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In association with MotorEasy

Top 50 most reliable cars

Reliability consistently ranks as one of the top priorities for both new and used car buyers, so we've rounded up the most dependable models...

Breakdown survey 2019

Reliability is one of the most important factors for car buyers, with many people spending hours researching the most dependable models before making their purchase.

To save you a lot of time, though, here we’re revealing the 50 most reliable cars you can buy, based on the results of our annual Reliability Survey, conducted in association with MotorEasy.

We asked more than 16,000 readers if their cars had suffered any faults over the past year, how long those issues kept their cars off the road, and how much they were charged for repairs.

We then used this data to give each model a What Car? reliability rating, with six proving 100% dependable. However, nothing in the top 50 scored worse than 96.8%.

The 2022 What Car? Reliability Survey is now open. Tell us about your car for the chance to win a great prize in one of our monthly draws >>

50. BMW 3 Series petrol (2012-2019)

BMW 3 Series

Reliability rating 96.8%

Examples of the sixth-generation 3 Series are up to 10 years old, but only 12% went wrong in the past year. The most common faults were with the exhaust or the non-engine electrics, with half of these resulting in breakdowns and lead times of more than a week for repairs. However, despite the model's age, all repairs were carried out for free, helping to make the 3 Series an attractive prospect on the used market.

BMW 1 Series 118i front

Reliability rating 96.9%

Petrol-powered versions of the latest 1 Series developed faults for 10% of owners, with either the brakes or the fuel system effected. None of these issues prevented cars from being driven, nor did owners have to pay for any repairs. However, BMW did take more than a week to carry out all remedial work.

Read our full BMW 1 Series review >>

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=45. BMW 2 Series Coupé/Convertible (2014-2021)

BMW 2 Series

Reliability rating 96.9%

The recently replaced 2 Series Coupé and Convertible models suffered an even lower fault rate than the 1 Series, with 9% of owners reporting issues. These were all with bodywork, so the cars could still be driven, but while 50% of faulty cars were fixed in less than a day, the rest took more than a week. Half were fixed for free, with the rest costing their owners between £301 and £500.

Read our used BMW 2 Series Coupé buying guide >>

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=45. BMW 5 Series petrol (2018-present)

BMW 5 Series

Reliability rating 96.9%

Petrol 5 Series models suffered almost half the number of faults as diesels, with 16% going wrong, compared with 31%. BMW covered the cost of all repairs, with 50% of work done in a day or less. Only 25% of cars spent more than a week in the garage.

2018 Mini hatchback  – price, specs and release date

Reliability rating 96.9%

Mini owners told us that just 7% of their cars had experienced an issue, most of which concerned the bodywork, battery and engine electrics. Of these, 56% of cars were repaired in less than a day, while the rest spent up to a week in repair shops. Luckily, most were fixed for free (89%), leaving an unlucky 11% of owners with bills of more than £1500.

Read our full Mini hatchback review >>

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=45. Renault Kadjar (2015-present)

Renault Kadjar 1.5 dCi 110

Reliability rating 96.9%

The Kadjar is closely related to the Nissan Qashqai, but is proving a more robust proposition. Only 17% of the cars reported on went wrong, with problems relating to the air-con, engine electrics, interior trim and sat-nav. All cars could still be driven and 80% were out of the garage within a day. Some cars would be outside of the Renault warranty period, but 80% of work was done for free and no repair bills topped £200. 

Read our full Renault Kadjar review >>

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=42. BMW 3 Series diesel (2019-present)

BMW 3 Series front three quarters

Reliability rating 97.0%

A quarter of current-generation 3 Series diesel models had faults, most often with the bodywork, interior trim or non-engine electrics. While that’s significantly more than its petrol predecessor, the good news is that none broke down, and they were all fixed the same day they went in for work, at zero cost.

Read our full BMW 3 Series review >>

=42. Ford Galaxy (2015-present)

Ford Galaxy 2.0 Ecoblue 150 Titanium

Reliability rating 97.0%

Galaxy owners told us that 25% of their cars went wrong, with these suffering suspension-related issues. However, as with the 3 Series, all were fixed in a day or less, with repairs being carried out free of charge.

Read our full Ford Galaxy review >>

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=42. Kia Sportage petrol (2016-2021)

Kia Sportage front - 20-plate car

Reliability rating 97.0%

With less than half the problems of the diesel Sportage (11% compared with 24%), the petrol model is the one to go for if reliability is your priority. Owners told us there were a small percentage of issues with the air-con, brakes, engine, gearbox and non-engine electrics. However, half of the reported faults were rectified in a day or less and only 11% of cars spent more than a week in the garage. The only major concern is that while 87% of work was done for free, some owners faced bills ranging from £51 to £1500. 

Read our used Kia Sportage buying guide >>

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41. Suzuki Vitara (2015-present)

Suzuki Vitara 2022 front right tracking

Reliability rating 97.1%

Among Vitara owners, 15% reported a fault, with air-con and non-engine electrics the areas that were most commonly afflicted. Suzuki and its dealers did cover the cost of all of these repairs, though, with 67% of the vehicles still driveable and fixed within a day.

Read our full Suzuki Vitara review >>

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