21 Nov 2012

The most and least reliable cars of the past 15 years

Warranty Direct, the automotive warranty company, is celebrating it's birthday and has released a list of the most, and least reliable cars over the past 15 years.

Here's the top ten least reliable:

1 Audi RS6 (02-11)
2 BMW M5 (04-11)
3 Mercedes SL (02-12)
4 Mercedes V-Class (96-04)
5 Mercedes CL (00-07)
6 Audi A6 Allroad (00-05)
7 Bentley Continental GT (03-12)
8 Porsche 911 (996) (01-06)
9 Range Rover (02-12)
10 Citro├źn XM (94-00)

So that's our dreams shattered.  RS6, SL, M5, 996, Range Rover are all affordable to anyone with £15,000 but are hugely expensive and unreliable.

Here are the most reliable:

1 Mitsubishi Lancer (05-08)
2 Vauxhall Agila (00-08)
3 Suzuki Alto (97-06)
4 Toyota Aygo (05-)
5= Honda HR-V (98-06)
5= Volvo S40 (96-04)
7 Mazda MX-5 (05-)
8= Mercedes E Class (06-)
8= Toyota Yaris (99-03)
10 Honda Jazz (01-08)

So if you want reliable buy small and Japanese, or a Vauxhall Agila, or even a Volvo S40.  If you don't want reliable buy a nice, big, fast expensive luxury car.   The basic patterns here are that large cars tend to be complicated machines with electric this, that and the other and when they go wrong (which they will more often due to the larger amount of things to go wrong) it costs more to fix.

The big surprise is the Mercedes E-Class at number 8 in the most reliable list.  Mercedes suffered huge reliability problems in the 90s and early 2000s and the lamentable W210 lay at the bottom of pretty much any reliability survey that was published.  

It is odd that the years stated (2006 onwards) comes right in the middle of the W211 era (2003-2009) but, whatever, Mercedes deserve kudos for turning around their fortunes.  It seems they have some way to go to improve the SL though.