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Most and least reliable older cars: luxury cars

We name the most dependable – and most troublesome – used cars aged from six to 20 years old, based on owners’ experiences...

Audi A7 Sportback front cornering

The most reliable luxury cars

 1. Audi A7 (2010-2017)

Reliability rating 90.1%

The A7 is a very smart and beautifully finished premium car, with distinctive looks and all the usual Audi qualities. On top of all that it's pretty durable – according to owners only 14% of A7s went wrong in the previous 24 months. The air-con and engine were the only troublespots. 

All cars could still be driven and spent less than a week in the garage. The only negative is that repair bills are on the high side: 50% of remedial work cost between £501 ad £750 and the rest totalled more than £1500. 

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2. Jaguar XJ (2010-2019)

Reliability rating 87.8%

Jaguar XJ

The XJ stands out as a beacon of dependability compared with some of the brand’s other models. Only 15% of XJs went wrong and the only are of concern was non-engine electrics.

All cars remained driveable and a third were fixed in a day or less and the rest were back on the road in less than a week. Not all repairs were cheap, though, while 33% of owners paid out less than £100, the rest paid between £501 and £1500. 

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Although 26% of E-Classes went wrong, most issues were minor niggles that left cars driveable and were sorted out in a day or less. Air-con and suspension were the most common complaints, followed by electrcial issues and exhaust problems.

Most cars could still be driven and 39% of problems were remedied in a day or less, and a further 45% of cars were out of the workshop in less than a week. Twenty-one percent of work was paid for my Mercedes and most bills were less than £500, although 21% of owners paid up to £1500. 

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The least reliable luxury cars

3. Mercedes E-Class (2002-2009)

Reliability rating 77.7%

Mercedes E-Class estate 02-09

The older E-Class saloon and estate isn't faring as well as the later version when it comes to faults. Thirty-eight percent of the E-Classes in our survey had suffered at least one fault, with steering issues the most prevalent, followed by issues with the battery, brakes, electrics and suspension. 

Ninety percent of issues were sorted out within a day and the rest were resolved in less than a week. Mercedes covered the cost of 20% of repairs, and none of those who had to pay were charged more than £750. 

2. Audi A8 (2010-2017)

Reliability rating 74.7%

09. Audi A8

Half of the A8 owners who completed our survey reported an issue with their car. The most frequently cited complaints were about the exhaust system, but there were also issues with the air-con, bodywork, brakes, electrics and suspension.

Most cars remained driveable, but repairs were slow: 28% of A8s spent more than a week in the workshop. Some bills were pricey too. Although Audi covered the cost of 14% of repairs, 42% of owners were landed with bills ranging from £501 to £1500. 

1. Jaguar XF (2015-present)

Reliability rating 67.3%


Jaguar XF

The current XF doesn't have the highest fault rate: 39% of the cars in our survey had a glitch, but it's the amount of time they spent in the garage that brings its overall score down. Owners told us that 41% of their cars were in the garage for more than a week. Although Jaguar covered the cost of 42% of repairs, and most bills were below £500, 36% of cars cost between £751 and more than £1500 to put right. 

To read the data for other car classes follow these links:

Small cars here 
Family cars here
Executive cars here
Small SUVs here
Family SUVs here
Large SUVs here
Luxury SUVs here
Electric and hybrid cars here
Sports cars here
MPVs here
Car brands here

Reliability of luxury cars aged six to 20 years old

Rank Make and model Score
1. Audi A7 (2010-2017) 90.1%
2.   Jaguar XJ (2010-2019) 87.8%
3. Mercedes E-Class (2009-2016) 85.3%
4. Jaguar XF (2007-2015) 79.0%
5. BMW 5 Series (2010-2017) 78.7%
6. Audi A6 (2011-2018) 77.9%
7. Mercedes E-Class (2002-2009) 77.7%
8. Audi A8 (2010-2017) 74.7%
9. Jaguar XF (2015-present) 67.3%

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