Japanese cars top Which? reliability pollBut there's little comfort for European car firms

20 June 2008

The Honda Civic Hybrid

Civic: Honda’s hybrid challenger

Japanese cars are miles ahead of European motors when it comes to reliability, and are getting even more dependable, Which? Car reveals today.

Only one European carmaker – Porsche – scraped into the top 10 in Which? Car’s annual brand reliability table.

In contrast, Japanese car manufacturers took the top seven spots followed by Korean car company Hyundai in eighth place, with Japanese firm Mitsubishi in ninth place.

Honda came top of the chart with a reliability index rating of 85%, followed by Toyota (84%), Daihatsu (83%), Lexus (83%), Mazda (83%), Subaru (83%) and Suzuki (83%).

Honda Civic

But the Swindon-made Honda Civic (post-2006) falls well short of the brand’s usual reliability standards.

It languishes in joint-bottom spot - on 82% - in the medium cars table - along with the Citroën C4.

On the other hand, Honda’s Japan-built Civic Hybrid (pictured above) tops the large car chart with a reliability score of 95%.

The Which? car survey included feedback from almost 90,000 car owners, making it the biggest and most detailed UK car reliability survey ever. The reliability index reflects the number of breakdowns, faults and niggles that owners encountered.

British cars

The poll results held little comfort for British or German carmakers.

Land Rover’s reliability (67%) is very poor and it’s joint bottom of the table with the American company Chrysler/Dodge.

Jaguar and Mini are rated average, as are Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Volkswagen and Vauxhall were both rated as poor.

Land Rover

The popular Volkswagen Passat (post-2005) has the joint-lowest reliability score (with the Citroën C5) in the large cars category.

Which? Car editor Richard Headland said: ‘Japan continues to show the rest of the world how to make consistently reliable cars, although the new Honda Civic shows they’re not infallible.

‘Some British-built cars, on the other hand, don't exactly run like clockwork. Land Rover, in particular, needs to raise its game.’