Most reliable used family cars to buy 2024

Our Driver Power survey reveals the most reliable used family cars to buy now

If you’re looking for a second-hand family car but don’t want to be left stranded on the school run, our 2023 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey is here to help you find the most reliable used family cars to buy right now.

Every year, thousands of drivers provide us with detailed feedback about their cars, including any problems they have experienced and how often they have occurred. Family cars are some of the hardest working vehicles on the road, so reliability is crucial. 

To help you choose a reliable used family car, our Driver Power scores are designed to be straightforward. Each percentage is based on the owners’ scores for reliability, so the higher a car’s percentage, the more reliable it is proving to be.

Of course, breakdowns and malfunctions are never entirely avoidable. Find one of the models listed below with reasonably low mileage and a full service history, though, and you’ll go some way towards keeping any mishaps at bay. 

Most reliable used family cars

Read on below to find out the top five most reliable used family cars to buy right now, listed in reverse order...

5. Skoda Karoq Mk1 - 95.80%

  • Years of manufacture: 2017-present
  • Price: £11,500

The Skoda Karoq is an excellent mid-size SUV that sits between the Kamiq and the larger Kodiaq in the Skoda line-up. It has been around for a while and isn’t the most exciting choice in this fast-moving sector, but those are just about the only downsides to a vehicle that’s spacious, practical, well built and good to drive. Not only are owners finding Skoda’s SUV reliable, but they rated it as the second best used car to own, too. 

4. Toyota Prius Mk4 - 95.90%

  • Years of manufacture: 2015-2022
  • Price: £12,500

As a brand, Toyota has a strong reputation for overall reliability, and the Prius is currently leading the pack. It’s not uncommon to see a Mk4 Prius on minicab duties, and even though this is a tough existence for any car, many of these examples are still happily plodding along with over 200,000 miles on the clock. It’s just a shame that the next generation Prius isn’t set to be sold in the UK. 

3. Lexus RX Mk4 - 96.07%

  • Years of manufacture: 2015-2022
  • Price: £23,800

Lexus is a regular sight at the top of our Driver Power reliability rankings, and this year is no exception. The RX Mk4’s hybrid drivetrain is proving to be robust, smooth and even quite spritely. However, the technology fitted to this luxurious SUV is a source of disappointment for a number of owners. If you aren’t too bothered by tech woes, though, the Lexus’s overall build-quality and safety were both highly praised.

2. Subaru Outback Mk5 - 96.18%

  • Years of manufacture: 2014-2020
  • Price: £9,500

The Outback is designed to look rugged, and it’s certainly living up to its appearance. Although Subaru might not have been the first brand to come to mind when you started thinking of potential family cars to buy, the Outback’s sheer levels of practicality and durability are highly popular with its loyal customer base. 

1. Lexus RX Mk3 - 96.55%

  • Years of manufacture: 2008-2015
  • Price: £11,000

The Mk4 Lexus RX may be sharper to look at, but the older Mk3 hasn’t been entirely outshone by its successor. Its hybrid powertrain isn’t particularly well-regarded when it comes to performance or refinement, but it is certainly remaining trouble-free for the most part. Much like the newer RX, Mk3 owners were also satisfied with the practicality, safety and comfort on offer, making this SUV ideal for the family that enjoys a touch of luxury.

Top 10 most reliable used family cars

  1. Lexus RX Mk3 -  96.55%
  2. Subaru Outback Mk5 - 96.18%
  3. Lexus RX Mk4 - 96.07%
  4. Toyota Prius Mk4 - 95.90%
  5. Skoda Karoq Mk1 -  95.80%
  6. Lexus NX Mk1 - 95.46%
  7. Lexus CT Mk1 - 94.94%
  8. Skoda Yeti Mk1 - 94.57%
  9. Subaru XV Mk1 - 94.38%
  10. Honda CR-V Mk4 - 93.79%

Click below to find out the most reliable cars by sector... 

Tell us what you love (and hate) about your car. Take the Driver Power survey now and you could win a £100 Amazon voucher...

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.

Recommended

Best electric car charging stations 2024: UK's top charger networks rated by EV owners
Best EV charging stations 2024
Features

Best electric car charging stations 2024: UK's top charger networks rated by EV owners

The bad, the good and the outstanding; you rank the major players in the expanding UK charging network
23 Jan 2024
Top 10 best small 4x4s to buy 2024
Best small 4x4s - header image
Best cars & vans

Top 10 best small 4x4s to buy 2024

Need off-road capability but in a smaller package? Take a look our top 10 small 4x4s
17 Jan 2024
Top 10 most reliable small cars to buy 2024
Most reliable small cars - header
Best cars & vans

Top 10 most reliable small cars to buy 2024

We reveal the most reliable small cars you can buy according to the 2023 Driver Power survey…
17 Jan 2024
Best used hybrid cars 2024
Best used hybrids - header image
Best cars & vans

Best used hybrid cars 2024

Want to embrace electrified driving but need the reassurance of an internal combustion engine? Try one of our favourite used hybrid cars
10 Jan 2024

Most Popular

New MG3 hopes to disrupt the Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa’s supermini dominance
MG3 on Geneva Motor Show stand - front
News

New MG3 hopes to disrupt the Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa’s supermini dominance

New MG3 features the company’s first full-hybrid powertrain; pricing to be announced in March
26 Feb 2024
New Renault 5 leaked: pictures surface online ahead of Monday's Geneva Motor Show reveal
renault 5 teaser
News

New Renault 5 leaked: pictures surface online ahead of Monday's Geneva Motor Show reveal

The long-awaited all-electric reboot of the iconic Renault 5 will be fully unveiled on 26 February 2024
24 Feb 2024
'Cheap SUVs are where the smart money's going in today's car market'
Opinion - Volkswagen T-Roc
Opinion

'Cheap SUVs are where the smart money's going in today's car market'

Mike Rutherford thinks sensibly priced SUVs are the natural successor to less spacious family hatchbacks
25 Feb 2024