11 Most Reliable Cars UK 2019
Corner Park Garages, Swansea and Cardiff
August 20, 2019 at 11:24 AM
A car is a big investment whether you buy it from new or choose a second-hand model. One of the most important considerations for any car purchase is how reliable it's going to be and how long it's going to last.
Obviously, you don't want to buy a car that leaves you stranded at the side of the road or one that will cost you hundreds (or even thousands) of pounds in repair bills.
Using data from a range of owner surveys, including Driver Power and JD Power, as well as research from WhatCar?, we've compiled a list of the most reliable cars on the UK market to help you find the cars that will last the longest.
However, it's important to remember that even cars with a good reputation can go wrong if they haven't been looked after properly. Similarly, if a model you're interested in doesn't appear in this list, it doesn't mean it will be a liability. In general, cars are becoming more reliable with no singular model universally picked out for being unreliable.
11. SEAT Leon (2013 - Present)
As part of the Volkswagen Group, the SEAT Leon is mechanically very similar to the Volkswagen Golf, Audi A3 and Skoda Octavia - all of which are reliable cars that you might consider as an alternative to the Spanish model.
Sitting in the family hatchback class, the Leon has an excellent reliability record and is one of the most popular cars in the class. It stands out from its siblings and other models such as the Ford Focus and BMW 1 Series because of its sharp and sporty design.
In February 2017 it was given a comprehensive update with more technology included as standard. Car buyers are often attracted to the Leon instead of the Golf because of its cheaper price tag.
10. Honda Jazz (2008 - 2015)
The second generation Honda Jazz was on sale in the UK for a total of seven years. It's proven to be a highly reliable small car with 91.22% of owners not reporting a single issue in the 2018 Auto Express Driver Power satisfaction survey.
Other manufacturers have introduced models into their range to try and compete with the Jazz (e.g. Skoda Fabia and Vauxhall Meriva); however, they couldn't match its industry-leading reliability.
Although it isn't the most attractive hatchback on the market, it can comfortably transport four adults on long journeys and there's a large boot to carry all your essential items.
9. Skoda Yeti (2009 - 2017)
The Yeti was Skoda's first attempt at a crossover; while it wasn't universally liked, it developed a cult following of owners that enjoyed its chunky looks, practical interior and enduring reliability.
Having been replaced by the Karoq, the Yeti is no longer on sale, but there's still eight years' worth of models available on the used market. It ranked best in class for the reliability of its engine and gearbox, as well as the car's interior gadgets.
In the 2013 Auto Express Driver Power satisfaction survey, the Yeti was the top-rated SUV. Two years later in 2015, it only slipped down one place into second making it one of the most dependable models on the UK market.
8. Peugeot 3008 SUV (2016 - Present)
Peugeot completely redesigned the 3008 crossover model in 2016 as the French manufacturer moved upmarket with a high-quality interior (including a dual-screen dashboard), refined driving experience and competitive engine range.
It was instantly awarded with the 2017 European Car of the Year Award along with a host of other accolades. Clearly a desirable model, it's difficult to gauge how reliable the 3008 SUV is because it's been on sale for less than five years.
Despite this, early signs are positive. In the latest Auto Express Driver Power satisfaction survey (which only selected owners of cars less than 12 months old), the 3008 SUV ranked fifth for reliability with a 95.22% score. In addition, Peugeot as a brand has been climbing the manufacturer reliability rankings, finishing in 13th ahead of BMW, Volvo and SEAT.
7. Lexus CT (2011 - Present)
If you're looking for a small family car that's proven to be reliable over a number of years for both new and used car buyers, you should definitely be considering the Lexus CT.
Designed to compete with the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series, the CT also offers Toyota customers (it's sister brand) an opportunity to trade-up without sacrificing the Japanese firm's renowned reliability.
The hybrid system underneath the bonnet provides low running costs and shares many parts with the Toyota Prius. Having been on sale since 2011 without a major upgrade, there are plenty of affordable CT models available on the used market.
6. Toyota Yaris (2011 - Present)
According to research conducted by WhatCar? - which interviewed over 18,000 drivers - none of them owning a Toyota Yaris reported a single issue, with 4 out of 10 citing reliability as their favourite thing about the car.
In the ultra-competitive small car category, the Yaris stands out from rivals such as the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and Vauxhall Corsa thanks to its reliability and option of a full hybrid system.
Since 2011, the Yaris has had a few makeovers to try and stand out from the crowd and give the car a more contemporary feel. Whichever version you choose, the Yaris has an excellent reputation as a practical and reliable supermini.
5. Toyota RAV4 (2013 - Present)
The RAV4 (Recreational Active Vehicle) effectively invented the compact SUV class when it was first introduced to the UK market in 1994. The latest, fourth generation model, scores highly on reliability and quality.
Reported issues for this SUV are scarce, with the brakes usually the source of any problems; however, the RAV4 receives praise almost across the board from owners. The one downfall of this model is how expensive it is to run.
The RAV4 is widely available on the used market because it's been on sale for more than 20 years. Newer versions are often popular because Toyota offer a 5 year / 100,000 mile warranty which is transferable between owners.
4. Toyota Auris (2012 - 2018)
Replacing the Toyota Corolla, the Auris made its UK debut in 2006 with the original Auris Hybrid arriving in 2010. The second generation model went on sale in 2012 before being replaced by the latest version in 2018.
Toyota recognised that the Auris couldn't compete with the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf or SEAT Leon in terms of style and handling, so it focused on areas that it could compete - providing a spacious and solid cabin with a reputation for reliability.
The Auris consistently scores well with owners by providing a dependable and frugal option, especially with the hybrid drivetrain. Having been around for two decades, there are plenty of affordable used models on the market.
3. Honda CR-V (2012 - 2018)
Recently updated to its fifth generation, the outgoing CR-V model has a fantastic reputation for reliability. The few issues reported by owners (one in ten cars) are typically caused by electrics, which might be irritating, but are largely minor problems.
The CR-V has always been in direct competition with the Toyota RAV4, but now has to compete against new rivals including the Volkswagen Tiguan, Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage.
Honda's reputation for reliability and the model's longevity often makes it a top pick for car buyers looking for a spacious vehicle that can get them from A to B. There are increasingly good deals on fourth generation CR-V models on the used market.
2. Toyota Prius (2009 - Present)
Undoubtedly the best-selling hybrid vehicle around the world, the Prius has also generated a reputation for being a great all-round car to own. Aside from the obvious fuel cost-saving benefits, it has a large boot and is smooth to drive which has helped it to become a genuine alternative to a conventional family hatchback.
Generally, Prius owners have very few issues with the car. The most commonly reported problems involve paint and exterior trim panels - hardly faults that will leave you stranded at the side of the road.
The fifth generation version was released in 2015, building on the past 20 years of development to produce the most complete hybrid to date. Throughout its lifetime, the Prius has proven itself to be an incredibly reliable car, consistently appearing in the top 10 of the Auto Express Driver Power satisfaction survey.
1. Lexus RX (2009 - 2016)
Build quality and reliability have always been the cornerstones of Lexus' success, and it's no different in the RX SUV. It regularly records the lowest proportion of faults in owner surveys with as few as 1 in 20 drivers complaining of a problem at all during their ownership period.
As with any Lexus, you would expect for it to be well made with an upmarket feel. The RX also provides a smooth and comfortable driving experience with strong acceleration and responsive steering.
The only weakness (if there is one) is its fuel consumption, even with the hybrid drivetrain. However, official consumption figures from Lexus are around 45mpg which is significantly better than a BMW X5. If you can afford this premium model, it's very unlikely to let you down or cost you much in terms of repairs.