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Japanese brands lead reliability survey

Honda named most reliable brand for the seventh consecutive year.

Honda has won the title of the most reliable brand for the seventh consecutive year in the annual What Car? magazine and Warranty Direct study.

It also found that expensive premium cars such as Audi, BMW, Porsche, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz break down more often. Honda has a one-in-10 chance of breaking down over a 12-month period, closely followed by Toyota and Lexus with 17-18 per cent failure rate, according to the British research based on 50,000 warranty policies on cars aged three to 10 years old.

Land Rover is the UK's least reliable manufacturer, with 71 per cent of cars breaking down at least once every year. An earlier study by Warranty Direct found the most reliable family car in the UK is the Toyota Corolla, followed by Honda's Civic and Accord. Australia's most popular car last year, the Mazda3, was the fourth most reliable car and the Toyota Prius was the only hybrid in the top 10.

The least reliable car was the Renault Espace, followed by the Mercedes R-Class. French manufacturers produced five of the 10 least reliable cars. The most common failure was in the axle and suspension thanks to potholed roads, accounting for one in four breakdowns. Electrical gremlins are the second most likely cause of an unwanted garage bill, with slightly less than one in four drivers reporting problems.

Warranty Direct boss Duncan McClure Fisher says cars are becoming increasingly complex, with lots of electronic gadgets, especially on executive models. "Owners of these cars pay over the odds for the premium badge, but our study shows they could also be paying over the odds just to keep the car on the road," he says.

Car brand reliability
(Failure rate)
1. Honda 10%
2. Toyota 17%
3. Lexus 18%
4. Suzuki 19%
5. Subaru 20%
6. Hyundai 21%
6. Mazda 21%
6. Mitsubishi 21%
9. Chevrolet 22%
10. Nissan 25%
11. Kia 26%
12. Ford 31%
12. Skoda 31%
14. Citro#adien 32%
15. Peugeot 35%
15. Daewoo 35%
15. Smart 35%
18. Mini 37%
19. Fiat 38%
20. Seat 39%
20. Volkswagen 39%
20. Volvo 39%
20. Porsche 39%
24. Vauxhall 40%
25. BMW 41%
26. Audi 42%
27. Rover 43%
27. Jaguar 49,630 184 43%
29. Mercedes-Benz 53,386 215 45%
30. MG 45,005 197 48%
31. Saab 56,149 161 50%
31. Chrysler 51,110 207 50%
33. Renault 47,194 137 52%
33. Jeep 49,084 228 52%
35. Alfa Romeo 52,370 202 55%
36. Land Rover 55,451 300 71%

 

Top 10 most reliable

Model Breakdown Rate Failure
Toyota Corolla (01 - 07) 7% Axle & Suspension
Honda Civic (06 - ) 10% Electrical
Honda Accord (02 - 08) 10% Engine
Mazda 3 (04 - 09) 10% Brakes
Toyota Auris (07 - ) 11% Cooling & heating
Toyota Prius (03 - 09) 12% Axle & Suspension
Ford C-Max (07 - ) 14% Electrical
Ford Mondeo (07 - ) 15% Electrical
Nissan Qashqai (07 - ) 16% Electrical
Peugeot 308 (07 - ) 16% Electrical

 

Top 10 least reliable

Model Breakdown Rate Failure
Renault Espace (02 - ) 74% Axle & suspension
Mercedes R-Class (06 - ) 74% Electrical issues
Vauxhall Vectra (02 - 09) 57% Axle & suspension
Renault Scenic (04 - 09) 57% Electrical
Renault Megane (02 - 09) 56% Electrical
Skoda Superb (02 - 08) 55% Axle & suspension
Peugeot 807 (02 - ) 48% Cooling & heating
VW Passat (05 - ) 47% Axle & suspension
Peugeot 407 (04 - ) 46% Brakes
VW Touran (03 - ) 46% Axle & suspension