The most reliable vintage cars and used models to avoid

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New data has revealed the most reliable vintage cars and identified used choices that could cause buyers the greatest grief.

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Reliability studies often focus on models up to three or five years old, but the latest research goes beyond that, looking at models between five and 20 years old to see how well they survive in no man’s land between new and classic status when manufacturers’ warranties have expired.

Japanese brands, especially electric and hybrid models, dominate the top of the list while European luxury SUVs languish at the bottom. Six of the top 10 performing brands were Japanese while two others were South Korean.

The Toyota Yaris Hybrid (2011-20), Toyota Rav4 (2013-19) and Honda CR-V (2012-18) proved to be the best of the bunch, all rated as flawless by owners.

Honda CR-V owners have not reported any faults in the past year (Photo: Honda)

Overall, Toyota’s sister brand Lexus tops the table with a reliability rating of 96%, ahead of Kia (92.7%), Toyota (92.2%) Suzuki (91.9%) and Honda (91.6%).

Electric vehicles and hybrids were the most reliable class, with a rating of 96%, led by the Yaris, Lexus CT and Lexus IS. Behind them were large SUVs, topped with the Honda CR-V, and two generations of Rav4s.

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On the opposite end of the spectrum, Land Rover failed to live up to its reputation as a rugged machine, with an overall reliability rating of 66.3%. Its Discovery Sport (2014-present) was also among the worst performing individual models, scoring only (51.4%).

However, the Porsche Macan turned out to be the least reliable car of all, rated at just 40.4%. This puts it at the bottom of the least reliable category – sporty and luxury SUVs – just ahead of the 2007-13 BMW X5 (42.6%) and the 2004-17 Land Rover Discovery (45.7%). Overall, the class scored a relatively low 63.1 percent.

The Porsche Macan was at the bottom of the WhatCar? rankings (Photo: Porsche)

Behind it, the MPV class was the second worst segment, with a reliability of 75.3%. While the Ford C-Max from 2011 scored a respectable 91.3%, the segment was dragged down by models including the 2008-15 Vauxhall Zafira (60.6%), the Citroën Grand C4 Picasso from 2014 (61.7 percent) and 2003 -15 Volkswagen Touran (63.3%)

The figures were obtained by WhatCar ?, which surveyed nearly 13,000 drivers. They were asked if their car had experienced any problems in the past 12 months, how long the car had not been driven and how much it had cost to repair. An individual reliability rating for each model was calculated from this data.

Despite the age of the cars presented, 17% of all faults were repaired for free, while almost a fifth were repaired for less than £ 200. For five percent of owners, repair costs exceeded £ 1,500. The most common issues were with the suspension, non-engine electronics, brakes and battery.

Claire Evans, editor-in-chief at What Car ?, said: “Our research underscores the importance of doing your homework when buying a used car. While some models make excellent second-hand purchases, others can cost new owners hundreds or even thousands of pounds in repairs.

“With one in five used cars broken down in the last year, buyers can avoid some nasty pitfalls just by spending a little time reviewing and researching their next used purchase. “

Which car? reliability index for cars from 5 to 20 years

  1. Lexus – Reliability Index of 96.0%
  2. Kia – 92.7%
  3. Toyota – 92.2%
  4. Suzuki – 91.9%
  5. Honda – 91.6%
  6. Mitsubishi – 91.2%
  7. Headquarters – 90.7%
  8. Hyundai – 89.2%
  9. Subaru – 87.8%
  10. Volvo – 84.7%
  11. Mazda – 84.6%
  12. Skoda – 83.5%
  13. Mercedes-Benz – 83.0%
  14. Audi – 82.9%
  15. Ford – 82.8%
  16. BMW – 82.5%
  17. Citroën – 81.3%
  18. Porsche – 78.4%
  19. Peugeot – 78.2%
  20. Mini – 78.0%
  21. Volkswagen – 77.5%
  22. Jaguar – 77.2%
  23. Opel – 75.8%
  24. Fiat – 74.6%
  25. Renault – 72.6%
  26. Nissan – 70.4%
  27. Land Rover – 66.3%


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