Reliability: it may not be the most glamorous word in the world, but it matters. According to a survey from Statista, safety, fuel efficiency and quality are the top three qualities consumers look for in a car. Ideally, a reliable car should be easy to run and maintain, should not require frequent repairs and should come with a good mileage. If you are in the market for a car that won’t let you down, the first question you might well be asking is “what’s the most reliable car brand?” – so to help you decide, here are the top five most reliable car brands in the UK 2021.
1. The Lexus SUV
Sailing into first place: not just the winner of Whatcar Car of the Year 2021, but the car topping their reliability survey for three out of four consecutive years (with a reliability score of 97%, no less) – the Lexus NX Large SUV. Since it’s inception, Lexus’ RX SUV models have accounted for three in ten of their total sales – which should give you a good indicator of just how popular it is. According to reviews by Evo Magazine, it’s not a “driver’s” car – but it is a reliable driver’s car: with electronically controlled Adaptive Variable Suspension, a solid chassis courteously of improved joining and welding techniques and a firmer rear anti-roll bar. Most importantly, it’s efficient (and not just because it’s a hybrid): meaning less time in the shop and more time on the road.
2. Honda Jazz
Zooming into second place (and fifth in the car brand reliability index) we have the 4th generation Honda Jazz. Also available as the Jazz Crossstar (which features two-tone paint, bolt-on roofrails and a uniquely designed grille) – the Jazz is a solid option for city dwellers looking for a reliable car that handles with precision, offering easy manoverabiity and ease of parking. A safe option in the truest sense, the latest Jazz scored five out of five in safety tests by Euro NCAP, with features like automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance as standard. Overall, it might not be the most interesting of hatchbacks – but it’s nippy, economical and comes with a five year warranty or 90,000 miles as standard.
3. Toyota Corolla
In third place: the new, improved Toyota Corolla. Similarly to the Prius, this is a hybrid, albeit a more conventional-looking one. Similarly to the Golf, the Corolla’s soft suspension allows for an easy ride – with equally smooth handling and control. As it’s a relatively new model, it’s not the cheapest option – but on balance the new Corolla offers low fuel economy with good resale prospects – both of which mean it may be cheaper to run in the long term. Coming with a five-year/100,000-mile warranty as standard and a five star safety rating from Euro NCAP, in terms of reliability and comfort this is a great option for a family car.
4. Volkswagen Golf 7 R
Cruising in fourth place: proof that reliable needn’t mean dull: the new generation Volkswagen Golf. It’s is pillowy-soft and secure to drive, offering both comfort driving mode and lane assistance – but don’t be fooled: beneath Golf’s sturdy exterior there is a tiger in the tank – in the form of various driver modes that take it from ho-hum to hot hatch in a matter of seconds. Volkswagen’s reputation for reliability over the decades is well-established – and the Golf 7R is no exception, scoring a modest 75% in Whatcar’s reliability survey.
5. Ford C-MAX
Last -but by no means least, at number five we have the Ford C-Max – essentially a slightly roomier Ford Focus – but with it’s own unique charms, namely ease of driving and an unexpectedly roomy interior. Described by consumer reports as “remarkably efficient” due to it’s spaciousness and fuel economy, the C-Max is a solid MPV people Carrier that goes the extra mile – an extra 50,000 miles, to be exact – in comparison to rival car Nissan Leaf. Although it’s Euro NCAP safety rating lost a couple of stars since it’s five-star rating in 2017, it still has all the essentials including autonomous emergency braking and airbags. As well as being a fun, family friendly car, it’s also the top-ranked MPV in the 2019 JD Power Vehicle Dependability Survey.
Not every car is perfect – but key reliability features to consider include safety features, how often it needs to be repaired and running costs, including repair. A car is an investment – so it’s worth considering how much mileage you’ll get before you buy – in every sense of the word.