The UK’s most & least reliable car makes
We use the data from the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey to find out the most and least reliable car makes you can buy...
Cars have generally got a lot more reliable in the past couple of decades.
However, What Car?’s annual Reliability Survey data - published in association with MotorEasy - suggests a wide gap between the best and worst brands.
Using the data collected from more than 18,000 drivers, firstly let’s look at the most reliable brands, starting at number 10 and rising to number one. Then we’ll look at the least reliable, again starting at number 10 before counting down to the least reliable. At the very end, we'll present the full table of results so you can see how your car make fared.
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10: Honda – 94.9%
Honda has long impressed us with its engineering standards, so it’s no surprise to see it on the Top 10.
9: Skoda – 95.2%
Skoda is the highest-ranking Volkswagen Group brand in our survey, which may come as a surprise as its models are very similar to those from Volkswagen and Seat in most respects. They certainly know how to build a dependable car in the Czech Republic.
8: Mini – 95.4%
Mini’s strong showing was helped by a strong score for its Countryman (pictured), which was the second-most reliable small SUV in our survey with a very respectable score of 99.1%.
7: Hyundai – 95.7%
Hyundai cars generally scored very well. The data suggested that the i40 (pictured) was the most reliable executive-class car, while the previous generation i30 is the third most reliable family car.
6: Kia – 96.3%
Just ahead of Hyundai is its sister brand, Kia. Several strong showings helped the brand, including its Soul (pictured) being judged the most reliable small SUV and Sportage the most reliable family SUV.
5: Subaru – 96.6%
Subarus have long been respected for their toughness, and it looks like this reputation is correct.
4: Tesla – 96.9%
Our data suggested that electric cars are among the most reliable classes of cars you can buy – so perhaps it’s no surprise to see electric-only Tesla do so well.
3: Suzuki – 97.3%
Suzuki’s strong overall score was driven by its Celerio, the highest-ranking city car, and Vitara, the third-placed small SUV.
2: Toyota – 97.7%
Toyotas were present in many car-class top threes in our survey, with the RAV4 (pictured) coming home as the most reliable large SUV, with top three mentions for the Auris (family car category) and Yaris Hybrid (hybrid category).
1: Lexus – 99.3%
Lexus scalps two out of three places in the most reliable hybrid and electric car class with its CT (pictured) and NX models, the former with a remarkable 100% score. The reputation Lexus has for building ultra-reliable cars seems to be built on strong foundations.
So now let’s look at the 10 brands that performed worst in the survey, starting at number 10, going down to number 1 – the UK’s most unreliable car make, according to our data.
10: Citroën – 91.8%
Citroën’s relatively poor showing suggests that French cars’ reputation for unreliability is not entirely unfounded.
9: Porsche – 91.7%
Porsche has traditionally had a strong reputation for making bullet-proof cars, so this is a disappointing showing. It seems its more modern examples are less reliable than its older models.
8: Mercedes-Benz – 90.6%
Mercedes’ C-Class Coupe (pictured) is the most unreliable coupe, convertible or sports car in our survey, while the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class all make unwelcome appearances in their respective categories’ most unreliable top threes.
7: Alfa Romeo – 89.7%
Like Porsche, it seems that Alfa Romeo’s newer cars are relatively less reliable than its older ones.
6: Jaguar – 89.5%
While its XJ (pictured) is the most reliable luxury car by a decent margin, the British brand is let down by poor showings for the XE and XF, which come bottom in their respective classes.
5: Vauxhall – 89.4%
Vauxhall’s showing in our survey was let down by poor scores for its Astra (pictured) and Insignia models.
4: Nissan – 85.7%
It’s surprising to see a Japanese car-maker perform so poorly. Nissan owes its low overall ranking to low scores for its Pulsar, Qashqai and X-Trail (pictured) models.
3: Jeep – 84.4%
Jeep’s poor performance was driven in the main by a low 77.1% score for its Renegade (pictured) small SUV.
2: Renault – 84.2%
Renault’s low overall ranking is in large part down to poor results from its Kadjar family SUV and Zoe electric car (pictured).
1: Land Rover – 81.3%
Land Rover’s poor result was driven in part by it taking all three positions in the least reliable luxury SUV class with its Range Rover (pictured), Range Rover Velar and Discovery models. The Discovery Sport also fared badly in the large SUV class.
Full table of results
This is the full results of the survey by make - Lexus is the most reliable car make.
1 Lexus 99.3%
2 Toyota 97.7%
3 Suzuki 97.3%
4 Tesla 96.9%
5 Subaru 96.6%
6 Kia 96.3%
7 Hyundai 95.7%
8 Mini 95.4%
9 Skoda 95.2%
10 Honda 94.9%
11 Volvo 94.7%
12 Dacia 94.5%
13 Mitsubishi 94.3%
14 Ford 94.1%
15 Seat 93.8%
16 Volkswagen 93.7%
17 Mazda 93.5%
18 Peugeot 93.4%
19 Fiat 93.3%
20 Audi 92.9%
21 BMW 92.1%
22 Citroën 91.8%
23 Porsche 91.7%
24 Mercedes-Benz 90.6%
25 Alfa Romeo 89.7%
26 Jaguar 89.5%
27 Vauxhall 89.4%
28 Nissan 85.7%
29 Jeep 84.4%
30 Renault 84.2%
31 Land Rover 81.3%