues the most common concern. Other problem areas included the bodywork, brakes, engine and exhaust. 

All cars could still be driven, but a third took more than a week to repair. However, all work was done under warranty. 

Read our full review of the Audi Q5

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3. Skoda Kodiaq petrol (2016-present)

Skoda Kodiaq 2020 RHD front right tracking

Score 96.5%

Only 17% of petrol-engined Kodiaqs suffered a fault, compared with 30% of diesels. Non-engine electrics were the biggest bugbear, followed by bodywork, engine electrics, the exhaust and interior trim.

All of the faulty cars could still be driven and more than half were sorted out in less than a week. Even better, all work was done under warranty.

Read our full review of the Skoda Kodiaq

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2. Mazda CX-5 petrol (2017-present)

Mazda CX-5 2.2d SE-L Nav+

Score 96.9%

Petrol CX-5s had virtually half as many problems as their diesel counterparts, with 17% going wrong, compared with 30% of diesels. Non-engine electrics were the main issue, followed by bodywork and the gearbox/clutch.

Half of the affected cars remained drivable and were repaired in a day or less, and less than one in five took more than a week to put right. All work was done for free.

Read our full review of the Mazda CX-5

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1. Ford Kuga petrol (2013-2020)

2015 Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi 180 Titanium X Sport

Score 97.8%

What went wrong? Bodywork 5%, gearbox/clutch 5%

Pick a petrol model if you want a dependable large SUV. The best of the bunch is the petrol Kuga, which had a fault rate of only 5% – in contrast to the 16% of diesel Kugas that went wrong.

Half of those cars could still be driven and were put right in a day or less. The others took more than a week to fix, but all work was done for free under warranty.

Owner’s view “This is my third Kuga and the second with an automatic gearbox. I’ve found all three dependable and well built”

Read our full review of the used Ford Kuga

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