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What Car? Reliability Survey: Most and least reliable large SUVs

In our annual Reliability Survey, we ask readers to rate the dependability of cars aged up to five years old. Here we list the most and least reliable large SUVs in the UK...

Large SUV reliability main image

Large SUVs are roomy, luxuriously appointed and supremely comfortable, and the best ones are also dependable companions that don't let you down. 

There are plenty of good models to choose from and the class has consistently performed well in our annual Reliability Survey. Last year the average score for large SUVs was 92.6% and this year it's risen slightly to 92.9%. 

Yet the car that topped our table, and is the most reliable large SUV, is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

How the research was carried out

The latest What Car? Reliability Survey gained 21,7 32 responses and that enabled us to report on 178 models (up to five years old) from 32 brands. 

To compile the survey, conducted in association with MotorEasy, we ask thousands of car owners to tell us how well their cars had behaved over the previous 24 months. 

For every car that has suffered a fault, we ask in what area the issue occurred, plus how much it cost to repair and how long it spent in the workshop. This information is used to create a reliability rating for each model and brand where we have a large enough response rate.

The 2024 What Car? Reliability Survey is live, tell us about your car now

Most reliable large SUVs

1. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (2019-present)

Toyota RAV4 front cornering

Reliability rating 98.7%

What went wrong? Battery 2%, non-engine electrics 1%, sat-nav/infotainment 1%

As well as being frugal, the hybrid Toyota RAV4 is a dependable choice, with just 2% of them going wrong. Remedial work wasn’t always swift: half of the faulty cars took up to seven days to put right and a quarter were out of action for more than a week. Three-quarters of work was done for free, but the remainder cost owners up to £200.

Owner’s view: “It was expensive to buy, but it’s been 100% reliable.”

2. Lexus RX (2016-2022)

Lexus RX L front right tracking shot

Reliability rating 98.6%

Like the Toyota RAV4, the Lexus RX shows that being a complex hybrid is no barrier to strong reliability. Only 8% of owners told us their cars had gone wrong, and those faults were to do with engine electrics and the fuel system. None of the cars was undriveable, but it took up to a week to fix them. All work was done for free.

3. Volvo XC60 petrol/hybrid (2017-present)

Volvo XC60 front cornering

Reliability rating 97.9%

Although these versions of the Volvo XC60 were hit by slightly more issues than diesel models (12% versus 11%), they were all fixed for free, so they rank higher. The engine was the most common fault area, followed by the battery and bodywork. Two-thirds of cars were fixed within a day.

4. Honda CR-V (2018-2023)

Honda CR-V 2022 front right tracking

Reliability rating 97.5%

The previous Honda CR-V never set the world alight with its driver appeal, but it's doing a spectacular job of maintaining the model – and brand's –  reputation for hugely dependable vehicles. Only 14% of the CR-Vs in our survey had any issues, and most were minor non-engine electrical gremlins that were quick and easy to fix. All faulty cars remained driveable, and two-thirds were out of the garage in less than a week. Best of all, Honda and its dealers covered the cost of all remedial work. 

5. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (2014-2021)

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV RHD front left cornering

Reliability rating 97.2%

Issues with the 12-volt battery were the only complaints of Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV owners. Only 6% of cars went wrong, and although they all cost £100-£200 to put right, they were all back on the road in a day or less. 

6. Volvo XC60 diesel (2017-present)

Volvo XC60 2022 front cornering

Reliability rating 96.2%

Diesel versions of the Volvo XC60 lag behind the petrol and hybrid models in this chart because some of them landed owners with bills of £350-£500, whereas all other fuel types were fixed for free. That said, only 12% of diesels went wrong, with owners citing electrical issues, including sat-nat/infotainment system glitches, as the main bugbear. There were also some reports of problems with the brake and exhaust systems. Eighty percent of cars were out of the workshop in less than a week. 

7. Alfa Romeo Stelvio (2017-present)

Alfa Romeo Stelvio front cornering

Reliability rating 95.8%

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is proving pretty robust so far, with only 17% of the owners who completed our survey reporting any problems. The main headaches were with various electrical systems, and there were also some concerns over brake and exhaust systems. Three-quarters of cars could still be driven and were fixed within a day, but the remaining 25% spent more than a week off the road. Although 50% of work was paid for by Alfa Romeo, the remaining repairs cost owners up to £200 per fault.  

