Drivers who want a reliable motor are better off sticking with small, cheap cars than shelling out on big, expensive models.
That’s the finding of Which?’s 2006 reliability survey, which crowned the Honda Jazz as Britain’s most reliable car. It scored 95 per cent in the survey of more than 32,500 cars. The score takes into account faults, niggles and breakdowns that owners have experienced.
There wasn’t a single breakdown and only a handful of faults and niggles out of the 406 Honda Jazz models sampled. Not bad for a car that costs as little as £8,795.
Seven cars came in equal second place with 92 per cent for reliability: the Honda Accord and CR-V, Mazda 3, Renault Clio (outgoing model), Toyota Corolla, Vauxhall Corsa (outgoing model) and the Subaru Forester.
No luxury car managed a ‘good’ rating for reliability. BMW’s 5 Series and the Jaguar S-type both scored a disappointing 83 per cent although they were ‘average’ overall. Even the Mercedes-Benz E-class has had its fair share of problems, with 32 per cent of owners needing repairs in the last 12 months — uninspiring for a luxury car costing more than £27,000.
Ford Focus C-Max
The least reliable new car in the survey was Ford’s small MPV, the Focus C-Max, which scored a meagre 78 per cent. Others rated poorly for reliability are the Jaguar X-type, Nissan Primera, Renault Mégane and Renault Scénic which all managed just 80 per cent.
Which? also assessed customer satisfaction with servicing and repairs at franchised car dealers.
We found that Lexus set the standard, with 78 per cent of owners telling us they were very satisfied with servicing and repairs. Porsche also scored well with 73 per cent while Honda was third with 70 per cent.
However, several prestige brands are near the bottom of the table. Alfa Romeo came joint bottom with Chrysler on 31 per cent, while Jeep (34 per cent) and Mercedes-Benz (45 per cent) left much to be desired when it came to customer satisfaction with repairs and servicing.
Which Editor Neil Fowler said: ‘Good news for consumers — some cheaper cars are very reliable. Several expensive models need to up their game to compete. And several franchised dealers who repair ‘prestige’ cars need to raise their standards, too.’
Which? Car 2006/2007 is out next month and contains the full survey results for all models up to eight years old.