The results of our latest annual car survey are now in. We’ve updated our ratings for 740 new and used cars, based on the real-life experiences of 44,794 car owners.
These car owners (thank you, if you are one of them) have given us in-depth information into the ownership and maintenance of 50,742 individual cars*.
This allows us to provide you with accurate reliability information about car manufacturers and hundreds of car models. We can also tell you the potential frequency of common faults and how much it will cost you to fix them.
This means you can use our results to buy a car that won’t let either you or your bank balance down.
Narrow down the search for your perfect new car – see our top cars of 2017.
Which cars are Best Buys?
Based on what car owners have told us is most important to them about their car, we’ve also tweaked our assessment criteria for each class of car. This means our updated results better reflect what car buyers are looking for.
While the criteria for a Best Buy car varies between vehicle types (we place less of an emphasis on fuel economy and practicality in sports cars, for example), all will be easy and comfortable to drive. They also won’t break the bank with their running costs, or emit high levels of harmful emissions.
Any vehicle that produces a lot of toxic emissions in our tests can’t be a Best Buy. Through the results of our tough lab tests, we’ve been able to reveal the most polluting cars and car makers.
We also only award a Best Buy to cars with a proven reliability record. Thanks to everyone who took part in the Which? Car survey, we know which cars you can depend on and which cars are the most likely to let you down – including how expensive any repairs have been.
With the data we collect, we know how reliable a car is in the first three years of its life and in years three to eight. We have reliability ratings on hundreds of models, including the 10 best-selling cars in the UK.
Our findings reveal that popularity, brand recognition and price have no bearing on reliability. We’ve found expensive, sturdy-looking 4x4s that have common brake faults and popular family hatchbacks with dodgy electrics.
Where we don’t have a sufficient number of responses for us to accurately advise on a model’s reliability, an overall brand reliability score is used. This takes into account reliability data from models across a manufacturer’s range.
Find out which cars are Best Buys – go to best cars.
Which cars are Don’t Buys?
Worryingly, there are currently 69 models that are so far behind the curve that we’ve classified them as Don’t Buy cars to avoid. These aren’t just cheap models from fledgling carmakers, either.
Our data has highlighted one problematic new popular MPV model in particular. Despite appealing to families with its high safety and levels of technology, it leaves owners frustrated – their cars spent an average of over three days each year off the road, and generated repair bills north of £400.
There are potential money pits lurking in other car classes, too, including a large executive saloon that has let 42% of owners down, despite them having owned the car for a couple of years or less.
We reveal our Which? Don’t Buy cars.
Discover the car classes most likely to let you down
Our research has found that there are two classes of car in particular that are most likely to develop faults, despite featuring some of the most expensive cars on the market.
Choose poorly and you could find your repair costs are much higher than average, which is just salt in the wound if your car has left you stranded.
Our reviews make it easy to avoid buyer’s regret, and ensure your motoring life is as hassle-free as possible.
Find the marques that won’t leave you cursing at the side of the road – discover the most reliable car brands.
Pin down the best electric and plug-in hybrid cars
With uptake of electric and hybrid cars only increasing and the market for alternative-fuel cars becoming increasingly diverse, we’ve introduced a number of new filters to our online car reviews, allowing you to focus on the car reviews that matter to you.
You can now filter reviews by fuel type, including petrol/diesel, electric, hybrid, plug-in hybrid (which normally feature greater electric-only range), range-extender electric and the latest hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
We’ve also included a filter that separates new and used-car reviews, so you spend less time searching for your ideal vehicle.
Find your perfect new car – see our new and used car reviews.
*(Research: online survey, 44,794 owners, 50,742 individual cars, Dec 2016 to Feb 2017.)