How reliable is Renault? An honest assessment of the car brand

In 2015, Renault were the tenth biggest automaker in the world by production volume. One of the most well known brands in the UK, Renault are known for making affordable city and family cars that are great to drive and are well built.

But, how reliable are Renault?

In this article, we look at how reliable Renault are, and how this compares to their rivals.

How reliable are Renault?

Renault are pretty dependable. In the Telegraph reliability survey of 2017 they placed Renault 14th out of 20 for dependability. It was reported that there were 116 problems per 100 vehicles, which is above the industry average.

AutoExpress placed Renault 11th in their reliability table, with a reliability score of 93.72 out of 100.  ReliabilityIndex place Renault in tenth on their reliability table. They also give them a reliability index of just 89, which is pretty good compared to the industry average of 118 (the lower the score the better). They also put six Renault models in their top 100 cars for reliability, including the Megane and the Scenic.

How reliable is the Renault Clio?

If we look at individual models, Renault fare pretty well. The Renault Clio has a reliability index of 63 which is very good, and an average repair cost of £252.77. It appears that the main problems with the Clio come down to the electrics and axle and suspension, both accounting for 32.76% of problems.  

Renault Grand Scenic dependability

The Grand Scenic also scores well, with a reliability index of 74. It is costlier to repair, however, with average costs amounting to £398.63. The main problem with the Scenic appears to be with the electrics, with electrical problems accounting for 58.06% of problems.

Is the Renault Megane reliable?

The Renault Megane scores even better and has a reliability index of just 61. The repair costs are lower at an average of £252.74. Again, the main problems appear to be with the electrics, with it being 41.41% of the problem, and coming in second is the axle and suspension with just 16.16% of the problem.

How reliable is the Renault Twingo?

But it’s the city car, the Renault Twingo that takes the top spot when it comes to dependability. It has a reliability index of just 42 and an average repair cost of just £163.59. It is also off the road for less time, just an average of 1.51 hours. The electrics, engine and steering account for most of the problems, at 23.08% each.

So Renault are pretty dependable. Their individual models score well when it comes to reliability index. And, they have consistently been in top results on many reliability tables. 

Why are Renault reliable?

The fact that Renault are so reliable might come as a surprise to some. But, why are Renault so reliable?

One of the reasons they are reliable is that they don’t cost too much to repair when they do go wrong. And, they also aren’t off the road for very long when they are being repaired. Because Renault are popular and also quite common cars, it means that their parts are more common and therefore take less time to source. They are also more affordable and therefore this keeps the repair costs low. Also, Renault cars are designed to be affordable, which means that they don’t necessarily have a huge amount of new technology in them. This is by no means a bad thing, it means that there is less to go wrong with this modern technology. One of the issues many luxury brands face today is that the modern technology they put in their cars can often go wrong, and can be expensive to repair and replace. This can bring down their reliability. However, Renault doesn’t have that problem, and therefore their dependability is considerably better. You tend to find this is the case with the more affordable car brands, and Renault is no different.

So that could be a reason why Renault are more reliable than other car brands.

How reliable are surveys?

We’ve established that Renault are reliable, but how reliable are the surveys we use to determine that reliability?

Surveys such as the ones carried out by the Telegraph and AutoExpress are a pretty accurate way of determining how reliable a car brand is. They often use owner reviews and information from the likes of WarrantyDirect, who provide extended warranties for a range of makes and models. When a customer makes a claim, they can record the information about that claim. They then use this information to determine the longevity of a car make or model. One of the advantages of this is that they can see how things have changed over time. 

ReliabilityIndex is also very accurate, and it is also good for comparing brands because they have a huge amount of makes and models on there to compare reliability.

One of the issues that you may come across when looking at consumer surveys is when it comes to new cars. You can’t always determine the reliability of new cars because they aren’t old enough to have any form of long term dependability. That said, you can often use predicted reliability as a way of telling how reliable a car will be, particularly if you have an older brand such as Renault, where you have a lot of previous models to draw your information from.

So overall, consumer surveys are an accurate way of determining how reliable a car is.

Renault vs. Citroen vs. Peugeot; Which is more reliable?

So, how does Renault compare to some of its rivals?

All three of these brands are pretty reliable, if we are being honest.In the Telegraph study, Peugeot came fifth, with just 92 problems per 100 vehicles. Citroen came an impressive thirteenth with 115 problems per 100 vehicles. They are both higher than Renault, but not by a huge amount.

In the AutoExpress survey, Peugeot came thirteenth, with a score of 93.09 out of 100. Citroen also did pretty well but not as good as the other two at nineteenth. Still, it had a pretty impressive reliability score of 91.55. Reliability Index puts Peugeot at fourteenth with a reliability index of 96. Citroen didn’t fare too badly in twentieth place, with a reliability index of 112.

Overall, none of these brands are unreliable. However, it does appear that Renault beats both Peugeot and Citroen in most surveys. The only one it doesn’t beat Peugeot in is the Telegraph survey. Both Renault and Peugeot are more reliable than Citroen, but all of them are pretty dependable cars.

So if you are looking for a reliable car, then you can look at any of these brands, but if you are looking for the most reliable, then a Renault or a Peugeot would be the way forward.

What are the most reliable Renault cars?

The following are the most reliable Renault cars; 

  • Renault Twingo
  • Renault Kangoo
  • Renault Megane 

These all score pretty well on the Reliability Index.


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What are the most unreliable Renault cars?

Historically, the most unreliable Renault cars have been the following;

  • Renault Modus
  • Renault Laguna
  • Renault Espace


These all scored lower than the other Renault’s on Reliability Index. However, these cars are still pretty dependable compared to many other brands. They are just the most unreliable Renault cars.

In conclusion, Renault are a pretty reliable car brand. They have been consistently dependable over the years and their repair costs are low. When their cars do go wrong, they are also off the road for a short period of time, which further improves their reliability. One of the reasons this may be is because their affordable models don’t always have the advanced technology more luxurious brands have. This modern technology can be unreliable if it does go wrong, then it is more expensive to repair or replace. If you are undecided between Renault, Citroen and Peugeot then Renault is a good choice, but all three of them are good manufacturers in terms of their longevity. Ultimately, if you are looking for a brand that is affordable and builds models that are well-built and are reliable, then Renault are a good brand to look at. 

Rosemary Smith is an Irish rally driver, and won her first prize in 1964. She test drove the Renault F1 in May 2017, making her the oldest person to drive an 800bhp race car. You can watch the footage below.

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