Most reliable cars

Honda Jazz 1.4 ES Plus static
Credits: Pete Gibson
9 Oct, 2014 10:30am

The top 10 most reliable cars to own, as rated by over 50,000 drivers in the UK

Most new car buyers have reliability somewhere near the top of their list of priorities - nobody wants to spend more time fixing their car than driving it. But which car is the most reliable of them all? Our Driver Power 2014 survey reveals all: the second-generation Honda Jazz takes the crown in 2014.

See the full Driver Power 2014 results here

The practical supermini finishes just ahead of the Toyota Prius MkIII and MkII in second and third places respectively, while Toyota premium brand Lexus’ compact executive hatch, the CT, is fourth. In fact, five cars out of the top 10 are built by Japanese makers – although 2013’s category champ, the Toyota Yaris MkIII, has fallen to 26th.

At the other end of the chart, it wasn't great news for Land Rover, as it has three cars in the bottom five. Bosses will be disappointed to see the Range Rover MkIII languishing at the foot of the table.

1. Honda Jazz Mk2

New Honda Jazz set for November unveil

Driver Power reliability rating: 98.89%

There's no better car for long-term ownership than the Honda Jazz, according to our 2014 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey. A top score in this category was hardly surprising, given Honda’s long-standing reputation for reliability, but the Jazz rated highly for running costs and practicality, too. 

2. Toyota Prius Mk3

Toyota Prius Mk3

Driver Power reliability rating: 98.84%

The latest-generation Prius runs the Honda Jazz close, which is impressive when you consider the hi-tech hybrid running gear under the Toyota’s skin. Owners have found the petrol-electric powertrain to be a reliable combination, as well as a frugal one. 

3. Toyota Prius Mk2

Toyota Prius

Driver Power reliability rating: 96.98%

It's unusual to see two generations of the same model so close together in any Top 10, but the Prius has a proven reliability record and is covered for 100,000 miles under warranty for peace of mind.  Early models are still going strong, which should go a long way to allay fears over the resilience of the batteries. There’s also a great warranty, which covers the mechanicals for five years or 100,000 miles, the powertrain for five years and the battery for eight.

4. Lexus CT

Lexus CT 200h

Driver Power reliability rating: 96.90%

Using some of Toyota’s hybrid expertise has its advantages. Lexus’ bulletproof reliability makes the CT a great choice for anyone who wants a reliable premium hatch with low running costs - and the top-rated dealer network is a big bonus if you ever do have to bring it in for a repair.

5. Audi Q3

Audi Q3 front cornering

Driver Power reliability rating: 96.83%

Audi's compact crossover has made a big impact with its owners, and is a strong choice. By combining proven engines with a high-quality interior, the Q3 has struck a winning formula. There's a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty with breakdown cover as standard as well.

6. Kia Rio Mk3

Kia rio 2013

Driver Power reliability rating: 96.51%

As well as boasting a strong reliability record, the Kia Rio is available with a fuel-sipping 1.1-litre diesel engine. This emits only 85g/km of CO2 and promises seriously impressive fuel economy. 

7. Peugeot 2008

Peugeot 2008 Feline e-HDi 115 front action

Driver Power reliability rating: 96.47%

It’s good to see one of Peugeot’s newest models so far up our reliability chart. The 2008 has also impressed for running costs and ride quality, but we’ll wait to see how it will perform as a used buy.

8. Skoda Yeti

Skoda Yeti static

Driver Power reliability rating: 96.45%

Winner of Driver Power three years in a row – with its best score coming this year – the Skoda Yeti is a brilliant choice. It always ranks highly for reliability, but owners also praise its handling and build quality.

9. Kia Cee'd Mk2

Kia Cee’d 1.6 CRDi 2 front cornering

Driver Power reliability rating: 96.30%

Kia's second entry in this list is the VW Golf-rivalling Cee’d. A seven-year warranty proves how confident Kia is in its reliabilty, and owners are also pleased with the Cee’d’s in-car tech and running costs. 

10. Mazda MX-5 Mk3

Mazda MX-5

Driver Power reliability rating: 96.25%

It’s celebrating a quarter of a century on our roads, and previous generations of the MX-5 can still be seen going strong. It’s also a joy to drive, coming fourth for handling in Driver Power. 

Full results

You've read the 2014 Driver Power survey results. Now it's time to take part in the 2015 survey. Tell us about your car here.

For an alternative view on the most reliable cars on sale, check out our sister site Carbuyer.

Disqus - noscript

Wow, where is the 5 star Golf?

Thanks for the censorship. We live in a free country

It gets 5 stars for "perceived quality" and generous PR/marketing budget ;-)

I really don't care for unscientific subjective studies like these. I suspect the Range Rover owner will feel far more negatively about their car's reliability given the size of potential repair bills. But it may not actually go wrong that often. Compare to a Yaris that may go wrong, but be cheap to fix with good back up from caring Toyota dealers.

Similarly, you see lots of cars on these reports that share platforms and drive-trains, and yet get different results. Compare VAG products with different branding, or common Fords (or whatever) that amount to the same car with different bodyshells.

Why do Skoda products do so much better than VW or even Audi products? Owner expectations perhaps?
Why are there such different results for S-Max and Mondeo, for instance? Or Insignia and Zafira Tourer? Different ownership profiles maybe?

If only the manufacturers own repair data was in the public domain!

