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Most reliable cars to buy 2024

How do you judge a new car’s reliability before taking ownership? The Driver Power survey has the answer…

Thanks to huge advancements in technology and build quality, modern cars are far more reliable than the models of yesteryear. However, there’s still plenty that can potentially go wrong, so purchasing one of the most reliable cars on sale is a great way to keep potential breakdowns and big bills at bay.

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Of course, it’s nearly impossible to tell just how reliable a car will be without living with it day-to-day, so our Driver Power customer satisfaction survey is here to help. Real UK car owners have told us everything there is to know about their respective cars, including just how dependable they actually are. We’ve then used this data to determine the top 10 most reliable new cars to buy 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.

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When buying a new car, few expect there to be any issues at all but even with our 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 period in the car’s lifecycle. The scores below represent the average ratings that owners of these cars gave for reliability and build quality. Only cars with enough responses to give full statistical accuracy are included in Driver Power.

You can visit our most reliable used car page for reliability data or scroll down to find out the top 10 most reliable new cars in reverse order. If you’d like to tell us about your car, take the Driver Power survey now…

The top 10 most reliable new cars

10. Suzuki Vitara Mk4 - 93.84%

Japanese carmakers have long held a reputation for building some of the most reliable cars on the market. Suzuki is one such brand and the Vitara is proving to be a durable car, even if this SUV isn’t quite as rugged and off-road focused as it once was. 

Owners have also been impressed with the Vitara’s low running costs which, combined with some tempting finance deals, should appeal to those searching for a low-cost and stress-free family car.

9. Ford Ecosport Mk1 - 93.98%

The spotlight has been shining on the Ford Puma lately as it continues to sell in droves, but the Ford Ecosport is still the star of the reliability show. As the 29th best car to own in our main Driver Power survey results, it’s fairly middling when it comes to the overall ownership experience, but few owners could fault this small SUV when it comes to its dependability.

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One other area where the Ford Ecosport stands out is with its low running costs, which owners also rated in ninth position overall.

8. Peugeot 208 Mk2 - 94.55%

Once upon a time, French cars were always the butt of jokes about breakdowns and build quality. Those days are long gone now, though, and the Peugeot 208 is concrete proof that European brands can keep up with the likes of Toyota in the reliability stakes. What’s more, while this little supermini is clearly durable, it still looks very fashionable, too. 

It’s not just a looker, either, as the little Peugeot took first place in multiple categories including responsiveness, handling and ride quality. 

7. Tesla Model 3 Mk1 - 94.68%

Electric cars have fewer moving parts than combustion and hybrid models so, at least in theory, there’s less to go wrong. The Tesla Model 3 is doing its part to prove this as it was the seventh most reliable car in our 2024 Driver Power survey. 

The Model 3’s standard warranty covers the car for four years or a fairly low 50,000-miles, whichever comes first. If you’re sceptical about battery longevity, this is covered by a separate plan which lasts for eight years or up to 120,000 miles.

6. Dacia Duster Mk2 - 94.87%

The overall 2024 Driver Power survey winner wouldn’t have its title if it broke down all the time, so it’s only natural that the Dacia Duster should make an appearance on this list. This budget-friendly SUV focuses on simplicity and ruggedness, and this is clearly working in its favour.

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Unsurprisingly, Duster owners also praised its value for money, voting it into third place overall. The brand recently added to its appeal, too, by introducing the Dacia Zen seven-year warranty plan for both new and existing customers.

=4. Kia Picanto Mk3 - 95.36%

Kia has been a firm Driver Power favourite in recent years, and it’s the tiny Picanto city car that’s representing the Korean brand in this year’s reliability rankings. Even though the rest of its line-up hasn’t quite made the top 10, Kia’s renowned 7-year/100,000-mile warranty is still one of the best in the business - showing the manufacturer’s faith in its products.

Owners clearly feel that Kia’s smallest car still has some big car qualities, as it ranked fifth for its exterior fit and finish. A fourth place finish for safety features certainly can’t be sniffed at, either. 

=4. Mazda CX-5 Mk2 - 95.36%

For the fourth year in a row, the Mazda CX-5 has scored a top 5 Driver Power finish for reliability, This family-friendly SUV continues to perform admirably elsewhere, too, with top 10 scores for its interior, boot space, safety features and fuel economy. 

When it comes to the CX-5’s warranty, Mazda’s three-year/60,000-mile plan isn’t really a class-leader, but owners are still satisfied with servicing and maintenance costs.

3. Toyota Yaris Mk4 - 95.68%

Toyota’s larger hybrid cars are continuing to prove themselves when faced with the gruelling demands of taxi and emergency service use, and it’s a very similar story with the small Yaris supermini. 

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Along with its long-standing reputation for reliability, Toyota is putting its money where its mouth is by offering a class-leading warranty plan that lasts for up to ten years and 100,000 miles. The only catch is that every service must be carried out at one of the brand’s workshops.

2. Skoda Kodiaq Mk1 - 96.24%

Family cars have a lot of duties to fulfil, ranging from the school run to long-distance holiday road trips. The Skoda Kodiaq certainly isn’t lacking in the practicality department thanks to its large SUV shape, and it ranked first in this category. The even better news, though, is that it’s standing up to the demands of those who use it, too.

Alongside its sheer capaciousness, owners praised the Skoda’s interior, flexibility and value for money. All of this, plus the option of seven seats, makes the Kodiaq one of the best large SUVs to buy right now. 

1. Toyota RAV4 Mk5 - 96.47%

The Toyota RAV4 may be the fourth best car to own overall in Driver Power 2024 but it sits at the very top of our reliability rankings. Once again, Toyota’s hybrid expertise is clearly paying off with durability and fuel economy in equal measure, and owners have been left feeling very satisfied with both.

Along with the potential for ten years or 100,000-miles of warranty coverage, Toyota also offers a number of fixed-price service plans for the RAV4. Keep up to date with maintenance and RAV4 ownership should be an absolute breeze.

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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