8. Audi Q5 petrol (2018-present)

Audi Q5 50 TFSIe 2022 nose

Reliability rating 95.6%

Although the petrol Audi Q5 has a fairly high fault rate of 27%, it's a better bet than the diesel, which has a 35% incidence of problems. Petrol cars were also quicker and cheaper to fix. Owners told us that 100% of petrol Q5 repair work was done for free, compared with 75% for diesels. And 63% of petrols were fixed in a day or less, while only 385 of diesels were. The main concerns for petrol Q5 owners were electrical glitches and the gearbox/clutch. 

9. BMW X5 (2018-2023)

BMW X5 front cornering

Reliability rating 95.0%

Although a quarter of the BMW X5s in our survey had a problem, the majority were easy-to-fix issues with the bodywork. There were also some reports of electrical faults and problems with the brakes and engine. However, 85% of cars remained driveable and 69% were fixed in a day or less. Reassuringly for owners, BMW paid for all repair work. 

10. Mazda CX-5 diesel (2017-present)

Mazda CX-5 2022 front cornering

Reliability rating 94.6%

Even though diesel Mazda CX-5s went wrong more often than petrol models (25% of diesels had a fault compared with 18% of petrols), their issues were quicker and no more costly to put right. Diesel CX-5 issues spanned a wide range of areas, including the bodywork, brakes, electrics, exhaust, fuel system and interior trim.  

All faulty diesel models could still be driven and two-thirds were fixed in a day or less; in contrast, nearly 40% of petrols cars were rendered undriveable by faults, and 19% of them were out of action for more than a week. Two-thirds of diesel models were fixed for free and no bills exceeded £200. 

Least reliable large SUVs

1. Ford Kuga diesel (2013-2020)

Ford Kuga

Reliability rating 85.0%

What went wrong? Battery 14%, non-engine electrics 14%, engine electrics 9%, interior trim 5%, sat-nav/infotainment 5%, air-con 2%, bodywork 2%, brakes 2%, exhaust 2%, suspension 2%

Diesel versions of the Ford Kuga went wrong more often than petrols (28% versus 20%), and they took longer to fix – 28% of cars we were told about were off the road for more than a week, whereas all petrols were fixed within seven days. Ford paid for 80% of repairs on Kuga diesels, but 4% of owners had to pay up to £1500.

Owner’s view “A great car that’s let down by some poor parts, like a battery that couldn’t cope with extra factory-fitted equipment.”

2. MG HS (2019-present)

MG HS 2022 front cornering

Reliability rating 86.9%

It may be well-priced, but the MG HS isn’t the most robust. Owners told us 22% of their cars had been hit by a problem in areas including the battery, brakes, electrics, gearbox/clutch and infotainment. Nearly half were undriveable, and 38% took more than a week to fix. Most (94%) of the repair work was done for free, though.

3. Range Rover Velar (2017-present)

2020 Range Rover Velar D180 front

Reliability rating 87.0%

Bodywork and electrical issues were the main bugbears for owners of the Range Rover Velar, accounting for 15% and 9% of faults respectively. Although most cars could still be driven, 44% took more than a week to be fixed. While 75% of work was paid for by Land Rover, some owners faced bills of up to £750 and 6% had to pay more than £1500.

4. Audi Q5 diesel (2018-present)

Audi Q5 front right tracking

Reliability rating 87.1%

Diesel versions of the Audi Q5 are more prone to problems than petrol models, which are featured in our list of the most relable: 35% of diesels suffered a fault compared with 27% of petrols. They're also more costly to get fixed: only 75% of issues on diesel models were fixed for free, and some owners had to pay more than £1500 to get their cars repaired. Audi covered the cost of all petrol problems. Although most vehicles could still be driven, 42% spent more than a week in the garage. The most common complaints were with the brakes, electrics and interior trim. 

5. Land Rover Defender (2020-present)

Land Rover Defender 130 front driving

Reliability rating 87.8%

Engine and electrical issues were the main bugbears for owners of the 26% of Land Rover Defender models that went wrong; they accounted for 13% and 9% of faults respectively. Although most cars could still be driven, 54% took more than a week to be fixed. The good news is that all work was paid for by Land Rover, so no owners were left with unexpected bills. 

