Most dependable car brands – and the ones that suffer the most faults

We all want our cars to be dependable, but picking the best brand can be a bit of a lottery. To take the guesswork out of this, we've ranked 30 car brands according to how many faults their model...

Most dependable car brands – and the ones that suffer the most faults

Most reliable cars

We all know how awful it is to be stranded at the side of road on a wet, winter evening because your car has broken down. And if you suffer from this reguarly, you'll soon start to think about getting another car.

So, to help you pick something that won't let you down, we asked the owners of 14,208 cars to tell us if their vehicles had suffered from any faults in the past year.

Read the full What Car? reliability survey results

The best brands were virtually fault-free, while more than 44% of the worst brands had been afflicted by a problem. See our slideshow to find out which are the most – and least – dependable brands.

Help us to keep car buyers informed by completing the 2018 What Car? reliability survey. Everyone who completes it is in with the chance of winning £250

Most dependable car brands

Lexus RX 450h

1. Lexus

Cars with faults 10.7%

This luxury brand may be expensive to buy, but it's worth it if you value dependability – only 11% of owners said their car had a fault. The CT 200h family car and IS executive saloon both topped their classes for reliability in the 0-3 years old category. In fact, the CT didn't have any faults, while only 12% of IS models had a problem.

Read our full review of the Lexus CT 200h

Read our full review of the Lexus IS

Get a great deal on a Lexus

Most dependable car brands

Suzuki Swift

2. Suzuki

Cars with faults 16.2%

If you're after a dependable small hatchback or SUV, Suzuki should be on your shortlist. One of its smallest models is the Swift, which is fun to drive and virtually fault-free, and its Vitara SUV is almost as durable, too.

Read our full review of the Suzuki Swift

Read our full review of the Suzuki Vitara

Get a great deal on a Suzuki

Most dependable car brands

Dacia Sandero

3. Dacia

Cars with faults 18.6%

The shining star of the Dacia brand is also the UK's cheapest new car: the Sandero hatchback. According to owners of cars aged up to three years old, it suffers from with very few faults.

Read our full review of the Dacia Sandero

Read our full review of the Dacia Duster

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Most dependable car brands

Toyota Aygo

4. Toyota

Cars with faults 18.9%

The Japanese brand's star performers are its smaller models. Owners of 0-3 year-old Aygo city cars didn't report any faults at all and less than 6% of owners of the larger Yaris told us about a problem.

Read our full review of the Toyota Aygo

Read our full review of the Toyota Yaris

Get a great deal on a Toyota

Most dependable car brands

Honda Jazz

5. Honda

Cars with faults 20.6%

Honda has a strong reputation for building reliable cars, so it's no surprise that owners of its Jazz hatchback told us their cars hadn't suffered from any faults. The Civic wasn't far behind, with less than 6% of owners of newer cars reporting an issue.

Read our full review of the Honda Jazz

Read our full review of the Honda Civic

Get a great deal on a Honda

Most dependable car brands

Mitsubishi Outlander

6. Mitsubishi

Cars with faults 20.8%

Mitsubishi's diesel and hybrid Outlander SUVs are complex cars, but they're almost faultlessly reliable, according to their owners. The Japanese brand's smaller models are pretty robust, too.

Read our full review of the Outlander diesel

Read our full review of the Outlander PHEV

Get a great deal on a Mitsubishi

Most dependable car brands

Hyundai i20

7. Hyundai

Cars with faults 20.9%

Korean brand Hyundai is up there with the best when it comes to durability. Less than 16% of owners of the i30 hatchback reported a fault, while the bigger Tucson fared almost as well.

Read our full review of the Hyundai i30

Read our full review of the Hyundai Tucson

Get a great deal on a Hyundai

Most dependable car brands

Subaru XV

8. Subaru

Cars with faults 23.2%

This Japanese brand is well-known for its four-wheel-drive motors and, despite their added complexity, they perform well for reliability. Owners of its SUVs only reported a small number of faults.

