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German manufacturers amongst least reliable for engines

German reliability is not as strong as many believe according to Warranty Direct, who found Audi, BMW and Volkswagen to have some of the least reliable engines in their cars.

The UK’s leading supplier of direct consumer warranties studied data from 50,000 live consumer policies which showed that the only engines to have failed more often than Audis in the past year were those from the now defunct MG Rover group, while the MINI finished a disappointing third from bottom. BMW and Volkswagen featured seventh and ninth from respectively in the power plant scale of shame.

At the top end of the table, Japan took the plaudits as Honda and Toyota proved to be the manufacturers with the most reliable power units, while Mercedes-Benz upheld some German honour by taking the third best accolade.

Engine repairs can be some of the most expensive to hit a driver and, amongst Warranty Direct’s customers, 1 in 13 MG Rover motors failed in the past year, while 1 in 27 Audi owners had issues with theirs. At the opposite end of the scale, just 1 in every 345 Honda owners had a problem with their power unit.

The study of motor repairs also highlighted huge potential costs for motorists. An engine failure on a Range Rover Vogue recently led to Warranty Direct’s highest claim – £12,998.46 – while one dealer quoted £14,853.60 to repair an engine on a Range Rover Sport after it failed catastrophically.

Warranty Direct Managing Director Duncan McClure Fisher said of the study: “Engine failures are the biggest fear for any motorist as they’re the ones that can lead to the most astronomical costs because of the parts and hours or labour required to fix them. The number of failures may be low compared to areas such as axle and suspension damage but engine repairs almost always result in costs reaching the thousands for motorists who aren’t covered by a warranty.”

Warranty Direct cover starts from as little as £15 a month. For more information or for a quote, go to

Engine Reliability – Bottom 10 Manufacturers

Manufacturer Failure Rate (%) Failure Rate (1 in x)
1 MG Rover 7.88% 1 in 13
2 Audi 3.71% 1 in 27
3 MINI 2.51% 1 in 40
4 Saab 2.49% 1 in 40
5 Vauxhall 2.46% 1 in 41
6 Peugeot 2.26% 1 in 44
7 BMW 2.20% 1 in 45
8 Renault 2.13% 1 in 46
9 Volkswagen 1.91% 1 in 52
10 Mitsubishi 1.70% 1 in 59

Engine Reliability – Top 10 Manufacturers

Manufacturer Failure Rate (%) Failure Rate (1 in x)
1 Honda 0.29% 1 in 344
2 Toyota 0.58% 1 in 171
3 Mercedes-Benz 0.84% 1 in 119
4 Volvo 0.90% 1 in 111
5 Jaguar 0.98% 1 in 103
6 Lexus 0.99% 1 in 101
7 Fiat 1.17% 1 in 85
8 Ford 1.25% 1 in 80
9 Nissan 1.32% 1 in 76
10 Land Rover 1.38% 1 in 72


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