Drivers warned of the most and least reliable car brands on the market - Vauxhall, Mini and more

The most and least reliable cars

The most and least reliable cars ranked by What Car?

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 28/09/2023

- 08:55

Electric and diesel cars were found to have the joint-highest vehicle fault rate

New research has found that hybrid vehicles are the most reliable type of car on sale in the UK, while some major brands being exposed for being unreliable.

Hybrids were found to be the most reliable, despite their complex drivetrains, with just 17 per cent of plug-in hybrids and 18 per cent of other hybrids reporting any faults.

They are also the cheapest to repair, with all plug-in hybrids in the survey being fixed for free, with 94 per cent of regular hybrids being repaired without charge.

Petrol cars were only slightly less reliable, with a fault rate of 20 per cent, as electric cars and diesels had the joint-highest fault rate of 26 per cent.

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The survey, which received feedback from 21,732 car owners, covered 32 brands and 178 different models.

The 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey found that the Ford Mustang Mach-E electric car had a perfect reliability rate, while the BMW iX3 was close behind with 99.3 per cent.

Lexus achieved the highest brand rating at 98.3 per cent, with the NX family SUV and RX large SUV pulling in reliability scores of above 98.5 per cent.

However, Spanish brand Cupra received the lowest brand reliability score of 82.4 per cent with drivers complaining about their cars being plagued by electrical issues.

Claire Evans, consumer editor at What Car?, said: “These results demonstrate that the complexity of a hybrid powertrain is not a barrier to reliability.

“Conversely, electric models, with their simpler set-up can let their owners down.

“However, in many cases it’s not the electric motors or battery banks that prove troublesome, it’s other electrical items such as infotainment systems, digital instrument panels and driver assistance systems that have given owners the biggest headaches.

“If you’re thinking of switching to a pure electric car, check its reliability rating before you buy to ensure you get a dependable model.”

Overall, more than one in five drivers have seen something go wrong with their car, although 83 per cent of these repairs were carried out for free.

The vehicle which received the lowest reliability rating was the Vauxhall Mokka-e electric SUV which received just 60.6 per cent, followed by the Porsche Taycan EV at 66.5 per cent and Audi A3 Sportback family car getting 71.8 per cent.

The Volvo XC90 was ranked as the most reliable seven-seater despite receiving a score of just 94.8 per cent, with a class average score of 90.4 per cent.

For the survey, owners were asked if they had suffered any faults in the last two years and how long it took to repair the car and how much it cost, with the overall score shown as a percentage.

Most bills cost less than £500, although two per cent of drivers were forced to pay more than £1,500 to get their cars fixed, with infotainment systems often being one of the main issues.


Most reliable car brands

Lexus - 98.3 per cent

Toyota - 97.4 per cent

Mini - 97.2 per cent

Suzuki - 96.9 per cent

Mitsubishi - 96.2 per cent

Honda - 95.9 per cent

Hyundai - 94.3 per cent

Kia - 93.8 per cent

Volvo - 93.7 per cent

Tesla - 93.6 per cent


Cupra was found to be the least reliable brand


Least reliable car brands

Cupra - 82.4 per cent

Alfa Romeo - 85.6 per cent

Vauxhall - 86.9 per cent

Jaguar - 87.4 per cent

Land Rover - 87.6 per cent

Subaru - 89.0 per cent

Audi - 89.1 per cent

MG - 89.2 per cent

Mercedes-Benz - 89.8 per cent

Renault - 90.0 per cent

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