Read our full review of the Subaru XV

Read our full review of the Subaru Outback

Get a great deal on a Subaru

Most dependable car brands

Mazda MX-5

9. Mazda

Cars with faults 23.3%

Mazda used to be the epitome of reliability, and while its 2 and 3 hatchbacks are still pretty dependable, owners have reported issues with the latest MX-5.

Read our full review of the Mazda 2

Read our full review of the Mazda MX-5

Get a great deal on a Mazda

Most dependable car brands

Kia Picanto

10. Kia

Cars with faults 24.9%

Kia is another Korean brand that's building a strong reputation for affordable and durable cars across a range of classes; top performers include the Picanto hachback, Soul MPV and Sportage SUV.

Read our full review of the Kia Picanto

Read our full review of the Kia Sportage

Get a great deal on a Kia

Most dependable car brands

Skoda Citigo

11. Skoda

Cars with faults 25.3%

Small cars helped Skoda stand out as a dependable choice. The Citigo was its top performer, followed by the Yeti (although that car is no longer on sale).

Read our full review of the Skoda Citigo

Read our full review of the Skoda Yeti

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Most dependable car brands

Audi A3 Cabriolet

12. Audi

Cars with faults 26.7%

Audi tops the chart of German brands for durability, with its A3 saloon fault-free according to owners and the A3 Cabriolet faring almost as well. Some models didnt do so well, though; 31% of TT owners reported a fault with their cars.

Read our full review of the Audi A3 saloon

Read our full review of the Audi TT

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Most dependable car brands

Ford Kuga

13. Ford

Cars with faults 27.0%

Ford isn't only the most popular brand in the UK, it's also a robust one. The B-Max and C-Max topped the MPV chart for durability and the Kuga claimed number two in the small SUV table.

Read our full review of the Ford B-Max

Read our full review of the Ford C-Max

Read our full review of the Ford Kuga

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Most dependable car brands

BMW i3

14. BMW

Cars with faults 29.0%

Sitting a little behind Audi is our second German brand, BMW. Its standout performers were the i3 electric car and 2 Series Coupé and Convertible. The 5 Series didn't fare so well; 34% of cars had problems across a wide range of areas.

Read our full review of the BMW i3

Read our full review of the BMW 2 Series Convertible

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Most dependable car brands

Porsche Boxster

15. Porsche

Cars with faults 29.8%

Porsche has a mid-table ranking for the percentage of faults reported. The Boxster is a fairly strong performer, with owners only reporting a small number of faults that affected the engine and associated electrics.

Read our full review of the Porsche Boxster

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Most dependable car brands

Fiat Panda

16. Fiat

Cars with faults 30.5%

More than 30% of owners reported a fault with their Fiat cars. Pandas suffered from engine and suspension troubles, while electrical gremlins bugged the 500X.

Read our full review of the Fiat Panda

Read our full review of the Fiat 500X

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Most dependable car brands

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

17. Mercedes-Benz

Cars with faults 30.8%

Owners of Mercedes models reported more faults than those of its rival German brands. More than 20% of E-Class owners reported issues; the most common related to the electrical system.

Read our full review of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class

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Most dependable car brands

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

18. Alfa Romeo

Cars with faults 31.9%

Alfa Romeo doesn't have a great reputation for building robust cars. That said, owners of newer vehicles told us their cars were relatively fault-free, with the problems appearing to get worst as the cars age.

Read our full review of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Get a great deal on an Alfa Romeo

Most dependable car brands

Seat Leon

19. Seat

Cars with faults 32.4%

Seat's larger hatchback, the Leon, wasn't afflicted by too many faults according to owners, but its smaller brother, the Ibiza, didn't prove as sturdy.

Read our full review of the Seat Ibiza

Read our full review of the Seat Leon

Get a great deal on a Seat

Most dependable car brands

Vauxhall Insignia

20. Vauxhall

Cars with faults 32.6%

Vauxhall cars had 5% more faults than Ford ones, according to our respondents. That said, the Insignia didn't have a huge amount of faults and most were minor issues.

