Most and least reliable large carsLarge hatchbacks and saloons: best and worst

23 December 2014

If you’ve got a big family, regularly move lots of kit or partake in the odd booze cruise, you’re likely to be interested in a large hatchback or saloon car.

However, there is a big difference between reliable and unreliable large cars. Below are the three most and least reliable new and older large cars, according to our survey results.

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Most and least reliable new large cars

Skoda is a brand on the up. No longer a badge that’s shunned and avoided, it’s become far more upmarket as part of the Volkswagen Group. Reliability is also becoming a strong point for Skoda, as the hugely versatile Octavia (2013-) proves.

Of all the Octavias we received feedback on that were less than three years old, not one suffered a breakdown during the previous 12 months. Average annual repair costs were just £14

This contributed to the car achieving an outstanding 99% Reliability Score.

That said, the previous generation Octavia (petrol models only) was markedly less impressive, although its 90% score is still average across all cars, big and small, that we received feedback on.

The Volkswagen CC (2012-) and now-discontinued Honda Insight (2009-2013) both received a 98% Reliability Score. Again, no models broke down over the past year and any faults were minor.

Least reliable new large cars: Skoda Octavia petrol (2004-2013) 90%, Audi A4 (2008-) 98%, Vauxhall Insignia (2008-) 86%

Most and least reliable older large cars

Reliability is arguably a bigger issue for those with older cars, mainly as you’ll have to pay repair costs once the car is outside its warranty period. That’s why we rate cars older than three years separately from those less than three years old.

The Toyota Avensis (2009-), while not particularly exciting, proves why so many minicab firms use it. A 97% Reliability Score is earned by zero reported breakdowns and sub-£20 average repair costs.

The Honda Insight (2009-2013) repeats its fine performance from the newer car category, taking second spot for models over three years old. The hybrid-powered Insight didn’t suffer any major faults, and average repair costs of £22 over a one-year period dispel the idea that older hybrids can be costly to keep running.

Third spot is taken by the Lexus IS (2005-2013). The petrol-engine-only saloon received a 95% Reliability Score, and £33 average annual repair costs are affordable in comparison to others in this class. Two models suffered from breakdowns among the 51 we collected data on.

Least reliable older large cars: Vauxhall Vectra petrol (2002-2008) 67%, Alfa Romeo 159 (2006-2011) 66%, Ford Mondeo diesel (2000-2007) 64%

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