These are the most reliable new cars in the UK and the models to avoid

Audi, Dacia, Mazda, Mini
Study reveals the most and least dependable models and brands up to five years old

The most reliable new and nearly new cars have been named, with the UK’s cheapest car among the star vehicles outshining some of the biggest premium names around.

The Dacia Sandero, officially the cheapest new car on sale in the UK, was among six models to score a perfect 100 per cent reliability rating in the annual What Car? Study, with Dacia as a brand coming second only to regular top performer Lexus.

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The 2013-2020 Sandero was joined by the Audi TT, Mazda CX-3, Mini Convertible, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Honda HR-V as the most reliable models in the country, according to the survey of more than 16,000 motorists.

The What Car? study asked owners of cars up to five years old for their experiences over the last 12 months, including reports of any faults or breakdowns along with the time and cost required to fix the problem.


Twenty per cent of drivers said they had experienced a fault with their car in the past year, with 85 per cent corrected for free by the manufacturer.

The study covered 178 models from 30 brands and the top six top models all came back with a completely clean bill of health, finishing top of their respective segments.

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As a brand Lexus scored a near perfect rating of 98.7 per cent. Its NX SUV topped the hybrid category - the segment with the best record overall - with a rating of 99.8 per cent.

Despite being at the opposite end of the market to Lexus, budget Romanian brand Dacia scooped second place in the table with a 97.3 per cent rating, just ahead of Suzuki and Hyundai on 97.1.


Hybrids were determined to be the most reliable category, with an overall rating of 96.9 per cent.

Conversely, luxury SUVs ranked poorly overall, with an average score of 88.8 per cent,  although the Porsche Macan attained a creditable 97.9%. The Land Rover Discovery received the lowest score in this class with a 72.1 per cent result.

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Land Rover as a brand performed relatively poorly in the survey, its rating of 82.5 per cent earning it second from last place on the list, just above Fiat, which was ranked the least dependable brand with a score of 82 per cent.

However, the Nissan X-Trail was rated the least reliable model overall, with a reliability rating of just 59.7 per cent. The Discovery was the second least dependable model, just ahead of the Porsche 718 Cayman (73.5 per cent), Volkswagen Touran (74.1 per cent) and Ford Fiesta (74.9 per cent).

The Nissan X-Trail earned the dubious title of least reliable model in the What Car? study The Nissan X-Trail earned the dubious title of least reliable model in the What Car? study
The Nissan X-Trail earned the dubious title of least reliable model in the What Car? study | Nissan

Steve Huntingford, What Car? editor, said: “The UK’s used car market is currently booming, making it all the more important that people know which models will be reliable. With feedback from more than 16,000 owners, the latest What Car? Reliability Survey highlights the brands and models with the best and worst records.

“Our latest study also shows that a high price tag isn’t always a guarantee of reliability, because some of Britain’s cheapest cars are among the most reliable.”

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