6. Ford Kuga petrol/plug-in hybrid (2021-present)

Ford Kuga front cornering

Reliability rating 88.2%

The latest Ford Kuga is a better prospect than the previous version. Although owners told us 34% of their cars had gone wrong, Ford covered the cost of 91% of remedial work and those who had to pay didn't have to find more than £200 per fault. Repair work wasn't fast though; 57% of vehicles were out of action for more than a week. The 12-volt battery was the most troublesome component, accounting for 26% of all faults.  

7. Citroen C5 Aircross (2018-present)

Citroën C5 Aircross front driving

Reliability rating 88.4%

Electrical issues with the engine and other systems were the biggest headaches for Citroen C5 Aircross owners, who told us 35% of their cars had a problem. The good news is that Citroen paid for all faults to be fixed, but two-thirds of cars were stuck in the workshop for more than a week. 

8. BMW X3 petrol (2018-present)

BMW X3 front left tracking

Reliability rating 91.6%

Petrol versions of the BMW X3 are proving more troublesome than diesels: 29% of petrol X3s went wrong compared with 19% of diesels. One in every five faulty cars was rendered undriveable, and the same proportion took more than seven days to fix. The sat-nav/infotainment system and various electrical components were the main issues. The only reassuring aspect for owners is that BMW covered the cost of all repairs.  

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

Red Mazda CX-5 front right driving

Reliability rating 92.9%

Again it's petrol versions of the Mazda CX-5 that have given owners the most grief. Although petrol models suffered fewer faults than diesels (18% compared with 25%), their issues took more time to fix. Bodywork and electrical issues were the most common complaints, and these things kept 19% of cars in the garage for more than a week. While Mazda paid for the repairs in 69% of cases, some owners were left with bills of up to £1000. 

10. Jaguar F-Pace (2016-present)

Jaguar F-Pace front cornering

Reliability rating 93.2%

Only 15% of the Jaguar F-Pace models reported on went wrong, and the model's score of 93% reflects the fact that it's performed far better than many rivals for dependability. Problems ranged across a wide spectrum of components, including the aircon, battery, bodywork and sat-nav/infotainment system. Jaguar covered the cost of 95% of remedial work, but that left 5% of owners with bills of up to £1500. 

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

All cars and SUVs here
Most reliable small cars
Most reliable family cars
Most reliable executive cars
Most reliable luxury cars
Most reliable small SUVs
Most reliable family SUVs
Most reliable seven-seaters
Most reliable electric cars
Most reliable electric SUVs
Most reliable sports cars
Most reliable car brands
Most reliable diesel cars

Reliability of large SUVs aged up to five years old

Rank Make and model Score
1 Toyota RAV4 (2019-present) 98.7%
2 2016-2022 Lexus RX 98.6%
3 Volvo XC60 petrol/hybrid (2017-present) 97.9%
4 2018-2023 Honda CR-V 97.5%
5 2013-2021 Mitsubishi Outlander 97.2%
6 Volvo XC60 diesel (2017-present) 96.2%
7 Alfa Romeo Stelvio (2017-present) 95.8%
8 Audi Q5 petrol (2018-present) 95.6%
9 2018-2023 BMW X5 diesel/hybrid (2018-present) 95.0%
10 Mazda CX-5 diesel (2017-present) 94.6%
11 2015-2022 Mercedes GLC 94.1%
12 Porsche Macan (2014-present) 94.1%
13 BMW X3 diesel (2018-present) 93.9%
14 2013-2020 Ford Kuga petrol 93.8%
15 Jaguar F-Pace (2016-present) 93.2%
16 Mazda CX-5 petrol (2017-present) 92.9%
17 BMW X3 petrol (2018-present) 91.6%
18 Citroën C5 Aircross (2018-present) 88.4%
19 Ford Kuga petrol/plug-in hybrid (2021-present) 88.2%
20 Land Rover Defender (2020-present) 87.8%
21 Audi Q5 diesel (2018-present) 87.1%
22 Range Rover Velar (2017-present) 87.0%
23 MG HS (2019-present) 86.9%
24 2013-2020 Ford Kuga diesel 85.0%

About the report author

Claire Evans has been a motoring journalist for more than 30 years, and has focussed on consumer issues for much of that time. She was the advice columnist for Carweek magazine in the 1990s, helping car owners with faulty cars get the right level of reparation from car makers.

She also spent six years working on motoring content for Which?, and it is here she oversaw the running of the charity's annual used car reliability survey.

Claire launched the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2017, and since then has helped thousands of buyers choose the most reliable new cars and SUVs, as well as the most dependable used cars.

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