“Buyers too accepting of inadequate reliability”

Editor Graham Hope considers modern cars and thinks drivers of today are too forgiving when it comes to faults

Walking around the stands at the Frankfurt Motor Show last week, it struck me just what a golden age for car development this is. There were family cars, supercars, F1-inspired cars, electric cars, hybrid cars, cars in houses (!), autonomous cars and cars from parts of the world that seemed very foreign indeed when I started out in this business. It was a majestic display of the quite extraordinary pace of change in this most compelling of industries.

Most reliable cars to buy

All these diverse products have one thing in common, though. When I finally get the chance to drive – or be driven in – them, I want them to work. Flawlessly. There is nothing I find more frustrating than having a great car at your disposal and then encountering problems (as I discovered earlier this year when I ran an Audi SQ7, and editor-in-chief Steve Fowler has experienced with the McLaren 570GT we currently have on the Auto Express fleet).

But it would appear that some of you are easier to please. Sifting through the results of our Driver Power used cars survey this week, I was genuinely surprised to see how well some models performed despite relatively high incidences of faults.

A staggering 36 per cent of Toyota GT86 owners in our poll had suffered problems with their car, and yet it was rated 16th overall. Nearly one in three Mk1 Jaguar XFs have had faults, and yet you saw fit it to rank it third. Other top ten cars the Skoda Superb Mk2 (fourth) and Mk6 BMW 5 Series (ninth) were also serial offenders, with one in four and one in five respectively having faults.

Now I’m realistic enough to accept that no car will ever be totally perfect. But I do think that as consumers, we should be a little less accepting of problems in our vehicles. After all, demanding higher standards would be one way of ensuring better reliability in the astonishing wave of hi-tech new models heading our way in the years to come.

Do you think the reliability of cars is decreasing? Let us know in the comments below...

Recommended

'The Pop-Up Motor Show is a simple idea at precisely the right time'
Opinion

'The Pop-Up Motor Show is a simple idea at precisely the right time'

Mike Rutherford thinks the new Pop-Up Motor Show can be the perfect way to serve the demands of Britain's car users
11 Oct 2020
'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'
Opinion

'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'

Mike Rutherford thinks cars from Gerry McGovern and Marek Reichman are favourites to win design award
30 Aug 2020
'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'
Opinion

'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'

Deputy editor John McIlroy points to outgoing Skoda boss as a key reason for the firm's success
15 Jul 2020
"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"
Opinion

"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"

Mike Rutherford recounts some significant stories that may have passed you by in recent weeks
12 Jul 2020

Most Popular

Renault could cut UK models in no deal Brexit profit drive
News

Renault could cut UK models in no deal Brexit profit drive

Renault’s new CEO says the firm is examining the possibility of reducing the range of models it offers to UK buyers as it aims to boost profitability
20 Oct 2020
The end of 70mph motorways? Study shows huge reduction in pollution at 50mph
Speed limit to be cut to 60mph on M1
News

The end of 70mph motorways? Study shows huge reduction in pollution at 50mph

Trial on Welsh roads shows 47 per cent drop in pollution when 50mph limits were introduced; Highways England already has plans to reduce limits to tac…
10 Oct 2020
New BMW 5 Series 2020 review
BMW 5 Series Saloon

New BMW 5 Series 2020 review

Have updates made the BMW 5 Series even better? We try out the new M550i xDrive to find out…
20 Oct 2020