The most reliable family SUVs - and the least

Family SUVs might be bought for their style and practicality, but they also need to be robust enough to withstand the rigours of daily life. So, which are the most and least reliable?...

Family SUVs need to satisfy the needs of all the family. The best are entertaining to drive, have a cosseting interior and are packed with enough features to keep little passengers happy. 

Most and least reliable family SUVs

Most importantly they need to be utterly dependable – after all, it's every parent's worst nightmare to be stuck on a motorway hard shoulder with a car-load of tired children waiting for a recovery truck to turn up. 

That's where the What Car? Reliability Survey can help. Using feedback from more than 18,000 car owners, we've rated 218 models from 31 brands, based on how many faults they suffered in the last year, how long each problem kept the car off the road and the cost of any repairs.

Here we reveal the best and worst family SUVs aged one to five years old. And we're running our Reliability Survey again at the moment, so once you’ve read the story, please tell us about your own car.

10. Toyota C-HR (2016-present)

Toyota C-HR Hybrid

Score 95.0%

Although 24% of C-HR owners reported a fault with their car, the areas concerned weren't the most serious: 9% of faults were with non-engine electrical systems and the sat nav, and 3% were to do with the bodywork and suspension

Toyota C-HR (Cont.)

Toyota C-HR Hybrid - interior

All cars could still be driven and were fixed in less than a day. Virtually all repairs were done under warranty; only a small percentage of owners were presented with bills of up to £50

9. Kia Sportage (2010-2016)

2014 Kia Sportage review

Score 95.3%

In spite of its age, the previous-generation Sportage is still looking pretty durable. Owners said 20% of cars had suffered a fault, with issues split evenly between engine electrics, the gearbox and non-engine electrics

Kia Sportage (Cont.)

Used test – reliable SUVs: Kia Sportage vs Mazda CX-5

Two-thirds of cars couldn't be driven, but all were fixed in less than a week and all work was carried out for free

8. Volkswagen Tiguan (2007-2016)

Volkswagen Tiguan - 57-plate car

Score 95.7%

Just over 26% of previous-generation Tiguans went wrong, with non-engine electrical issues the most common complaint, affecting 11% of cars, followed by the exhaust system (5%). 

Volkswagen Tiguan (Cont.)

Volkswagen Tiguan - interior

Fortunately, all cars could still be driven and were put right in less than a week, and all work was done under warranty.

7. Volkswagen Tiguan (2016-present)

Volkswagen Tiguan

Score 96.0%

The latest Tiguan is proving a little sturdier than the previous one, though, it too can suffer from electrical problems; 20% of cars had a fault and 7% of those were on non-engine electrics. The other main area of concern was bodywork, with 6% of cars having an issue. 

Volkswagen Tiguan (Cont.)

Used test: Seat Ateca vs Volkswagen Tiguan

The majority of cars were repaired in less than a day and all work was done for free.  

6. Hyundai Tucson (2015-present)

Hyundai Tucson

Score 96.6%

While the Hyundai Tucson is pretty reliable on the whole, 15% of cars had a fault and 8% of those were with the gearbox/clutch

Hyundai Tucson (Cont.)

Used Hyundai Tucson (2015-present)

Fortunately, all cars could still be driven, and while half took more than a week to be fixed, no owners faced repair bills

5. Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (2013-present)

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

Score 96.9%

Only 11% of SX4 S-Cross owners said their car had gone wrong in the previous 12 months, with issues split evenly between the battery, bodywork and engine electrics

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (Cont.)

2016 Suzuki SX4 S-Cross 1.0 Boosterjet review

Half of the cars couldn't be driven, but all were repaired in less than a day and only half of the owners surveyed had to contribute to the cost, paying between £51 and £100.

4. Peugeot 3008 (2017-present)

Peugeot 3008 off-road

Score 97.4%

The latest 3008 is almost as rugged as it looks - only 10% of cars went wrong and issues were mainly centred on the bodywork, steering and suspension

Peugeot 3008 (Cont.)

Peugeot 3008 - interior

All cars could still be driven, but some took more than a week to put right. No owners were asked to contribute to repairs, though. 

3. Audi Q3 petrol (2011-2018)

Audi Q3 front three quarters

Score 98.0%

Petrol Audi Q3s proved far sturdier than diesels; 12% went wrong compared with 25% of diesels, and their additional issues were with the engine itself and its electrics.

Audi Q3 (Cont.)

Audi Q3 interior

No petrol engines encountered trouble; the only gremlins were the bodywork and non-engine electrics, and with some infotainment systems failing.

Every car remained drivable, but half spent more than a week in the garage. At least all work was done for free

2. Volvo XC40 (2017-present)

Volvo XC40 front three quarters

Score 98.4%

Although 11% of Volvo XC40s had a fault, the areas concerned were mostly minor, being split evenly between the bodywork, fuel system and sat-nav.

Volvo XC40 (Cont.)

Volvo XC40 D3 R-Design - interior

This meant half were back on the road the same day and the others were repaired within a week. No owner was charged for any repair work.

1. Kia Sportage (2016-present)

Kia Sportage

Score 98.6%

Only a tiny percentage of Kia Sportages went wrong, with the few that did suffering from gearbox/clutch, brake system and engine issues.

Kia Sportage (Cont.)

Kia Sportage - interior

Because some of the problems were with major components, two-thirds kept the cars in the garage for more than a week, but all repairs were carried out for free.

Now let's find out what the least reliable family SUVs are...

3. Nissan Qashqai (2014-present)

Nissan Qashqai front cornering - 63-plate car

Score 82.7%

Petrol Nissan Qashqais performed slightly worse than diesels – 48% of petrol cars had a fault compared with 42% of diesels – but both had far more problems than the most reliable family SUVs.

Nissan Qashqai (Conti)

Nissan Qashqai interior

Battery trouble afflicted 24% of cars and 6% had brake issues and problems with their engines. The only upside is that half were fixed the same day and three-quarters of work was done for free. 

2. Renault Kadjar (2015-present)

Renault Kadjar

Score 81.3%

Renault Kadjars suffered a lot of electrical gremlins; 34% of the cars we were told about went wrong and 11% of faults were related to non-engine electrics.

Renault Kadjar (Cont.)

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

1. Range Rover Evoque (2011-2019)

Range Rover Evoque (2011-2019) front three quarters

Score 78.4%

Previous-generation Range Rover Evoque owners had trouble in 13 of our 14 categories; only the steering was unaffected. Nearly half of cars were off the road for more than a week and 10% were undriveable.

Range Rover Evoque (Cont.)

Range Rover Evoque interior

True, most work was carried out for free, but some repair bills cost from £101 to more than £1500. 

Related cars

Volkswagen Tiguan

2020 - present

A little pricey, but otherwise a fine family SUV