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2017 What Car? Reliability Survey

In our 2017 Reliability Survey, we asked more than 14,200 people to tell us about any faults their cars have suffered during the past year. These are the results for small cars aged 0-3yrs

Words ByClaire Evans

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Honda Jazz

Small cars

Not one Honda Jazz owner who completed our survey reported any faults with their car, giving the little Japanese hatchback a perfect reliability score. The previous-generation Jazz did well, too. It sits in fourth place in our table, only troubled by minor niggles.

The Toyota Yaris proves almost as dependable, with no faults reported by owners of the newest cars; only the oldest models suffered from minor bodywork issues.

The five-door Sportback version of Audi’s A1 sits in third place, ahead of the three-door version, which went on sale a couple of years earlier. Only 17% of cars had a fault, and all cars remained driveable and were fixed in less than a week. Again, faults were only reported on older cars.

At the other end of the spectrum, almost 36% of Nissan Notes suffered a fault. Engine and engine electrics were problematic on 10% of petrol versions and, overall, almost 18% of all Notes had non-engine electrical faults and more than 14% suspension issues.

Petrol-engined Mazda 2s also had more than their fair share of non-engine electrical issues, many of them relating to the air-con system, while more than 10% of cars had fuel system problems.

Just over 20% of Volkswagen Polo owners reported faults on their cars and the most common by far was non-engine electrics (15%), with issues with the air-con accounting for half of their complaints. Other problematic areas included the engine stop-start system, the reversing camera and the infotainment screen.

Reliability for small cars aged 0-3yrs

Rank Make and model Score
1 Honda Jazz (2015-present) 100.0%
2 Toyota Yaris (2011-present) 94.2%
3 Audi A1 Sportback (2012-present) 93.1%
4 Honda Jazz (2008-2015) 91.6%
5 Renault Clio petrol (2012-present) 90.1%
6 Skoda Fabia hatch and estate (2015-present) 88.7%
7 Ford Fiesta (2008-2017) 88.3%
8 Hyundai i20 petrol (2015-present) 88.2%
9 Suzuki Swift (2011-2017) 87.7%
10 Audi A1 3dr (2010-present) 86.9%
11 Renault Clio diesel (2012-present) 86.4%
12 Mini hatchback diesel (2014-present) 85.9%
13 MG 3 (2013-present) 83.4%
14 Dacia Sandero (2013-present) 82.2%
15 Mini hatchback diesel (2014-present) 80.5%
16 Hyundai i20 (2009-2015) 78.7%
17 Seat Ibiza (2009-2017) 68.0%
18 Mini Clubman (2015-present) 64.6%
19 Volkswagen Polo (2009-2017) 58.8%
20 Mazda 2 (2015-present) 52.7%
21 Nissan Note (2013-present) 48.6%

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