Top 10 most reliable cars to buy 2022

Every car buyer wants a reliable car but how do you judge a car’s reliability before you’ve bought it? The Driver Power survey has the answer...

Modern cars go through strict development and testing processes before they go on sale to ensure that they’ll be as reliable as possible for many years to come. Despite this, some cars still end up proving far more reliable than others, making reliability one of the most important factors for people buying a new or used car. If you’re looking for a reliable car, our list – powered by first hand data from owners in the Driver Power survey – is a must read. 

Whether you’re buying new or second hand, large or small, expensive or cheap, the one thing everyone wants is a reliable car. No amount of technology, performance, luxury materials or drop-dead gorgeous design will help you if your new vehicle won’t start, breaks down with monotonous regularity or racks up painful repair bills. 

Reliability might seem boring but it’s absolutely essential if you want to get the most out of your car. The problem is that trying to discern which cars are reliable and which won’t is far from easy. Car reliability is difficult to gauge until you’ve bought the car and are experiencing it first hand, unless you ask thousands of car owners who have already done the legwork for you. This is exactly what the Driver Power car customer satisfaction survey does every year. 

Take our Driver Power survey right now

How we found the most reliable cars

Motorists from across the UK tell us what they think about the cars they own in the Driver Power survey each year and we collect the information to equip our readers with the inside story on the most reliable cars on sale. Knowing which cars or car brands are vulnerable to electrical and/or mechanical faults is highly valuable. Even if you’ve already purchased one of the cars below, this list could prove vital in identifying potential faults that could save you money in the future.

Our most reliable new cars results are based on the latest Driver Power survey data for cars that are currently available to buy new. Owners were asked about their satisfaction with the standard of build quality and reliability in the cars they own and drive every day, so the resulting data offers potential car buyers a useful insight into the ownership experience they can expect.

When buying a new car, few expect there to be any issues at all but even with our top ten most reliable new cars, faults can still occur. That being said, it is usually around the three- to six-year mark (once the manufacturer’s warranty on most models has expired) that cars can develop more serious issues and buying a brand new car is a good way to side-step this more risky ownership period.  

Scroll down to find out the top 10 cars when it comes to reliability in reverse order…

The top 10 most reliable new cars

10. Toyota C-HR - 93.96%

Toyota’s C-HR crossover didn’t appear in last year’s top 10 for reliability, and perhaps surprisingly given the brand’s reputation, it’s the only Toyota to manage it in 2022. Coming eighth in the Driver Power survey overall, the C-HR’s impressive 93.96 per cent score for reliability shows its owners are more than happy with their purchase. The C-HR has been on sale for a number of years now with a largely unchanged hybrid powertrain, and any niggles have clearly been ironed out.

9. Volkswagen T-Roc - 94.06%

While they are usually sturdy, Volkswagen’s haven’t always had the best reputation for outright reliability. The T-Roc is bucking that trend, though, dropping only slightly from fifth to seventh in this year’s reliability table. A small percentage of owners experienced a fault with the SUV’s electrics, interior trim and safety features, but importantly there were few issues with mechanical aspects of the T-Roc such as its engines or gearbox.

8. Renault Captur - 94.27%

Flying the flag for France, the Renault Captur is one of our favourite crossovers, and it appears to be very reliable too. A score of 94.27 per cent for the Clio-based crossover is certainly impressive, and of the small number of owners who recorded a fault, the majority were electrical niggles. That’s positive news for both the tried-and-tested petrol engines and Renault’s new hybrid E-Tech powertrains.

7. Kia E-Niro - 94.36%

It’s long been touted that all-electric cars stand a good chance of being more reliable than combustion-engined cars thanks to their relatively small number of moving parts. Odd then, that the Kia E-Niro is the only EV in our top 10, but that makes it no less of an achievement for Kia. Ironically, it was the car’s electrics that caused the most niggles, causing 37 per cent of the faults recorded, ahead of safety features (nine per cent) and interior trim (just four per cent).Let’s hope the all-new model due in showrooms this year will have eradicated these niggles.   

6. Kia Rio - 94.45%

Rio owners found their superminis barely ever put a wheel wrong, awarding it a 94.45 per cent score for reliability. This elevated it even higher up the charts than its eighth-place finish in 2021, and should give buyers after a small, affordable runaround even more confidence to place an order. While the Kia Rio is very unlikely to go wrong, even if it does, it’s backed up by a lengthy seven-year warranty. Of the small number of faults reported, almost a third were electrical faults, followed closely by issues with the car’s safety kit. 

