Medium cars like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf make up a large proportion of cars on our roads, but not all medium cars are created equal. Choose wisely and you can have a very reliable car that will cost peanuts to run. Choose badly and you could be seriously out of pocket.
The latest Which? Car Survey shows that a number of Japanese and Korean used cars cost as little as £10 a year in average repair bills to keep on the road. Several French cars on the other hand, could leave you with a bill of more than £210 each year.
Cars are one of the priciest things most of us buy, so you want to know that you can rely on your car to start in the morning and not leave you marooned on the hard shoulder. Reliability figures form a large part of our car reviews so you know exactly which cars you can trust and which are likely to cause you headaches. Tell us how reliable your car is by taking part in the 2014 Which? Car Survey.
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Most reliable used medium car
Top of the medium car reliability tables is the recently replaced Mazda 3 (2009-2013). This trusty machine notched up an impressive reliability score of 92% in petrol form with an average annual repair cost of just £10 – nearly a third of the repair cost of the car in second place.
Diesel Mazda 3s followed closely behind with 90%, so whichever pump you use, the Mazda 3 should be a safe bet. Petrol Mazda 3s had an average breakdown rate of 9%, slightly higher than the car in second place, although it spent less time off the road and cost less to repair.
Find out the five top-rated used medium cars for reliability
Least reliable used medium car
Languishing at the other end of the table is the Renault Megane (2002-2009). Diesel Meganes tallied up a reliability score of just 67% – a huge 25% less than the Mazda 3 and 5% adrift of the second least reliable car.
Faults plague the electrics, air conditioning and even the rainwater seals. Repair bills are also costly, totalling £215 for diesel versions and a whopping £245 for petrol models. Either way, buying a Megane could leave you significantly out of pocket.
Find out the five lowest-rated used medium cars for reliability