The most reliable cars in the UK

When shopping for a new car you might be looking for a number of things in your new set of wheels. Maybe you need space for the whole family or your tools for work. Perhaps the MPG or fuel economy is essential? Maybe you’d like to go green and are looking for an electric vehicle? Whatever your priority in a new vehicle we can all agree that one thing is more important than anything else. Reliability. There’s no sense in having a new car that ticks all the boxes but is unreliable and doesn’t start when you need it most.

Some cars are famed for their reliability and in this article, we’ll take you through the most reliable cars on the market in the UK today.

What makes a car reliable?

Obviously, a car that starts first time every time is the epitome of reliability. When you pack the kids into the back seats at the end of a long day in the freezing cold and the car refuses to start. That is no fun for anyone. But it’s not just this quality that makes a car reliable. When we talk about reliability we look to the performance of the car too. If the car performs consistently when pulling away, braking and cornering then it’s also reliable. This is just as important. If you need to speed up to escape a sticky situation or brake suddenly to prevent an impact, having reliable performance and brakes is essential.

Build Quality

It’s not just older cars that can fall foul of electrical or engine faults affecting their performance and reliability. Many seasoned new car buyers will know all too well that if the car is unreliable it means many visits to the dealership. It’s all down to the build quality of the vehicle. Getting a clean bill of health from the outset requires the manufacturer to take extra care and attention when developing the vehicle for the mass market. Some manage this task better than others so here is our list of the most reliable cars in the UK.

We’ve based this list on research conducted by Driver Power 2017 who have interviewed thousands of motorists on the quality of the cars they purchase. The respondents were asked to rate how satisfied they are with their vehicles reliability and build quality as well as details of any problems they have encountered.

Here are the top 10 most reliable cars in the UK

Toyota RAV4 MK4

Crowned 2017’s most reliable car in the UK the Toyota Rav4 is a roomy SUV built to meet the demands of family life. Only 6% of RAV4 owners interviewed reported a fault with their car which centred for all around the exterior trim or engine. That being said, the reliability score crowning the RAV4 was blemish free.

Find out more about the Toyota RAV 4 in our review.

Skoda Yeti

Joint second with the Audi Q3 (below), the Yeti is a neat compact SUV that’s built for endurance. Sadly, the Yeti is soon to be replaced in production by the Skoda Karoq. Let’s hope Skoda keep up the good work with this model too. Only 9% of Yeti owners reported a fault with the car. Primarily, the faults centred around the interior trim.

Check out our Skoda Yeti review for more details

Audi Q3

Audi’s top ranked model for reliability, the Q3 is another SUV making the list. Customers recorded how impressed they were with the quality of materials used on the car. The standard of the fit and finishes also gained praise from customers. Only 14% of Q3 owners reported a problem with this model of any kind.

Seat Leon

The first small car on the list and therefore the most reliable small car in the UK today. The Seat Leon is known to be a more affordable version of the VW Golf. A lot of the same technology and features have gone into developing the Seat Leon. Reliability is at the heart of the development. Only 8.6% of respondents reported a problem with their Seat Leon and the main issues were electrical faults.

Lexus RX

Three Lexus models have made this list which is a real testament to the quality of vehicles Lexus strive to produce. The RX is the most reliable of these and is another SUV making our list. Respondents were enthusiastic about the reliability and build quality of the car. Despite 16% of owners reporting faults, it’s reassuring to know that these faults were predominantly with the exterior and interior of the car as opposed to electrical or mechanical faults.

Kia Cee’d

The UK car market has been graced with the presence of Kia in a big way since 2005. The Cee’d is a family hatchback produced by the brand and was central in Kia establishing themselves in the UK marketplace. Owners rate the Kia Cee’d on every level and only 7% reported any problems with the main cause of complaint being electrics and seats.

Lexus CT

The first hybrid on the list but the second car from the Lexus brand. The Lexus CT is a technology powerhouse with excellent fuel economy and the same engine tech as the Toyota Prius. Owners rave about the reliability and build quality plus a remarkably low 2% encountered a problem with the vehicle. This is one of the lowest scores on the list!

Suzuki Vitara

The Vitara offers excellent value for money and the Japanese brand is renowned for building cars with a solid reputation. Avoiding niggling faults has led to only 13% of owners surveyed experiencing any problems. The electrics are the main culprit but owners surveyed are overjoyed with the reliability of the Vitara.

Lexus NX

The last of the three Lexus models gracing our list of the most reliable top 10. The NX is a mid-sized SUV which launched in 2014. Available in petrol or petrol-hybrid the NX has no barrier when it comes to reliability. While the NX is ranked for its reliability and build quality it did have the highest reported complaints. 20% of owners have had some issues and worryingly the braking system was the biggest contributor.

Find out more about the Lexus NX

Volvo XC60

Volvo’s best selling car in its history is also our number 10 in the list of the most reliable cars in the UK. Owners of the compact SUV XC60 are highly satisfied with the reliability and build quality. Only 6% of owners interviewed reported problems with the model and these issues were largely attributed to the electrical system. So that’s the top 10 most reliable cars in the UK. If any of these meet your other requirements you can be confident you are choosing a vehicle which is one of the most reliable in the UK.

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