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Most reliable family cars to buy 2024

These are the most reliable family cars you can buy, according to our Driver Power survey

The last thing anyone wants is to be stranded at the roadside with a car full of increasingly restless kids. While no car is guaranteed to not break down, choosing one of the most reliable family cars will certainly improve your odds of a stress-free ownership experience.

Of course, it’s very difficult to tell which cars will actually be reliable without living with them first, so we’ve rounded up the most reliable family cars according to data from the latest edition of Driver Power - the UK's biggest car customer satisfaction survey.

By using the results from our Driver Power survey we can provide insight into the real-world reliability of new family cars that is unmatched elsewhere because it comes direct from people who actually own these vehicles. Our list of the most reliable family cars should help you decide which car to go for next.

Top 10 most reliable family cars

Here are the 10 most reliable new family cars, listed in reverse order.

10. Toyota C-HR Mk1 - 93.58%

There’s no shortage of small SUVs on the UK’s roads, and the first-generation Toyota C-HR was a strong seller for the brand thanks to its efficient hybrid powertrain and distinctive styling. 

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It’s clear that many of the C-HR’s owners are enjoying a stress-free life with their cars, too, as it ranked within the top five for its powertrain smoothness, handling and safety features. Of course, on top of all this, it’s also proving to be highly dependable. 

9. Toyota Corolla Mk12 - 93.64%

Few people put their cars under more daily strain than cab drivers, and the Mk12 Toyota Corolla has become a very common sight on taxi ranks across the country. If this isn’t enough testament to the Corolla’s reliability, its ninth place finish on this list should certainly seal the deal. 

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Along with its durability, Corolla owners are also highly satisfied with its handling, drivetrain smoothness and ride quality; all of which achieved top 10 rankings.

8. Citroen C3 Aircross Mk1 - 93.67%

Citroen is on a bit of a roll at the moment. While the fully-electric e-C3 has been crowned as our 2024 Car of the Year, its bigger sibling, the Citroen C3 Aircross, has been greatly satisfying buyers in need of a reliable yet comfortable family workhorse.

The C3 Aircross is pleasing owners in other crucial family-friendly areas, too, achieving high scores for its cabin flexibility, boot space and running costs. Many are also rather pleased with how this small SUV drives.

7. BMW 1 Series Mk3 - 93.76%

The BMW 1 Series is officially one of the UK’s best-selling cars, so there are plenty of people out there putting it to the real-world test in a variety of different situations. It’d appear that this premium hatchback is holding up well for the most part, too.

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That’s reliability taken care of, and there’s more good news as owners are also highly satisfied with the 1 Series’ quality and design. There’s plenty of driving pleasure to be found, too, so it’s clearly living up to the BMW badge. 

6. Suzuki Vitara Mk4 - 93.84%

It’s far from being the newest SUV on today’s market, but the Suzuki Vitara is still one of the best when it comes to dependability. There’s more good news if your family are off-roading enthusiasts, too, as this small SUV comes with the option of four-wheel drive.

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It would appear that there are a number of reasons why the fourth-generation Vitara has lasted so long, one of which being its mild-hybrid powertrain which ranked in fourth place for fuel economy.

5. Ford Ecosport Mk1 - 93.98%

The Ford Ecosport is no longer available to buy brand-new, but this compact SUV should make for a pretty sound used purchase as long as you find an example that’s been correctly maintained. 

The Ecosport failed to really stand out in any other categories in our Driver Power survey, but with a ninth place finish for reliability overall and fifth in the family car segment, current owners are clearly enjoying a drama-free experience.

4. Dacia Duster Mk2 - 94.87%

The Dacia Duster is one of the cheapest, no-frills cars on the market, and this simple formula is such a winning combination that it was voted as the best car to own overall in our 2024 Driver Power survey.

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Along with its sheer durability, owners also praised several other areas including the Duster’s powertrains, boot space, interior storage, ride quality and safety systems. Perhaps the best quality of all, though, is the Duster’s sheer value for money (which also ranked in first place).

3. Mazda CX-5 Mk2 - 95.36%

The second-generation Mazda CX-5 has been with us since 2017, and it has spent several of these years sitting firmly on our most reliable car lists.

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Owners praise this Japanese SUV’s solid build quality and upmarket feel, with niggles being few and far between. However, Mazda’s standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty is only average compared to some of its rivals.

2. Skoda Kodiaq Mk1 - 96.24%

Another common appearance on our ‘most reliable’ list of the past few years, the Skoda Kodiaq is a dependable family workhorse, and owners are happy to rave about the reliability of their Czech SUV. While it may have slipped down the order from its first place finish as the most reliable family car in our 2022 Driver Power survey, the Kodiaq is still a firm favourite in the eyes of its owners.

Skoda offers the Kodiaq with a typical three-year/60,000-mile warranty, with the option to extend for up to five years and have the mileage capped at 100,000 miles.

1. Toyota RAV4 Mk5 - 96.47%

It’ll probably come as little surprise to see a Toyota at the top of this list, as the brand has built a stellar reputation for dependability over the decades, and the RAV4 SUV is the star of the show this year. In fact, it doesn’t just top our family car list but it was voted as the most reliable car overall.

Toyota is understandably confident in its cars, too, as the entire line-up can be covered by the brand’s warranty plan for up to 100,000 miles or ten years, just as long as servicing is carried out at an authorised Toyota workshop.

Click below to see the top 75 cars or best cars to own by class…

​Have your say! Take our Driver Power customer satisfaction survey...​

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Shane is responsible for looking after the day-to-day running of the Auto Express website and social media channels. Prior to joining Auto Express in 2021, he worked as a radio producer and presenter for outlets such as the BBC.

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