The most reliable SUVs in the UK

Here we count down the 10 most reliable SUVs on the market today...

SUVs are increasingly popular among both new and used car buyers, but you'll want to be sure your next 4x4 isn't going to let you down.

SUV compilation image

Each year, our Reliability Survey shows you which models will keep going until the end of time, and which are most likely to end up costing you a pretty penny at the dealer's service centre. And in 2019, our survey was bigger than ever before, thanks to the 18,119 readers who got in touch to tell us about the problems they've had with their cars over the last year.

As well as taking details of the problems experienced, we also took into account how long each took to be fixed, as well as how much our readers had to pay in repair bills. That data then helped us to form our unique reliability ratings.

In this story, we're looking at the reliability of SUVs up to five years old. In the case of each model, you can find out more by reading our in-depth reviews, or see how much we can save you on a new car with What Car? New Car Buying.

Slideshow story - please click right-hand arrow above to continue

10: Volvo XC60 (2017-on) 97.7%

Volvo XC60 driving

While the Volvo XC60 starts our list here, it was actually the fourth most reliable large SUV in our survey, out-performing rivals including the Audi Q5 and Skoda Kodiaq.

10: Volvo XC60 - interior

Volvo XC60 interior

The XC60 is a fine choice if you're looking for a larger SUV, too, with lots of standard kit, a superb driving position and a high-quality interior.

9= Mazda CX-5 petrol (2017-on) 97.8%

Mazda CX-5 front and side

Petrol versions of the Mazda CX-5 prove to be the most reliable, but diesel versions aren't too far behind, with a score of 96.4%.

And in any case, the CX-5 performs better than some SUVs that cost a lot more, for example the latest BMW X3 and Jaguar F-Pace.

9= Mazda CX-5 - interior

Mazda CX-5 2.2d SE-L Nav+ - interior

Like both of those cars, the CX-5 only offer space for five, but it's still one of our favourite large SUVs thanks to its classy interior and tidy handling.

9= Peugeot 3008 diesel (2017-on) 97.8%

Peugeot 3008

It's worth pointing out that while the diesel-engined Peugeot 3008 is the only version that makes it into this top 10, the petrol-engined alternative is only a few percentage points behind it in terms of reliability, with a score of 97%.

9= Peugeot 3008 - interior

Peugeot 3008 - interior

As well as looking suitably stylish, the 3008 also has plenty of family friendly substance to back them up, with a high-quality interior, a large boot and a decent ride.

7: Audi Q3 petrol (2011-2018) 98%

Audi Q3 Sportback front three quarters

The previous Audi Q3 performed very well in our Reliability Survey, but only in petrol form. Indeed, if you choose a diesel-engined version, the reliability rating slides to 90.4%.

Fortunately, the 1.4-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines available with the Q3 should suit the vast majority of buyers.

7: Audi Q3 - interior

Audi Q3 35 TFSI Sport S tronic [Comfort and Sound Pack] - interior

Indeed, no petrol engines encountered trouble at all; the only gremlins were the bodywork and non-engine electrics, with some infotainment systems failing. Every car remained drivable, but half spent more than a week in the garage. All work was carried out for free.

6: Volvo XC40 (2018-on) 98.4%

Volvo XC40 D4 R-Design front three quarters

The XC40 is a former What Car? Car of the Year, so we already know that it's both spacious and good to drive.

That it's also reliable comes as an added bonus, with an overall rating of 98.4%. And that rating is for both petrol and diesel engines, so no matter which fuel you choose, you can rest easy knowing that very little will go wrong.

6: Volvo XC40 - interior

Volvo XC40 D3 R-Design - interior

In our results, only 11% of XC40s had a fault, and the affected areas were split evenly between the bodywork, fuel system and sat-nav.

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

5: Kia Sportage (2016-on) 98.6%

Kia Sportage

The Kia Sportage is the most reliable family SUV in our survey, with very few cars going wrong.

5: Kia Sportage - interior

Kia Sportage - interior

Of those that did, some of the faults were major, meaning that two-thirds of affected cars couldn't be driven for at least a week. That being said, all the repair work carried out was free.

4: Honda CR-V petrol (2012-2018) 98.7%

Honda CR-V Hybrid front three quarters

Petrol Honda CR-Vs perform far better than their diesel-engined equivalents, with just 11% experiencing a fault.

On petrol-engined cars, none of the faults that did appear concerned the engine, either, and were instead split evenly between the braking systems and the gearbox/clutch.

4: Honda CR-V - interior

Honda CR-V Hybrid - interior

Honda dealers repaired all of these the same day and charged no fees.

3: Mini Countryman (2017-on) 99.1%

Mini Countryman

Of the few (5%) Mini Countrymans which did experience issues, the main areas affected were the interior trim and non-engine electrics. All examples remained driveable and all were fixed in less than a week without costing their owners a penny.

3: Mini Countryman - interior

Mini Countryman - interior

Other qualities that we like about the Mini Countryman, aside from its reliability, include its keen handling, its spacious boot and its good-quality interior.

2: Toyota RAV4 (2013-2019) 99.5%

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Design 2.5 AWD Automatic

It should be no surprise to see Toyota do well here – the Japanese brand has a solid reputation for reliability whether it's building city cars or pick-up trucks, and as our results show, it's well earned.

2: Toyota RAV4 - interior

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Design 2.5 AWD Automatic - interior

Only 3% of all Toyota RAV4s had a problem, and even then the only area affected was non-engine electrics. As you might expect, all fixes were carried out under warranty and completed in less than a week.

1: Kia Soul (2014-2019) 100%

Kia Soul front three quarters

No Kia Soul went wrong for our owners – not a single one. And that's good, since three-quarters of the owners we surveyed said they considered reliability to be the most important thing when buying a new car.

1: Kia Soul - interior

Kia Soul - interior

This Korean-made small SUV has other attributes going for it as well, including a generous amount of kit, decent boot space and a tasteful interior.

If you want an SUV that really won't let you down, the Kia Soul is the one to get – and to that end, there's an all-new version coming soon.

We hope you enjoyed this story. To easily access more like it, why not sign up to receive our email newsletter? What Car? is the UK’s biggest car-buying brand and has been helping Britain’s car buyers make purchasing decisions for over 40 years, and the newsletter will keep you up to date with all our latest stories. And signing up takes less than 30 seconds. Click here to sign up

Related cars