Read our full review of the Vauxhall Insignia

Get a great deal on a Vauxhall

Most dependable car brands

Mini hatchback

21. Mini

Cars with faults 32.8%

Mini models may look great, but they're not as sturdy as the cars made by parent company BMW. The strongest performer in the 0-3 year-old category was the petrol Mini hatchback, followed by the Countryman small SUV.

Read our full review of the Mini hatchback

Read our full review of the Mini Countryman

Get a great deal on a Mini

Most dependable car brands

Volkswagen Polo

22. Volkswagen

Cars with faults 33.6%

Owners reported faults on 20% of Polo and Touran models. The Up city car didn't do as well, with 29% of cars suffering from problems.

Read our full review of the Volkswagen Polo

Read our full review of the Volkswagen Touran

Get a great deal on a Volkswagen

Most dependable car brands

Jaguar XE

23. Jaguar

Cars with faults 34.3%

Jaguar's XE executive saloon had a lot of faults – owners of 44% of cars told us about problems. Its bigger brother, the XF, performed much better, with only 20% of cars reporting an issue.

Read our full review of the Jaguar XF

Read our full review of the Jaguar XE

Get a great deal on a Jaguar

Most dependable car brands

Peugeot 308

24. Peugeot

Cars with faults 34.8%

Some Peugeot models only had a small percentage of faults–- the 2008 put in a sterling performance – but the 308 was plagued by far more issues, relegating it to the bottom end of the family car league.

Read our full review of the Peugeot 308

Get a great deal on a Peugeot

Most dependable car brands

Volvo V40

25. Volvo

Cars with faults 36.8%

Almost half of the V40s we were told about had a fault, with the most commonly affected areas being the engine and exhaust system. Even more (52%) of XC90 owners had problems, mostly with non-engine electrics.

Read our full review of the Volvo V40

Read our full review of the Volvo XC90

Get a great deal on a Volvo

Most dependable car brands

Renault Kadjar

26. Renault

Cars with faults 38.1%

According to owners, some Renault models had few faults – in particular, petrol versions of the Clio fared well. The worst of the French brand's small SUVs was the Captur – owners of newer petrol-engined cars reported a range of problems.

Read our full review of the Renault Clio

Read our full review of the Renault Captur

Get a great deal on a Renault

Most dependable car brands

Nissan Pulsar

27. Nissan

Cars with faults 38.4%

Electrical issues afflicted the Pulsar, with many owners reporting faulty sat-navs. Even worse was the performance of the Qashqai, with many cars suffering from a fault – batteries, bodywork and electrics topped the list of problem areas.

Read our full review of the Nissan Pulsar

Read our full review of the Nissan Qashqai

Get a great deal on a Nissan

Most dependable car brands

Citroën C4 Picasso

28. Citroën

Cars with faults 39.9%

Some Citroën models proved sturdy and dependable, but others did not; owners of the C4 Cactus reported few faults, while those with a C4 or Grand C4 Picasso told us about lots of issues.

Read our full review of the Citroën C4 Cactus

Read our full review of the Citroën C4 Grand Picasso

Get a great deal on a Citroën

Most dependable car brands

Jeep Renegade

29. Jeep

Cars with faults 41.2%

Jeep owners are not all a happy bunch – they told us that 43% of Renegades had a fault, with the most serious problems relating to the engine, engine electrics and the braking system.

Read our full review of the Jeep Renegade

Get a great deal on a Jeep

Most dependable car brands

Land Rover Discovery

30. Land Rover

Cars with faults 44.1%

More than 40% of Discovery Sports had a fault; the most serious area was the engine. The Range Rover Sport has an even worse reliability record, with 60% of owners reporting faults on their cars. There were Issues with the gearbox, drivetrain, engine and suspension.

Read our full review of the Land Rover Discovery Sport

Read our full review of the Range Rover Sport

Get a great deal on a Land Rover

Read the full What Car? reliability survey

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