That’s because there are so many variables that are extremely difficult to keep track of. Every car has thousands of separate parts, all with the potential to malfunction in some way, and when they do, it can be for a variety of reasons. Yes, there could be a fault in the design, manufacturing or fitting of the parts, which would lay the blame with the car. However, malfunctions can also happen because a part has been damaged, poorly maintained or exposed to excessive wear and tear. So, when something does go wrong, it’s not always the fault of the car.
The best way of gauging reliability is through collecting data, and spotting patterns within that data, but even that has its problems. Getting access to the data is tricky (after all, a manufacturer isn’t going to voluntarily tell anyone if it’s experiencing reliability problems), and you have to have a decent sample size for every vehicle to be able to spot patterns. That’s why reliability studies are so few-and-far-between, and why each tells a slightly different story.
If you want to check the reliability of your car, or a car you’re considering buying, we’d always recommend reading plenty of owner reviews to learn from the experiences of other owners. When it comes to naming the most reliable models, though, which was the original question, you have to simply trust the data. The data we’re using here comes from Warranty Direct, a company that provides aftermarket warranties and keeps detailed information on all the claims made by customers, and all the repairs made to their cars. This data is then combined with data on the cost of repairs, and the time that the car spent off the road, to come up with the firm’s Reliability Index study. And according to the study, these are, statistically, the five most reliable cars you can buy…
- Toyota iQ
- Mitsubishi Lancer
- Vauxhall Agila
- Hyundai Getz
- Honda Jazz