Revealed: the 10 most unreliable SUVs

There are plenty of SUVs to choose from, but they're not all as dependable as their rugged looks would imply. Here, we reveal the 10 least reliable, according to owners.....

SUVs are popular with families, and the last thing anyone wants is to be left stranded by the roadside with a carload of children.

Renault Kadjar side profile

So, reliability is important, and that's why we asked more than 18,000 people to tell us what went wrong with their car in the previous 12 months.

The results can be found in the What Car Reliability Survey, with us considering 14 different areas: air-con, battery, bodywork, brakes, engine, engine electrics, exhaust, fuel system, gearbox, interior trim, non-engine electrics, sat-nav, steering and suspension. For each fault, we asked owners to tell us how long the car took to be fixed and how much it cost. And from this information, we created a unique reliability rating for each model; 218 in total across 31 brands.

Here we've used our data to compile a countdown of the most unreliable SUVs. These are the models that spent the most time in the garage having faults put right and which cost owners the most in repair bills.

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10: Land Rover Discovery (2004-2017)

Land Rover Discovery (2004-2017) front three quarters

Reliability rating: 82.5%

Don’t assume that the old Land Rover Discovery sits in the bottom 10 for reliability because it’s old; the latest version scored just 1% better, and 41% of both models suffered faults.

10: Land Rover Discovery - interior

Land Rover Discovery 4 - interior

Around half took more than a week to fix, and while most were fixed under warranty, some cost as much as £750.

9: Nissan Qashqai petrol (2014-present)

Nissan QASHQAI 1.5 DCI 115 ACENTA PREMIUM 5DR

Reliability rating: 82.1%

Petrol Nissan Qashqais performed slightly worse than diesels: 48% had a fault compared with 42% of their diesel sisters. Battery trouble afflicted 24% of cars and 6% had brake issues and problems with their engine.

9: Nissan Qashqai - interior

Nissan QASHQAI 1.5 DCI 115 ACENTA PREMIUM 5DR - interior

The only upside is that half were fixed the same day and three-quarters of work was free.

8: Land Rover Discovery Sport (2014-present)

Land Rover Discovery Sport (2014 on) front three quarters

Reliability rating: 81.9%

Some 43% of Land Rover Discovery Sport owners experienced trouble, with issues spanning all of our categories apart from the steering.

8: Land Rover Discovery Sport - interior

Land Rover Discovery Sport

A quarter of cars took more than a week to fix; most work was free, but a small number presented bills of more than £1500.

7: Renault Kadjar (2015-present)

Renault Kadjar front

Reliability rating: 81.3%

Renault Kadjars had a lot of electrical gremlins; 34% went wrong, and 11% of those related to non-engine electrics.

7: Renault Kadjar - interior

Renault Kadjar - interior

Three-quarters were off the road for more than a week, and while 75% of work was done for free, some owners had to pay from £51 to more than £1500.

6: Ford Edge (2016-2019)

Ford Edge 2019 Front right tracking shot

Reliability rating: 80.7%

Ford Edge owners spend a lot of time in garages; 45% of their cars suffered a fault and around half were laid up for more than a week.

6: Ford Edge - interior

Ford Edge 2019 RHD dashboard

Air-con and non-engine electrics caused the most trouble (15%), among a range of issues. Thankfully, all repairs were done for free.

5: Range Rover Evoque (2011-2019)

Range Rover Evoque (2011-2019) front three quarters

Reliability rating: 78.4%

The previous-generation Range Rover Evoque is the least reliable family SUV. Owners told us their cars had trouble in 13 of our 14 categories; only the steering was unaffected.

5: Range Rover Evoque - interior

Range Rover Evoque interior

Most work was carried out for free, but some cost from £101 to more than £1500.

4: Range Rover Velar (2017-present)

2020 Range Rover Velar P250 R-Dynamic SE driving

Reliability rating: 77.9%

A shocking 48% of Range Rover Velar owners told us their car had suffered a fault, with 33% of cars suffering non-engine electrical issues.

4: Range Rover Velar - interior

2020 Range Rover Velar P250 R-Dynamic SE interior

Other problems affected the bodywork, interior trim and sat-nav. Every car was fixed for free, but half were in the garage for more than a week.

=2: Nissan X-Trail (2014-present)

Nissan X-Trail 2019 RHD front right tracking

Reliability rating: 77.1%

Don't be fooled by the Nissan X-Trail’s looks; it isn’t that tough.

=2: Nissan X-Trail - interior

Nissan X-Trail 2019 RHD dashboard

In fact, it was the least dependable large SUV and had faults in 11 of our 14 categories. Around half of cars were repaired the same day, but the others were off the road for more than a week. While many were fixed for free, some owners had to pay up to £1500.

=2: Jeep Renegade (2015-present)

Jeep Renegade

Reliability rating: 77.1%

The Jeep Renegade is the least reliable small SUV.

=2: Jeep Renegade - interior

Jeep Renegade interior picture

Owners old us their cars had been plagued by electrical faults, with some saying their DAB radios and dashboard displays had stopped working. Most cars could still be driven and were fixed the same day, but a third of owners had to pay between £51 and £1500.

1: Range Rover (2013-present)

Range Rover

Reliability rating: 69.3%

It may be hugely desirable, but the Range Rover is the least dependable SUV here. Its most common complaint area is the battery, but some major components went wrong, too, including the gearbox and suspension, at some price.

1: Range Rover - interior

Range Rover interior picture

Half of the repairs were free, but a third cost at least £1000. A third of cars were static for more than a week.

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