5. MINI Hatch - 95.48%

The MINI didn’t appear in last year’s results, so the British-built city car is a surprise entrant in fifth spot. But, reliable it is, with a score of 95.48 per cent that proves Driver Power respondents had remarkably few issues during the first year of ownership. Problems that did arise were split evenly between interior trim problems and the car’s safety features, so certainly shouldn’t keep the car off the road. 

4. Kia XCeed - 95.56%

While the Kia Ceed hatchback appeared in ninth on this table last year, it’s been replaced by the taller XCeed in a more impressive fourth spot in 2022. It rounds out a dominant performance by the South Korean manufacturer, with more models in the top 10 this year than any other brand. While it’s unlikely that a fault will crop up with the XCeed, just over a third of reported issues were with the engine. That sounds worrying, but they’re likely to be minor faults, and covered by warranty. Not only is the XCeed reliable, it also impressed owners enough to claim victory in the overall standings

3. Mazda CX-5 - 95.57%

Remarkably, the CX-5 has taken the bronze medal for reliability for the second year in a row - not bad considering the number of SUVs flooding the market. This family-friendly model scored admirably in every category, and came second overall in the Driver Power survey, barely putting a foot wrong. Of the few issues reported, electrics and interior trim were tied, being responsible for a quarter of the faults each. Other issues were with exterior paintwork and trim and safety equipment, each with a 13 per cent share.

2. Hyundai Kona - 95.71%

This year’s fourth-place overall model came second for reliability, so it’s one of the Hyundai Kona’s greatest attributes. You told us it’s extremely well screwed together, so despite its somewhat quirky looks, this crossover is a very safe purchase which shouldn’t let you down. Even if a problem should arise, the Kona is covered by Hyundai’s generous five-year/unlimited mileage warranty. Of all the issues noted, by far the highest proportion (45 per cent) of glitches were caused by the car's electrical system, which appears to be a trend for 2022’s increasingly complex new models.

1. Skoda Kodiaq - 96.23%

The Skoda Kodiaq has put in another stellar performance in 2022’s results, coming fifth overall and topping the tables for reliability. That’s perhaps even more impressive given that this is Skoda’s first large SUV, which should in theory make it more complex. That clearly hasn’t affected its reliability, as evidenced by its 96.23 per cent score. Owners told us the Kodiaq was very robust, helping it to stand up to the rigours of family life with up to seven occupants on board. Issues that were reported by owners were split equally between the gearbox and interior trim - areas which should be sorted under warranty within the standard three years/60,000 miles of cover.

Most reliable cars top 20

Below you’ll find the full list of Driver Power’s 20 most reliable cars for 2022…

RankingModelClassReliability Score
1Skoda Kodiaq Mk1 (NS)Mid to Large SUV96.23%
2Hyundai Kona Mk1 (OS)Small SUV95.71%
3Mazda CX-5 Mk2 (KF)Mid to Large SUV95.57%
4Kia Xceed Mk3 (CD)Small SUV95.56%
5MINI Hatchback F55/F56/F57Supermini95.48%
6Kia Rio Mk4 (YB)Supermini94.45%
7Kia e-Niro Mk1 (DE)Small SUV94.36%
8Renault Captur Mk2Small SUV94.27%
9Volkswagen T-Roc MK1Mid to Large SUV94.06%
10Toyota C-HRMid to Large SUV93.96%
11Honda Jazz Mk4 (GK/GH/GP)Supermini93.95%
12Kia Picanto Mk3 (JA)City Car93.92%
13Kia Niro Mk1 (DE)Small SUV93.74%
14Vovlo XC40 Mk1 (536)Premium Small SUV93.69%
15Skoda Karoq MK1 (NU)Mid to Large SUV93.65%
16SEAT Leon Mk3 (5F) (SE370)Compact Family Car93.49%
17Kia Ceed Mk3 (CD)Compact Family Car93.49%
18Peugeot 3008 Mk2 (Ph1) (P84)Mid to Large SUV93.40%
19Kia Sportage Mk4 (QL)Mid to Large SUV93.38%
20Toyota Yaris Mk4 (YA7) (XP210)Supermini92.81%

Click below to see the most reliable cars by sector...

Click here to take our Driver Power customer satisfaction survey...

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