The most reliable car brands right now

We reveal the UK’s 10 most dependable makes of car, based on a survey of more than 18,000 British motorists

Badges you can rely on

Badges you can rely on © Toyota

What’s in a name? Quite a lot, actually, when it comes to car reliability. The What Car? survey collected data from more than 18,000 drivers to rank the most reliable car brands in 2019. Here, we reveal the top 10 in reverse order.

10. Honda – 94.9 percent reliable

Honda – 94.9 percent © Honda

Honda has a hard-won reputation for reliability that stretches back to the original 1972 Civic (pictured) and beyond. It finishes 10th, with a score of 94.9 percent.

10. Honda – 94.9 percent reliable

Honda – 94.9 percent © Honda

Driver satisfaction surveys invariably place the Honda Jazz, in particular, near the top. A new hybrid-only Jazz arrives in UK showrooms soon, followed by a high-riding Crosstar version.

9. Skoda – 95.2 percent reliable

Skoda – 95.2 percent © Skoda

Skoda outperforms its sister brands – Volkswagen, Seat and Audi – to finish ninth overall, with a score of 95.2 percent. “They certainly know how to build a dependable car in the Czech Republic,” says What Car?.

9. Skoda – 95.2 percent reliable

Skoda – 95.2 percent © Skoda

Taxi drivers love Skodas – and for good reason. But the marque’s range also offers real breadth, from hot hatchbacks such as the Octavia VRS (pictured) to the plush Superb saloon. The new electric Citigo-e iV has been a sell-out success, too.

8. Mini – 95.4 percent reliable

Mini – 95.4 percent © Mini

There’s no sign of BMW in the top 10, but Mini finishes an impressive eighth. The Countryman (pictured) was the second-most reliable small SUV, managing a near-perfect 99.1 percent.

8. Mini – 95.4 percent reliable

Mini – 95.4 percent © Mini

Having started in 2000 with a three-door hatchback, the reborn Mini brand now consists of five models, including the new Mini Electric and Countryman plug-in hybrid. All are fun to drive.

7. Hyundai – 95.7 percent reliable

Hyundai – 95.7 percent © Hyundai

Isn’t it Ioniq, don’t you think? Actually, there’s nothing, um, ironic, about this Korean brand finishing seventh. Hyundai’s cars have long been a level-headed choice, backed up by a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

7. Hyundai – 95.7 percent reliable

Hyundai – 95.7 percent © Hyundai

The Hyundai range stretches from diminutive i10 to seven-seat Santa Fe SUV. The Ioniq is the only new car available in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric guises, while the i30N hot hatch makes a Golf GTI look dull.

6. Kia – 96.3 percent reliable

Kia – 96.3 percent © Kia

Hyundai’s sister brand offers an even longer warranty (seven years or 100,000 miles) and slightly better reliability overall. Kia is ranked sixth, on 96.3 percent.

6. Kia – 96.3 percent reliable

Kia – 96.3 percent © Kia

That rating gets a big boost from the Sportage: Kia’s bestseller and the most reliable family SUV of 2019. The Kia Soul was rated the top small SUV by What Car? readers, too.

5. Subaru – 96.6 percent reliable

Subaru – 96.6 percent © Subaru

Subaru is a niche player in the UK. On this evidence, though, it deserves to do better. A score of 96.6 percent places it fifth.

5. Subaru – 96.6 percent reliable

Subaru – 96.6 percent © Subaru

Today, Subaru is more about rugged SUVs than gold wheels, throbbing flat-fours and Colin McRae. But any excuse to use this photo, right?

4. Tesla – 96.9 percent reliable

Tesla – 96.9 percent © Tesla

Given Tesla’s at-times-suspect build quality, this might surprise you. The American upstart finishes fourth in the league table – higher than any of its premium rivals.

4. Tesla – 96.9 percent reliable

Tesla – 96.9 percent © Tesla

In fact, What Car? says ‘electric cars are among the most reliable classes of cars you can buy’ – not least because they have fewer moving parts. The Tesla Model 3 has even troubled the UK top 10 bestsellers list.

3. Suzuki – 97.3 percent reliable

Suzuki – 97.3 percent © Suzuki

Suzuki recently had to withdraw the lovable Jimny SUV from sale due to high emissions. Hopefully this will cheer them up: 97.3 percent and third place is an outstanding result.

3. Suzuki – 97.3 percent reliable

Suzuki – 97.3 percent © Suzuki

Strong showings for Suzuki include the Celerio (the highest rated city car) and Vitara (third place in the small SUV class). Our pick of the bunch is the cheap-and-cheerful Swift Sport.

2. Toyota – 97.7 percent reliable

Toyota – 97.7 percent © Toyota

The world’s biggest car manufacturer hasn’t let quality slip: no mean feat when you build 10 million vehicles a year. With 97.7 percent, Toyota is ranked runner-up for reliability.

2. Toyota – 97.7 percent reliable

Toyota – 97.7 percent © Toyota

Many of Toyota’s big-hitters scored well, including the RAV4 as the most reliable large SUV. Cars such as the Yaris GRMN (pictured), GR Supra and forthcoming GR Yaris are keeping enthusiasts interested, too.

1. Lexus – 99.3 percent reliable

Lexus – 99.3 percent © Lexus

Toyota also tops the table overall – in a way. Its luxury brand, Lexus, triumphs in the What Car? reliability survey, with a peerless 99.3 percent.

1. Lexus – 99.3 percent reliable

Lexus – 99.3 percent © Lexus

Amazingly, the Lexus CT hatchback (pictured) and NX SUV both achieved 100 percent scores for reliability. If you want hassle-free motoring, look no further.

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