Japanese manufacturers dominate a survey of Britain's most reliable used cars

Honda has been named the most reliable used car manufacturer for the ninth consecutive year, according to research by What Car? and Warranty Direct. Suzuki and Toyota completed the top three places. Chevrolet, Ford, Skoda, Peugeot and Fiat also forced their way into the top 10.

The annual survey covers 38 manufacturers and analyses 50,000 live Warranty Direct policies on three to eight-year-old vehicles. Warranty Direct’s unique Reliability Index (RI) calculates a score for vehicle’s reliability using a complex formula that takes into account its failure rate, age, mileage and cost of repair. The lower the RI number, the more trustworthy the car.

Luxury and prestige marques traditionally score poorly due to high replacement component and labour costs. Bentley and Porsche were among the poorest scorers. According to Warranty Direct, 93% of Bentleys on its books suffered a problem each year, making it Britain’s least dependable car maker.

However, Bentley rejected the survey's findings, releasing a statement saying: “The Warranty Direct survey is not an accurate reflection of the Bentley ownership experience, as it covers less than four per cent of the Bentley vehicles of comparable age on the road in the UK.  It also fails to include any comparable high luxury brands as a benchmark.  Due to the very high quality materials and components used throughout our vehicles, the cost of owning and maintaining a Bentley is never going to be directly comparable with the other cars in this survey.

“Bentley has such confidence in the reliability and build quality of its cars that it offers those customers wanting complete peace-of-mind a comprehensive and industry-leading three-year warranty on any Pre-Owned car up to 11 years old.  The Bentley warranty covers all mechanical and electrical components, includes cover against consequential damage and MOT test insurance, and has no mileage or claim limit.”

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Overall, the most reliable models are the Honda Jazz and Mitsubishi Lancer, both of which also carry reasonable average repair costs. The least reliable model is the Audi RS6, but the mighty Subaru Impreza is the most costly to fix, with an eye-watering average repair bill of £1635.70. 

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16 April 2015
Not surprising at all. Also not surprising is seeing VW languish in 19th place, below such reliability luminaries such as Fiat at 10th and Citreon in 11th place.

16 April 2015
Are these results not a bit misleading if they take the cost of labour and component parts into account? No one would expect parts for a Bentley to be in line with the parts for a Honda would they? Interest to read that 93% of them suffer a problem each year though, I wounder what the typical problem is

16 April 2015
A shame though that there aren't really any Honda models that appeal to those of us who don't like Notes or CRVs.

The Lancer is an interesting choice, uses a VW diesel engine, and in saloon form (as sold in Ireland) looks like an Evo!


16 April 2015
I think this survey tries to cover too many bases which skews the results making it virtually meaningless.
Have a reliability index by all means based on the number of claims, but if cost is to be measured - this should be separate. As Bentley said - Bentley (or any other prestige brand) will never have comparable parts costs.
We have always known that Honda, Toyota, and Subaru are the most reliable cars on the road. But here already by adding repair costs in Subaru has taken a fall. To be honest Mitsubishi parts are as expensive (in some cases MORE expensive) than a Mercedes-Benz, and no way could Mitsubishi claim to be a premium product...worthy though they are.
I am not at all surprised to see Audi/VW struggling. Their current level of complexity is causing headaches for owners, great cars though they are.
The top 10 are pretty much all basic simple cars, and the bottom 10 are all some of the most complex vehicles, so no surprises there then!
I note that Land Rover products get a good caning!

16 April 2015
It was interesting when Autocar covered Fleet's and showed the cars that had the biggest problems then. And again it was all th German premium manufacturers, bar BMW, who appeared to have the most problems. VW have admitted they have had to upgrade a load of machinery in their factory as it had got to old and was not producing parts properly hence a number of problems with DSG boxes etc etc. I would rather support a company that supports it customers rather than making technology which provides no clear benefit to me, and charges me a premium for said benefits. I am youngish and still able to drive down a road, change gear, stay awake, change lane if I need to, all on my own accord!

16 April 2015
Its main purpose is to get publicity and credence for Warranty Direct, for which it has succeeded. But the survey is based only on cars covered by Warranty direct policies so may not be a reflection on the whole car population. Also, it's worth bearing in mind that all cars are relatively reliable these days, so small differences in ranking order from this survey really don't mean anything.

16 April 2015
LP in Brighton wrote:

Its main purpose is to get publicity and credence for Warranty Direct, for which it has succeeded. But the survey is based only on cars covered by Warranty direct policies so may not be a reflection on the whole car population.

A bigger issue is that it's that both the formula and data behind it is hidden. It's easy enough to make statistics say whatever you want when nobody can scrutinise them.

Not to mention that judging from their site some cars have laughably few data points. You can't say which component is most likely to fail when only six failures total for that car model have been recorded.

16 April 2015
Maybe they just need to change the headline from 'Reliability' to 'Cost of Ownership' survey.
Also, not suprizing to see Mercedes having 4 cars in the bottom 10 judging by such crazy spare prices such as a fuel pump for an 6 year old A class.

16 April 2015
I agree with others that this survey is imperfectly constructed, but the Bentley rep is quite wrong to say that the survey is meaningless because it covers only 4% of the Bentleys on the road. When was the last time a political poll asked 35 million people who they were going to vote for?

16 April 2015
275not599 wrote:

...but the Bentley rep is quite wrong to say that the survey is meaningless...

No he's not, the difference between this and electoral polling is that Bentleys, Porsches, Ferraris, etc. don't get used as much as more everyday cars, particularly in London, and so suffer more reliability issues through less use.


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