Japanese cars are ‘most reliable’ used car brands in UK

25 July 2012

Japanese carmakers Honda, Toyota and Lexus have been named the most reliable used car brands in the UK in a survey by What Car? and Warranty Direct.

Suzuki and Subaru, also Japanese, were ranked fourth and fifth respectively in the survey of cars between three and 10 years old.

South Korean carmaker Hyundai shared sixth place with Japan’s Mazda and Mitsubishi.

By contrast, Land Rover was the least reliable marque surveyed.

Other luxury car brands, including Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes, were also among the 10 least reliable.

“They need to do better,” said What Car?’s editor in chief, Chas Hallett, insisting these marques’ poor reliability would be “surprising to many”.

“Reliability is so important to motorists, especially when times are tough.”
‘Increasingly complex’

image of Jorn Madslien Jorn Madslien Business reporter, BBC News

The revelation that used luxury cars are less reliable than many mainstream models is disconcerting.

The fact that they tend to be expensive to repair makes matters even worse for motorists.

This survey makes it clear that used Japanese and South Korean cars are much more likely to offer drivers headache-free motoring.

But in spite of this, many drivers will prefer to buy luxury cars that often offer many other benefits.

Jaguar, for instance, won a What Car? and JD Power ownership survey as recently as in May.

Owners of used Hondas have a 10% chance of their cars suffering a breakdown, according to the survey of 50,000 Warranty Direct policies.

“Japanese carmakers really do deliver on reliability and Honda is exceptionally good at this,” said Mr Hallett, pointing out that this was the seventh year in a row when Honda topped the ranking.

US carmaker Chevrolet was the only non-Asian marque to rank as one of the 10 most reliable used cars.

Some 22% of Chevrolets break down at least once each year.

By comparison, the worst performing Japanese brand was Nissan, with a failure rate of 25%, just ahead of South Korea’s Kia at 26%.

By contrast, seven in 10 Land Rover owners will experience a breakdown in any given year, the survey said.

Failure rates for other luxury marques was better at between 41% and 45%, while most mainstream European brands had failure rates of between 31% and 55%.

“Cars have become increasingly complex, with lots of gadgetry on board, especially on executive models, where buyers expect more and more bang for their buck,” said Warranty Direct’s managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher.



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