I share this disquiet. Different surveys give different results but, rightly or wrongly, I am more inclined to give credence to surveys prepared by independent organisations rather than by motoring publications themselves. Being a cynic I often wonder if there is black propaganda around!
As for some of the differences I wonder if the aptitude of individual production lines plays a greater part than might be realised. For instance the experience of a colleague's family may be cited, dealing with vehicles purchased new. Endless niggles with VW including a major engine failure. After a change to Skoda the niggles ceased.
Even within Skoda there are significant differences. One satisfaction survey puts the Superb and Yeti at the head of their respective groups. In contrast the Fabia, although faring decently enough, did not do nearly as well as the winners of its group, the DS3 and Jazz.

We are primarily a Skoda family. I have a Superb mk I the only breakdown was due to a boost pipe blowing off after a service and timing belt change fixed for free. My wife a Fabia VRS mk I has never broken down. My sister in law a Roomster has never broken down. My sister hasan Octavia which did have a problem on a journey but still completed the journey but i am not keen on the garage she uses.
Non of them go to the main dealer as I found a really good independant who does the work better. Easily the best car I have owned.

Spot on! Subjective twaddle, lets see some real hard facts please.

Good Points Paul. The production line could make a big difference. But for the engines, I would be surprised if they weren't made at a centralised engine plant?

Dealer back-up might help. I know a Verso D4D owner who had a replacement headgasket, followed by a whole new engine a while later. They still think of it as a reliable car, mostly because Toyota were good enough to pay up for it outside of warranty.

Good to hear Dave. Our family are primarily Vauxhall and Ford owners. Between 6 of us we've never had a breakdown in years, or indeed for as long as I can remember. And yet these cars always come near the bottom of the tables. That I don't get. Are we really so lucky?

My brother-in-law ran his last Mondeo to 125k miles without any problems. His current one is marching on past 60k trouble free. Mine has reached a mere 33k, but still trouble free. And yet they struggle near the bottom of the table?

Thanks for your thoughts. Staying with Skoda, the diesel engines do seem to vary to a considerable extent. They range from the "gutty rough" to the acceptable but IMHO are never as refined as the PSA units. Others have had the same thoughts with the same unit as fitted to Audis and VWs. Where they are made I do not know.
In respects other than reliability I am rather disenchanted with Skoda, following several trips in (now discontinued model) Octavia minicabs recently. I have to look back to Mk. 1 Cortina days to think of rear suspension which gave rear seat passengers such an uncomfortable ride in a mid-sized car. Not helped by seating of plank like resilience either.

Yeah the VAG results are strange. Look under any Skoda or Seat bonnet and all the parts are stamped VW-Audi.

I don't like Toyota's styling but two of my cousins have owned Yaris from new and at 10 and 11 years old both have never broken down.
What surprises me the most is the paint quality. Both are black and the paint doesn't look tired at all and there's not a speck of rust. Now that's real quality.

The mk 1 Yaris was a great car. The mk2 was also good but I feel Toyota have lost something with the current model. The styling is rather bland inside and out. I feel the Mk3 was a missed opportunity for Toyota. And to add insult to injury they no longer sell the the T-Sport or 1800SR. That said I dont doubt they still excel in terms of build/reliability/running costs.

No surprises here then? Eurojunk not doing very well!
Seriously though. Results go from 98.4 to 93.9. Not much difference really. Back in the good old days cars went wrong much more. I know, I worked on them! Not really the good old days at all!

Quite agree about things being better nowadays. However you should choose a new epithet. "Eurojunk" is past its sell by date both as an epithet and in reality. Another survey give four of its top five places to European products. Choose your own survey to mirror your own prejudices! That's why I regard surveys with caution.

The dealer attitude makes a huge difference and shifts peoples perception of what's reliable. The cam belt on my Vectra started to go just 3 months outside warranty (but only 54,000miles) and Vauxhall weren't interested hence I only give the car average for reliability.

meaningless nonsense!!

my bmw 1 series was always breaking down, some errors the bmw main dealer refused to sort out as there were no error codes in the cars computer. My 13 yr old Zafira was more reliable

I wonder if the Yaris will still be no.1 next year? With over 5400 recalled due to a steering fault, plus a 125,000 Toyota's world wide. We've had the brake faults and air bag faults too. I had a Toyota going back 10 yrs it got picked up 12 times in 10 months! I wouldn't touch one now. Plus the styling on all Japanese cars is woeful.

My 53 reg 115,000 mile Yaris' plastic screenwash cap broke off its retaining strip, I am shocked.

Do they even test the American cars at all .... I had nothing but american cars and I know they are better than most of these rice rockets !

The point with Toyota and recalls is that they actually recall cars and fix the problem. Other manufacturers deny they have issues and hope the problem will go away or be fixed at the owners cost

Yeh, Chrysler neon was one of the worst cars ever built.

Exactly. That's what the German crew just don't get. Makes me laugh.

Even better was it's UK arch rival the Astra beating both V and VI models. Even the 7th did surprisingly bad (tho type in Golf VII probs into a well known search engine and you realise even the club owners aren't that happy)

Needless to say, warranty direct or surveys akin to this are way more realistic if the sample size is decent.....

Where it usually is!

Having owned a vauxhall nova mk3 astra gsi 2 mk4 astra one 1.6 for work and gsi for fun not one has ever broken down as for my brothers m5 golf company car 1.9 diesel nothing but problems he now got a ford focus estate company car for the last two years no problem.

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