Most and least reliable SUVs and 4x4sBest and worst off-roaders for reliability

31 December 2014

SUV popularity is on the rise and compact crossovers are tempting families away from conventional hatchbacks and estate cars. The appeal of four-wheel drive in slippery winter conditions has also boosted UK sales.

However, this class of car is among the most expensive to fix if there are faults. Thus finding a reliable model is key to avoiding unwanted repair bills. Here are our best and worst new and older 4x4s.

Tell us how reliable your car has been in the last 12 months by filling in the 2015 Which? Car Survey. You could win free fuel for a year*.

Most and least reliable new SUVs/4x4s

If you want a dependable SUV, look no further than the petrol-powered Honda CR-V (2012-). With no breakdowns reported from any of the 81 models we received feedback on, and average annual repair costs of just £10, it takes top spot for cars up to three years old. Its Reliability Score is a near-perfect 99%.

However, the diesel CR-V doesn’t fare as well. Which? members can find out how reliable diesel models are in the Honda CR-V review.

Taking second spot is the Toyota RAV4 (2013-). Now in its fourth generation, one attribute has remained constant for the RAV4, and that’s reliability. Its 98% Reliability Score is thanks to low average annual repair costs and only minor faults being reported, most notably with sat nav systems and onboard computers.

The Ford Kuga (2013-) takes third spot – a 96% Reliability Score eases other compact SUVs out, even though average annual repair costs of £25 aren’t the lowest for a car still under warranty.

Least reliable new SUVs/4x4s: Vauxhall Antara (2007-) 76%, Hyundai Santa Fe (2006-2012) 85%, Range Rover Evoque (2011-) 87%

Most and least reliable older SUVs/4x4s

If an SUV goes wrong out of warranty, you’re likely to have to dig deep to cover the repair costs. That’s why we rate all models three years and older separately from newer cars.

And if you want the lowest repair costs, the BMW X1 (2009-) should be your pick. Owners spent an average of £26 last year, which was the least of any older SUV. A 93% Reliability Score is also the best of the older 4x4s.

The previous generation Honda CR-V (2007-2012) emulates its successor with petrol models being highly rated – although the diesel is less dependable. It beat the previous-generation Lexus RX (2003-2009) into third spot, with both achieving a 90% Reliability Score.

Least reliable older SUVs/4x4s: Land Rover Discovery 3 (2003-2009) 45%, Nissan X-Trail (2001-2007) 59%, Land Rover Range Rover Sport (2005-2013) 59%

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*The prize is free fuel for one (1) year based on 12,000 miles (average annual mileage in the UK), achieving 30mpg (miles per gallon) at a petrol price of 129.9p per litre (based on average petrol price between November 2013 to October 2014, provided by the AA). This works out at a fuel value of £2,362.15, but will be rounded-up to £2,500 (the “Prize”). Full details available on our FAQs page.