What's the most reliable type of car?
Do gadget-laden luxury cars and high-tech hybrids suffer more faults than simple small hatchbacks? We reveal the most and least reliable car classes...
4. Small SUVs
Reliability rating 93.3%
They may be the smallest SUVs you can buy, but they're also the most dependable. In fact, some of the most reliable models overall are in this competitive class.
Three-quarters of owners of the previous-generation Kia Soul said the thing they considered most important when buying was reliability, and this SUV has really lived up to their expectations, with not a single one going wrong.
However, not all small SUVs are top notch for reliability. According to owners, 50% of Jeep Renegades suffered a problem. The model has been plagued by electrical faults, with some owners telling us their DAB radios and dashboard displays stopped working properly. Most cars could still be driven and were fixed the same day, but a third of owners had to pay between £51 and £1500.
3. Family cars
Reliability rating 94.1%
The 2012-2019 model must be a rare sight in Skoda’s service departments because just 5% of the cars we were told about had a problem in the previous 12 months. Those that did were afflicted by only minor issues with exterior trim.
In contrast, Vauxhall dealers may be seeing a lot of diesel Astras because 40% of these had a fault. Diesel engined models have a 10% lower reliability rating than their petrol siblings, and nearly twice as many went wrong. Nearly a quarter of issues were with the braking system, and one in five were with the engine or gearbox/clutch. Nearly a third of cars took more than a week to fix, but at least all the work was done under warranty.
2. Small and city cars
Reliability rating 94.7%
Top of the heap is the Suzuki Celerio; only 11% of cars went wrong and only the gearbox was affected. While this could be a serious area for problems, all cars could still be driven and all were fixed under warranty in less than a week.
However, not all small cars are perfectly formed; the previous Seat Ibiza isn’t ageing well. More than a quarter were faulty, with non-engine electrics the most troublesome area. A third took more than a week to fix; less than half of the fixes were done under warranty and some repairs cost up to £500.
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