Least reliable cars to buy in 2017

We run through the 2017 Driver Power survey to bring you the least reliable cars in the UK

Normally, the minimum requirement for a used car is that it’s reliable: if it can’t be trusted to work from the word go, there’s no escaping the risk involved when purchasing one. Avoiding the least reliable cars is a must for any second hand car buyer, and thanks to the 2017 Driver Power survey, that task is now slightly easier.

We asked owners of three- to six-year-old cars across the UK to rate their vehicles for reliability, giving feedback on everything from minor foibles to major mechanical problems.

• Take the Driver Power survey

Enough responses were received to rank 88 cars in total with statistical accuracy, and our list gives a clear indication of which vehicles have proven to be dependable machines and, of course, which vehicles haven’t.

Below you’ll find the 10 least reliable used cars in the UK today as decided by the drivers who own then. Owners were asked about reliability, build quality and for details of any faults they had encountered. It’s worth remembering that modern cars tend to be dependable machines overall but these are the models that owners felt were falling furthest below expectations. If you’re buying a car the information below should give you some clues as to want to look out for…

The top 10 least reliable cars

79. Audi A6/RS 6/S6 Mk4 - 84.57%

The Audi A6 Mk4 - together with its RS 6 and S6 siblings - has been flagged for issues by 24 per cent of owners. Although most of these were electrical faults, the A6’s gearbox, airbags and fuel indicator have been known to need attention in the past. As such, it’s one of the lowest ranked cars in the 2017 Driver Power survey.

80. SEAT Ibiza Mk4 - 84.48%

Perhaps surprising for a fourth generation car, the SEAT Ibiza scores just 84.48 per cent for reliability in this year’s Driver Power survey. A good supermini it may be, but owners reckon there are better options when it comes to dependability, with 23.08 per cent reporting problems - mostly pertaining to the engine and electrics.

81. Vauxhall Corsa Mk3 - 84.43%

The Vauxhall Corsa is a recurring name in the UK’s best-selling cars list, although its reliability could be improved. A score of 84.43 is only slightly better than a reliability rating of 86.18 per cent for the Mk1 Vauxhall Insignia, suggesting problems aren’t limited to one model within the brand. 17.08 per cent of owners have encountered issues, mostly to do with the engine.

82. Citroen C3 Picasso Mk1 - 84.21%

The Citroen C3 Picasso is in its first generation here but that doesn’t excuse a relatively low score of 84.21 per cent. Engine issues are the most common - 10.53% of owners said they found an issue of some sort - and seeing as the Mk2 C3 scored 88.33 per cent, there is clearly a gap between the two models.

83. Vauxhall Meriva Mk2 - 83.17%

More than a full percentage point behind the C3 Picasso, the Mk2 Meriva is cut adrift from the pack as the sixth least reliable used car in Driver Power 2017. The MPV may have innovative doors and flexible seating, but owners don’t rate it when it comes to dependability. 21.92 per cent of them have had trouble with theirs, with the engine being the most common source of grief.

84. Peugeot 207 Mk1 - 82.82%

The Mk1 207 is the lowest ranked Peugeot for reliability in this year’s Driver Power survey, significantly down on the highest rated model: the Mk1 3008, which sits a respectable 33rd. Problems have hit 23.81 per cent of owners, and again it’s the engine cropping up most often. Sadly for the French manufacturer its overall rating isn’t much better, where the 207 comes in 85th position out of 88 eligible cars.

85. Vauxhall Astra Mk6 - 82.73%

Another Vauxhall, and another top ten seller in the UK, but it seems owners are still all too aware of the Astra’s shortcomings. Registering 82.73 per cent for reliability - with almost a fifth of owners finding glitches - this is yet another mark against PSA Group’s £1.9bn acquisition.

86. Vauxhall Zafira Mk2 - 82.46%

Scoring 82.46 per cent for reliability, it’s no surprise that the Vauxhall Zafira is almost stone dead last in our survey. Zafiras have made headlines recently for catching fire, and Vauxhall was criticized for being “sluggish” to recall affected models in a Government report. Problems of all descriptions have struck 21.95 per cent of owners, with the most common complaint being the engine.

87. Renault Clio Mk3 - 82.38%

Coming last but one in the reliability section of our Driver Power survey is the Mk3 Renault Clio. Sold between 2005 and 2014, logically the Clio should’ve become more reliable towards the end of its run, so if you’re thinking of buying one aim for a younger model. Electrical problems are usually to blame for issues raised by owners, of which over a quarter have endured a fault.

88. Ford KA Mk2 - 81.62%

Earning this year’s reliability wooden spoon in the 2017 Driver Power survey is the unfortunate Ford KA. The transmission and brakes have provoked the most complaints, although only 14.58 per cent of all owners reported a problem with their cars. Scoring a rotten 81.62 per cent overall, this generation of the city car lasted from 2009 to 2016, and nowadays is sold under the KA+ name. Though there’s nothing positive about this result.

Is your car on this list? Does it deserve to be higher up? Give us your thoughts in the comments area below!

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