Most Reliable Car Brands
By Daljinder Nagra
Most Reliable Car Brands July 2012
Looking for a reliable car? We research the experiences of nearly 60,000 car drivers, which is why our car reliability data is the most robust.
Want to know which car brands are the most reliable? Then you've come to the right place. We ask thousands of car owners about their cars so we can tell you which brands you can trust.
You can use our results to help you a new or used car that will keep you on the road, year after year. The worst car brands have let down owners, generating expensive repair bills courtesy of a plethora of faults.
While there are a number of brands that consistently enjoy a good reliability rating, there are always a few surprises. A premium purchase price is no guarantee of hassle-free ownership, either, and some very popular brands actually perform rather poorly.
Scroll down to reveal our table and find out which car brand you should buy.
Already know which car model you want? Check whether it's one you can trust by going straight to our expert new and used car reviews.
Best car brands for reliability
The car brand at the top of our table has a rock-solid five-star reliability rating. Four out of five of the brand's models we received owner feedback on also received a full five-star rating.
In the few instances they did go wrong, these cars generated relatively low repair bills. Which helps to cement our top brand's position as the most dependable car brand there is. Its crossover was our most reliable model overall. It had only two minor faults reported amongst 40 owners.
The car brand that came second proved popular among the car owners who responded to our survey. This means we've got detailed feedback on 19 car models - none of which scored less than four out of five stars for reliability. Which means you're sure to find one that will tickle your fancy.
For our third-placed car brand, only one model out of thirteen was awarded fewer than four stars for reliability. Repair costs across the board were relatively low, too.
Worst car brands for reliability
The least reliable brand only received two stars for reliability. This is because owners of these cars reported expensive repair bills, largely due to issues concerning electric windows and suspension springs.
Second from bottom is a brand that withdrew from the UK market in recent years, but you can still pick up models second-hand.
Completing the triumvirate of poor reliability is a surprisingly modern brand. Owners of one of its cars have been hit by relatively high repair bills and a plethora of faults, including engine and electrical issues.
Can't see the results in our table, above? To see the car manufacturers behind the scores, and to get access to all of our expert, independent reviews, try Which for £1.
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How we work out car reliability
The Which? Car brand reliability score is calculated from the number of breakdowns and faults suffered by all models in the past 12 months, reported to us through the annual Which? Car Survey.
Faults are weighted according to seriousness. So the more severe the fault and the more time the car is off the road, the harder the model will be hit in our results.
The score for each of these areas are then combined to provide an overall reliability score for each manufacturer, which is represented by a star rating, with one star being the poorest and five the best.